A Big Year in Review                            January 2011
Research for People and the Planet
In This Issue
– Human Right to Water
– Water Policy
– New Tools
– Community Strategies
– Corporate Water Policy
– Climate Change
– Outreach


Peter Gleick’s Blogs:

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Pacific Institute Moves into 2011

Clearing the Waters Report

2010 was a busy year at the Pacific Institute, and the exciting activities recapped here include only the highlights! In 2011, we’ll continue doing vital research and driving change in the areas of water conservation and efficiency, water and energy, corporate water responsibility, community empowerment and health, climate change adaptation, life-saving water and sanitation, environmental restoration, California and U.S. water policy, and more. Keep reading to discover what the Pacific Institute has been up to — and stay tuned!

Human Right to Water: Globally and Locally

Celebrating U.N. Rights Resolution
In September the U.N. General Assembly and the Human Rights Council voted to adopt resolutions recognizing the human right to drinking water and sanitation, a great victory on an issue the Pacific Institute has tackled for more than a decade. Our early and ongoing work helped define and champion this cause: the Pacific Institute report The Human Right to Water was cited in the U.N.’s work on this issue. Read more.

Respecting and Addressing the Human Right to Water
The Pacific Institute Globalization Program, in its capacity as operational arm of the U.N. Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, produced the Mandate’s white paper The Human Right to Water: Emerging Corporate Practice and Stakeholder Expectations to inform both how individual companies can respect the human right to water and how the Mandate itself can contribute to businesses’ ability to effectively address this critical issue. In 2011, further work to define and advance corporate practice and solutions on the human right to water is a key focus area for the Pacific Institute and the Mandate.

Partnership with U.N. on World Water Day: Solutions for Clean Water Challenges Globally
More people die from unsafe water annually than from all forms of violence, including war. The Pacific Institute partnered with UNEP for World Water Day on March 22 in Nairobi, Kenya, with the theme “Clean Water for a Healthy World.” The Institute produced the major research report “Clearing the Waters: A Focus on Water Quality Solutions,” addressing water quality challenges and prompting action on pollution prevention, clean-up, and restoration of waterways. Our work also provided the foundation for the UN-Water Statement on Water Quality, the first time an international statement for action has been delivered at World Water Day, and for recommendations on policies going forward. Read more.

 Water Policy: Nationally and Locally

 

Million Acre-Feet ReportU.S. Water Policy
The Pacific Institute has authored a highly anticipated book, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2011, on a new national water policy, with detailed discussions of transboundary issues between states, environmental justice, adequate water monitoring and data collection, and more, to help move forward the critically needed discussion on sustainable water management nationally.

Recommendations to Save a Million Acre-Feet of Water in California
California Congresswoman Grace Napolitano waved the Pacific Institute report The Next Million Acre-Feet in the air at the Western Governor’s Conference in the fall to underline her message that saving water through cost-effective water conservation and efficiency measures is critical, doable, and found in the Institute’s work. Our up-to-date analysis recommends specific actions to save a million acre-feet of water per year relatively quickly and at a lower economic and ecological cost than developing new supplies. Read more.

Pacific Institute Assesses California Water Bond
The Institute’s Water Program and Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program collaborated on an independent analysis of California’s 2010 water bond. With the vote ultimately postponed until 2012, this report offers critical principles for a responsible water bond that should guide its amendment. We stress that publicly funded projects must provide real public benefits, must address the needs of California’s most vulnerable stakeholders, and must compare water management alternatives in terms of their full economic, social, and environmental costs. Read more.

Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency
The Institute’s report and video California Farm Water Success Stories highlights the remarkable and innovative efforts of farmers around the state to improve water management and use. This work was presented at a Sacramento legislative briefing, and illustrates how with sustainable water policies and practices, forward-thinking farmers and irrigation districts are moving California toward more equitable and efficient water management. The report and video highlight the work of leaders in sustainable agricultural water management, including the recently appointed Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross. In 2011, we will be expanding this work, promoting farmer-to-farmer education to scale up successes. Read more.

Governor Signs Salton Sea Legislation
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill in September to create a new council to oversee the restoration of Salton Sea. The Pacific Institute developed and drafted the initial concept for the new governance council and worked with key stakeholders to reach agreement on the legislation. After the legislature approved the bill, the Institute sent the Governor a letter urging him to sign SB 51 to establish a governance structure for Salton Sea restoration and revitalize the state’s moribund efforts. The council will create a dedicated forum for developing a restoration plan for the Salton Sea. Read more about the Salton Sea.

Colorado River Restoration
The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (MSCP) continues to move forward with the Laguna Division Conservation Area Restoration Project, first proposed, developed, and promoted by the Pacific Institute. The Laguna project has been expanded to 1222 acres, making it one of the largest restoration projects along the lower Colorado River, and the first MSCP project to restore native riparian habitat along the channel of the Colorado River itself. Read more about the Colorado River and the Laguna Reach.

New and Expanded Tools for Sustainable Water ManagementCommunity Choices in IndiaCommunity Choices Tool
The Pacific Institute’s International Water and Communities Initiative launched a prototype of the online Community Choices Tool in the areas of drinking water treatment and sanitation (www.washchoices.org). This interactive website is designed to help communities make decisions about the most appropriate technologies and approaches to meet their water, sanitation, and hygiene needs. The prototype is currently undergoing field testing by development professionals. In 2011, the program will develop a first fully operative version of the Community Choices Tool through learning sessions in West Africa with local governments, NGOs, and other practitioners.Water and Climate Change in India
The International Water and Communities Initiative has identified tools and coping strategies that can help all water managers in developing country cities, including the water utility, residents, and the private sector, to be more resilient to the impacts of climate variability on water availability. For the first time in Indore, India, the Institute brought together community residents, water utility staff, and private water vendors in one room to talk about solutions to improve transparency, communication, and connection among the various water managers.

Indonesia: Mobile App for Improved Water Services
This year, the Pacific Institute is kicking off a major project in Indonesia to develop and test a mobile-phone-to-web-based mapping system. This exciting new work will give the urban poor a tool to advocate for improved water services and will give water utilities the ability to better plan and manage their water systems.

WECalc Helps People Save Water and Energy
In August the Institute released a new, free online tool, WECalc, Your Home Water-Energy-Climate Calculator, to help Americans figure out their how much water and energy they use at home. The application provides personalized recommendations on how to save water, lower bills, and reduce your carbon footprint. WECalc has received favorable reviews from water agencies, bloggers, and media around the nation. Try it online at www.wecalc.org today! Read more.

Community Strategies Shares Training, Tools, and ResearchGearing Up for Action in Freight Transport JusticePopular Education for Environmental Justice
The Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program (CSSJ) produced Gearing Up for Action: A Curriculum Guide for Freight Transport Justice, an important advocacy tool to build the power and capacity of communities to participate in decision making around freight transport issues. This user-friendly guide contains popular-education-style activities designed to help communities share their experiences, explore the root causes of freight transport impacts, identify those responsible for dealing with these causes, and develop a plan for advocacy to advance their solutions. Read more.Train the Trainer Workshop and Guest Trainer in DataCenter’s EJ Research Camp
The CSSJ Program conducted skills-building workshops to expand the reach of its participatory research and popular education tools to environmental justice organizations. Program staff developed and piloted new modules on community mapping and photovoice as participatory research tools for 12 participating organizations in DataCenter’s Environmental Justice Research Camp. Over 30 community leaders participated in a training-of-trainers workshop on the popular education tools in CSSJ’s freight transport curriculum guide at the Moving Forward Together Conference, a premier national gathering of environmental justice activists working on community health and freight transport issues. In 2011, the CSSJ Program will expand its capacity-building trainings by working with additional partner organizations to share participatory research and popular education tools with environmental justice communities.

Economic Justice Focus for CSSJ’s Research Partnerships
The Institute’s Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program is helping advance community health and safety by building the capacity of a group of formerly incarcerated residents to research and take action on the challenges facing Richmond residents coming home after incarceration. Ten Community Researchers are participating in trainings and planning meetings led by the Institute over the next year, preparing them to plan and carry out primary research in an effort to improve service provision and employment opportunities for the Richmond community.

Community Benefits Agreements and Action Research in Oakland
CSSJ explored the potential of a Community Benefits Agreement with the Oakland Army Base developer as a strategy for advancing community health in Oakland in Advancing Community Health through Community Benefits Agreements — Four Case Studies and Lessons for the Redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base. CSSJ and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project have teamed up to perform action research that supports the call for community-driven redevelopment of the base, to not only provide local living wage jobs but to improve community health by reducing truck traffic, accommodating green businesses, and ensuring that clean-up and construction on the base are safe and healthy.

Nitrate Contamination in California
The fundamental right to safe water is still an issue in parts of the U.S. The Institute’s Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program is working with partners in the San Joaquin Valley to document the social, economic, and health impacts of nitrate contamination of water — key to communicating the full extent of the nitrate contamination problem to community and public policy audiences. The bilingual report, coming out in 2011, will be a powerful tool for residents and leaders in securing commitments to community solutions. Read more.

Corporate Water Policy and Sustainability Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water PolicyCEO Water Mandate Advances Corporate Water Stewardship
The Institute’s Globalization Program continued its work in support of the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate — a corporate water stewardship initiative comprised of some of the world’s largest companies. In this capacity, it convened two multi-stakeholder working conferences in New York City (April) and Cape Town, South Africa (November), and a public informational session at World Water Week in Stockholm (September). The Institute also played the lead role in developing several Mandate publications, including guidance on how companies can engage with governments to advance sustainable water management; an assessment of the range of analytical tools and methodologies for corporate water accounting and risk/impact assessment — which has already been downloaded close to 20,000 times; and the white paperon current corporate practice and stakeholder expectations regarding the human right to water.In addition to these Mandate-related projects, Globalization Program staff conducted an analysis of the water footprints of the forest products, iron and steel, and petrochemical industries for the EPA.

Climate Change 

Greywater ReuseGleick Spearheads Defense of Climate Science Integrity and Highlights Climate “Bad Science”
Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick spearheaded the signing of a statement on Climate Change and the Integrity of Science by 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences, published in the journal Science on May 7 — and more than 100 media outlets around the world covered the powerful statement reaffirming the evidence of climate change and its impacts and condemning political attacks on climate scientists. Dr. Gleick also participated in December’s release of the very first annual Climate B.S. of the Year Award. The “Bad Science” award was simultaneously released on a number of climate websites and widely re-printed. In the post, Gleick takes to task short-sighted policymakers that hide behind bad science as an excuse to avoid taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for inevitable climate impacts.

Energy and Climate Action Plan for Oakland
Pacific Institute researchers are working closely with the Oakland Climate Action Coalition and the City of Oakland on its Energy and Climate Action Plan and preparing a new assessment of local climate risks and vulnerability. The focus of Oakland’s climate planning efforts has been on identifying ways to reduce local emissions that contribute to climate change, and the Institute is working to encourage the city to also develop a comprehensive adaptation plan that outlines measures to protect Oakland’s most vulnerable communities from sea-level rise and other local climate change impacts.

Potential of Greywater Reuse for Climate Resilience
In the Pacific Institute report Overview of Greywater Reuse: the Potential of Greywater Systems to Aid Sustainable Water Management, we analyzed how greywater reuse can improve the resilience of water systems to threats including climate change. We examined the state of greywater implementation and policy internationally and discussed challenges to be addressed for greywater reuse to be accepted and implemented effectively at larger scales. This research has gained momentum in many parts of the world as a solution to local water constraints, and the report has been downloaded more than 14,000 times in less than two months. Read more.

Outreach that Makes a DifferenceOver the past 23 years, the Pacific Institute’s work has reached tens of millions of people through reports, speeches, testimony, and media. More than 100 research papers, reports, and testimonies are available free on the Institute’s website: overall, these reports have been downloaded more than 3 million times.
bottled_and_sold_book_cover.jpg
In 2010, we released 13 new publications and our websites received more than 15 million hits, with our reports downloaded 900,000 times. This research is influencing decision-making and policy around the world. Diverse news media cited the Pacific Institute more than 1,200 times last year. Institute staff testified before Congressional, Senate, and State Legislative Committees in 2010 on water efficiency, water and energy, and climate change. We were also in Sacramento to present results and recommendations from our California Farm Water Success Storiesat a briefing for State legislators.Peter Gleick’s new book Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water ramped up the discussion of why Americans spend so much money on — and create so much waste with — bottled water, and how that impacts our tap water issues. Dozens of major media outlets talked with him about bottled water, including Good Morning America  and NPR’s Fresh Air.

Recognition in 2010

CSSJ Celebrates 15th Anniversary
The Pacific Institute’s Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program celebrated its 15th anniversary on November 18 with a coming-of-age Quinceañera party that honored the people and community partners that have enriched the program’s endeavors over the years. Since 1995, CSSJ has worked to overcome the common root causes to economic, environmental, and community health challenges in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color through action research that advances innovative, cross-cutting solutions developed by impacted residents. Major research projects with publications have led to and supported numerous community environmental health and justice victories. CSSJ works with community-based organizations and coalitions in long-term strategic partnerships and shorter tactical alliances focused on research, advocacy, and/or environmental justice. Read more about CSSJ.

Awards and Appointments
-The Pacific Institute was nominated for a Global Water Award by the organization Global Water Intelligence. The award recognized our research and outreach on agricultural water conservation and efficiency, and our report Sustaining California Agriculture in an Uncertain Future was a nominee for the Environmental Contribution of the Year.

Pacific Institute researchers and program directors were also recognized for their accomplishments and professional reputation in the water industry and environmental justice:
Dr. Peter Gleick was featured as a “Visionary for an Enlightened Future” in Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Catalina Garzón, co-director of the Institute’s Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program, was awarded the 2010 Foundations for Change Thomas I. Yamashita Prize for her outstanding contributions to social change.
Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith, senior research associate, was elected to the Executive Board of the Agricultural Water Management Council. She and Heather Cooley, Water Program co-director, were appointed as members of the Agricultural and Urban Stakeholder Committees, respectively, to work with the California Department of Water Resources to implement provisions of the Water Conservation Act of 2009. Heather Cooley was also appointed chair of the California Urban Water Conservation Council.
-Pacific Institute Board Member Margaret Gordon was awarded the Civic Ventures Purpose Prize for her work with the Institute and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.

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