Media Center


Pacific Institute – In the News

The Pacific Institute has continued to be the go-to resource for the media, informing the conversation on the local, national, and international level. Here are a few of the hundreds of stories featuring Pacific Institute experts:

Select Highlights

California drought: Why mandatory cuts didn’t hit farms
4.8.15- As Californians prepare for unprecedented mandatory water reductions of 25 percent beginning next month, state officials find themselves defending… Read more.


California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth
For more than a century, California has been the state where people flocked for a better life — 164,000 square miles of mountains, farmland… Read more.


As West struggles with drought, complicated water politics loom
4.3.15- Throughout the 19th century, Americans flooded to the western United States in search of resources: gold, timber, coal, oil. But the explosive growth of Western… Read more.


Gov. Brown’s drought plan goes easy on agriculture
Gov. Jerry Brown’s historic order to curb California’s water use largely bypasses agriculture, the state’s biggest water user, setting off debate about whether growers… Read more.


The End of the Lawn
 When the news popped up on Carmen Uribe’s smartphone on Wednesday, she went into a near-panic: California, for the first time, would… Read more.


California Accepts a Drought-Filled Future
4.2.15- Phillips Station sits about sixty-eight hundred feet up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, not far from the ski resorts near the southern shore of Lake… Read more. 


California’s drought is not getting better but experts look to startups for ideas
3.22.15- The last five years of Nasa data shows the California Central Valley has had drier than average conditions. Although the data hasn’t yet been completely processed for 2014, it is largely understood that this dry trend… Read more.


California First to Feel Hydro-Power Crunch of Drought
3.21.15- Flying over the Sierra Nevada as California entered its fourth year of drought, the state’s energy chief looked down and saw stark bare granite cloaked in dirty… Read more.


Intensifying Calif. drought sets off alarms
3.18.15- As California’s epic drought continues with no end in sight, it is setting off new alarms about unprecedented water shortages, increased wildfire threats… Read more.


California’s Cleaner Fuel Comes at Cost to Water: Report
3.17.15-The water it takes to supply energy to California, the biggest U.S. fuel market, has risen almost four-fold over two decades. And the culprit isn’t oil… Read more.


Water Wasters Elude Fines
 California water regulators, alarmed by slack conservation three years into a crippling drought, took the unprecedented step last summer… Read more.


Lack of Snow Leaves California’s ‘Water Tower’ Running Low
3.4.15- Snowpack—which essentially serves as a water tower for the western United States—produces vital meltwater that flows off the… Read more.


California water conservation weakening as drought worsens. Tougher rules on the way?3.4.15- California is heading into the fourth summer of a historic drought, but when it comes to conserving water, its urban residents are going… Read more.


The drought forecast calls for pain
For the fourth year in a row, California is in severe drought. Water allocations from the state and federal water projects will be far short of what farmers… Read more.


Changing the Way We Think About Water: Q&A with Peter Gleick 
2.24.15- Peter Gleick knows water. An environmental scientist and communicator and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, the MacArthur “genius” fellow and member… Read more.


The United States of Megadrought
2.12.15- When it comes to drought in the West, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. That’s the conclusion from a new study that links an increasing risk of decades-long drought… Read more. 


How to do business in a world running out of water
- If there’s any doubt that water crises loom over the globe, consider these news headlines from a mere 10 days in January: from Brazil, “Sao Paulo… Read more.

After 12 years, legal dispute over water transfer ends
2.4.15- Imperial County and the Imperial Irrigation District announced a settlement in a long-running legal battle Tuesday, ending 12 years of litigation over a… Read more. 


Can Sun and Wind Make More Salt Water Drinkable?
2.2.15- The oceans have long taunted those who thirst. Records dating to A.D. 200 show that sailors boiled seawater and used sponges to absorb fresh water… Read more.

Congressman seek Salton Sea funding
Two California congressmen are urging President Barack Obama to support more funding for federal projects to remedy the complex problems of the Salton… Read more.


13 Weird Moments In The History Of Water Fountains
1.14.15-When was the last time you gave serious thought to a drinking fountain? Maybe it was in elementary school, when they were the only way to… Read more.


California residents increase water conservation but fall short of state’s goal
1.6.15- After two months in a row of declining conservation, Californians are doing better at saving water, but they remain far short of a goal set by Gov. Jerry… Read more.

On top of drought, 2014 marked by extraordinary heat
1.2.15-Despite the blast of winter weather that swept across California at the end of 2014, much of the year stood out for extraordinary heat…Read more. 


California’s water deficit: 11 trillion gallons
NASA satellites that have been tracking California’s troubled water supplies from space generated a first-ever estimate of how much water…Read more.


What to do when climate change poses a risk to your water supply
12.10.14- As evidence of climate change mounts, businesses across all sectors of the economy are developing strategies for identifying and avoiding the risks… Read more. 


Los Angeles, City of Water
LOS ANGELES is the nation’s water archvillain, according to public perception, notorious for its usurpation of water hundreds of miles away… Read more.


Water War Amid Brazil Drought Leads to Fight Over Puddles
Brazil’s Jaguari reservoir has fallen to its lowest level ever, laying bare measurement posts that jut from exposed earth like a line of dominoes. The nation’s… Read more.


‘Looming environmental crisis’ at Salton Sea prompts plea for help
The Imperial Irrigation District has sent a plea to a state water board to help avert a “looming environmental and public health crisis” at the Salton Sea… Read more.


Preserving a Mistake Made by Our Meddling With Nature
11.10.14- The area around this town of date palms attracts two kinds of migrants – hundreds of humans who work the land, and millions of birds who stop to rest… Read more.


A Water Project Cleans Up Nairobi’s Slum
1.9.14- At 8 a.m., Patrick Mwangi meets me for breakfast at the Serena Hotel in downtown Nairobi. We are in the hotel’s restaurant, seated at a table covered…Read more.

California’s water bond, a $7.5B ‘down payment’
11.5.14- California’s newly approved $7.5 billion water bond will energize the state’s efforts to deal with a host of water problems by channeling money…Read more.

 la-times-logo Prop. 1 aims to relieve drought — but not this one
10.29.14- California’s stubborn drought helped push a $7.5-billion water bond through the Legislature and onto the November ballot. But even if…Read more.

California Voters to Decide $7.5 Billion Water Bond Measure
10.29.14- At three years and counting, one of the worst droughts in California history shows little sign of abating. So it’s no surprise…Read more.  


Action on improving poor water quality needs to come from government
10.27.14- Water is at once the most global of issues and the most local. Access to clean water is seen as a universal human right, yet your view of water is… Read more.


$7.5 Billion Plan Won’t Fix Drought 
10.23.14- An in-depth analysis of the $7.5 billion water bond
(Proposition 1) on the Nov. 4 ballot finds that it could benefit California’s communities and the…Read more.


Voters to Decide on Voting $7.1 B for Water Projects
10.20.14- While welcome, Monday’s rain does little to ease the state’s critical drought. In two weeks, voters will be asked to vote on a $7.1 billion bond — Proposition 1…Read more. 


Water wars: a new reality for business and governments
- During his reign from 2,450-2,400BC, King of Lagash set about building boundary canals around his territory. The result was a gradual reduction in the water… Read more.


In virtual mega-drought, California avoids defeat
10.5.14- A few years ago a group of researchers used computer modeling to put California through a nightmare scenario: Seven decades… Read more.


Proposition 1:Voters to decide on $7.5 billion water bond
9.22.14- California voters will be faced with a $7.5 billion question this fall about whether to publicly finance a water bond meant to help the state better…Read more.


When the Snows Fail
9.19.14- For three generations the Diener family has farmed the same ten square miles of Central Valley dirt. In the 1920s they grew barley and alfalfa to feed the mules that powered…Read more.


Rotten-egg odor from Salton Sea prompts air quality warning
9.17.14- Increased level of hydrogen sulfide in the Salton Sea this week — marked by the tell-tale “rotten eggs” odor — prompted officials… Read more.


Amid Drought, New California Law Will Limit Groundwater Pumping for First Time
9.17.14- Despite California’s reputation as an environmental policy leader, its regulation of groundwater extraction has long been among the weakest in the…Read more.


California Homes Lack Water Meters During Drought
9.6.14-Although California is locked in a third year of historic drought, many homeowners and businesses still don’t have meters telling them just how much water… Read more.


Salton Sea inaction could cause ‘catastrophic change,’ report says
9.3.14-Saving the beleaguered Salton Sea will be expensive, but allowing it to continue deteriorating will cost even more in terms of dollars, unemployment… Read more.


Drought has State Debating its Unregulated Pumping
8.20.14- Three years of drought have Californians debating an end to the state’s status as one of the last in the West with a pump-as-you-please policy… Read more.



How Conservation and Groundwater Management Can Gird California for a Drier Era
8.1.14 - It’s way past time for California to come to grips with the possibility that its extraordinary water woes are the new normal — and essentially the return of the old … Read more. 


Your Bottled Water Might Be Draining California’s Last Drops of H2O
7.15.14 – California experienced the driest year on record in 2013 and continues to be afflicted by a drought. California’s State Water Resources Control Board… Read more. 


Water is Today’s Risky Business 
7.29.14 – Recently, a bi-partisan group of political and business leaders including Henry Paulson, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, Robert Rubin, and Olympia… Read more. 


Rethinking Water Storage
7.24.14- On January 17, a state of drought emergency was declared in California by Governor Jerry Brown. By early February, snowpack in the Eastern Sierras… Read more.


Storms Get Headlines, but Drought Is a Sneaky, Devastating Game-Changer
7.15.13 - If droughts were hurricanes, people might pay more attention to them. Droughts can creep up on us with their prolonged absence of rain, and their effects… Read more


The Past and Future of California’s Water
7.13.14 – Aqueducts, dams and irrigation projects made  development possible in the West, but… Read more.


Saving Water in California
7.9.2014 – NY Times Editorial: California is in the third year of its worst drought in decades… Read more.


State May Turn Up Pressure on Water Violations
7.10.2014 – State water cops announced unprecedented emergency rules… Read more.


California’s Flawed Water System Can’t Track Usage
6.28.2014- Nearly 4,000 California companies, farms and others are allowed to use free water… Read more.


Meters Would Help Sacramento Homes Save More Water
6.26.2014 – The drought in California is growing more serious by the day… Read more.

Vanishing Water
6.15.26- The biggest reservoir in the United States is dropping 1 foot each week… Read more.


Can California Conserve Its Way Through Drought?
6.13.2014- As California enters the hottest months of the summer in the midst of a devastating drought, the state appears to be falling short...Read more.

nbc-san-diego copy

California Could Stretch Current Water Supply by One-Third: Report
6.12.2014- The water would be found by expanding use of existing strategies such as conservation, water recycling, rainwater capture, and more efficient agricultural irrigation techniques. Read more. 


California Has Potential to Turn Water Deficit to Surplus
6.10.2014Drought-stricken California has more than twice the water capacity needed to erase an annual deficit of more than 6 million acre-feet,…Read more.


New Ways to Make Dirty Water Clean
6.9.2014 – Traditional desalination has meant turning seawater into drinking water. But new technologies not only improve desalination but open up ways to use agricultural water and industrial effluent too. Read more


The Age of Climate Warfare is Here. The Military-Industrial Complex is Ready. Are You?
A new study accepted for publication in the July issue of the American Meteorological Society’s journal Weather, Climate, and Society, underscores the role of climate changeRead more.


Syrian Conflict Exacerbated by Effects of Poor Water Management
-Wasteful irrigation practices coupled with a five-year drought in the Middle East increased tensions among those involved in Syria’s three-year civil war...Read more.


Cities that Depend on Snowmelt for Water Could Face Problems, Study Suggests
5.19.14 – A new study finds that when more precipitation falls as rain instead of snow, stream flows in drainage basins decline. This could complicate matters for areas that need snowmelt … Read more


5 Dramatic Ways California Is Tackling Drought
5.8.14- California’s current drought is not the state’s driest spell on record in terms of total precipitation. If the state feels this drought as a particularly severe one…Read more.

ABC7-logo EBMUD Taps Sacramento River to Meet Water Demand
-As California’s historic drought continues, the East Bay Municipal Utility District is tapping the Sacramento River to help its 1.3 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties weather the dry spring without water rationing…Watch video here.
kqed-logo True Water Restrictions Rare, Even in California’s Record-Breaking Drought
4.29.14 - 
May is fast approaching, and with it, the end of the rainy season. At least, what passed for a rainy season this year. Much of California is still in an “extreme” or even… Read more
irin-logo Analysis: Conflict and Water
4.22.14 – In 2001 then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared: “Fierce competition for fresh water may well become a source of conflict and wars… Read more
chicago-tribune-logo Spending: Cheap Water is Running Dry
4.18.14 – Americans, unlike people in many parts of the world, tend to take clean water for granted. For most of us, it’s also cheap: The average U.S. household pays $372 a year for drinking… Read more
bloomberg-view-logo Bigger Dams Won’t Make California Greener 
4.3.2014 - California’s northern rivers are so low that young Chinook salmon have to be trucked on their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Yet to listen to some farmers and their political allies…Read more
nyt-logo What to do about the California Drought 
3.16.2014 - 
Re “Global Warming? Not Always,” by Martin P. Hoerling (Sunday Review, March 9): Re “Global Warming?” Read more
mercury-news-logo California Drought: More than 255,000 Homes and Businesses still don’t have Water Meters Statewide
3.8.14 - 
Despite urgent calls for water conservation amid one of California’s worst droughts, more than 255,000 homeowners and businesses across the state can still use all the water they want without paying higher bills. Read more
Print American Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga
2.24.14 A $25 billion plan, a small town, and a half-century of wrangling over the most important resource in the biggest state. Read more

Peter Gleick and Pacific Institute Emphasize Water Conservation
Nearly three decades ago, when Peter Gleick started the Pacific Institute to work on water and other environmental issues, California was in the grip of a fierce drought. Read more


Severe drought? California has been here before
2.23.14 – A thousand-year tree-ring study shows that deep droughts come with the territory. Now the issue is how to deal… Read more


Governor Plans $687 Million for California Drought
2.19.14 – Gov. Jerry Brown and the top Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday announced a $687 million plan to provide immediate help to drought-stricken communities throughout… Read more


Can California Farmers Save Water and the Dying Salton Sea?
2.18.2014 - Standing atop a rocky outcrop on the southeastern edge of the Salton Sea in southern California, Bruce Wilcox pointed to the wooden ruins of a boat dock that dates back to the… Read more


Parched California Pours Mega-Millions Into Desalination Tech
2.17.2014 – Besieged by drought and desperate for new sources of water, California towns are ramping up plans to convert salty ocean water into drinking water to quench their long-term thirst. Read more.

Experts Urge Long-Term Approach to Water Scarcity in California
2.13.14 – As President Barack Obama travels to Fresno focusing on California’s extreme drought, scientists are advocating efforts to align water use with dwindling supplies… Read more


In California, Not a Drop to Drink
2.10.14 – Within California’s complex and delicate infrastructure, the land around Bishop is vitally important. Nestled near the eastern border of the Sierra Nevada mountain range… Read more


California Drought Impact Seen Spreading From Fires to Food Cost
2.07.14- The drought that’s gripping California may soon have the rest of the country seeking relief. The emergency, which follows the state’s driest year on record, is likely to… Read more

 forum-npr-logo Despite Recent Rain, Drought Fears Escalate
2.5.2014 – California faces what may be its worst drought in modern history. At least 17 communities and water districts in the state could run out of water within 100 days… Read more
 climate-progress-logo Leading Scientists Explain How Climate Change Is Worsening California’s Epic Drought
1.31.2014 - Scientists have long predicted that climate change would bring on ever-worsening droughts, especially in semi-arid regions like the U.S. Southwest. As climatologist James Hansen… Read more
associated-press-logo Amid Drought, California Agency Won’t Allot Water
1.31.2014 - Amid severe drought conditions, California officials announced Friday they won’t send any water from the state’s vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning … Read more
new-scientist-logo Parched California hunts for water in unusual places
1.28.2014 – Water is running low in California. Reservoirs are receding, leaving lake beds cracking in the warm winter sun. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, traditionally a third … Read more
sfbg-logo Drought
1.28.2014 - I remember the dead lawns, 90-second timed showers, empty fountains and pools, and water cops issuing tickets for washing one’s dirty car. Read more
npr-on-point-logo California Drought And The U.S. Food Supply
1.27.2014 - They are praying for rain in California.  And facing drought.  A drought emergency, Governor Jerry Brown declared last week.  Worst in years.  Winter weather so warm… Read more. 
new-zealand-herald-logo California’s Drought Sparks Fears for Future
1.25.2014 - Some say state needs to rethink policies to suitably deal with climate change. Read more
motherjones 6 Scary Facts About California’s Drought
1.18.2014 - “Fire season just didn’t end this year. The comment came from Scott Miller, the Los Angeles County fire inspector, in the wake of the Colby Fire in the foothills near Los Angeles … Read more
KTVU_2_logo Drought May Alter California Lifestyles
1.17.2014 - 
Water policy experts tell KTVU that the governor’s drought emergency declaration is an important first step. It may let the state divert water and get federal funds, but the… Read more
la-times-logo California declares drought emergency
1.17.2014 – Gov. Jerry Brown’s decree urges residents to cut water use by 20% and takes steps to ease shortage’s effects on farms and wildlife.
npr-logo In California, Alarm Grows Over Shrinking Water Level
1.14.2014 – The drought in California has become so severe that cities are preparing to impose restrictions on water use in homes.  Listen to the story
Viewpoints: Why I’m still confused about the proposed tunnels in the Delta
11.6.2013 - I and my colleagues at the Pacific Institute have worked on California water issues for more than a quarter of a century. It is therefore no surprise that we get asked on a regular …Read More
Climate Change Likely to Increase Water Scarcity
9.25.2013 - In light of the recent Colorado flooding caused by unprecedented rainfall, it may seem counterintuitive to worry about a global paucity of water. Read More
  Water, Water, Everywhere—But Not A Drop To Drink?
9.17.2013 - With the planet getting warmer and more populated, the trend lines seem clear: the thirst on Earth is building. Is there enough water to go around, and if so, for how long? Read More

Media Contacts: 

Amanda Pebler
apebler (at)
510.251.1600 x 117