MARCH 2015 

IMPACTS OF THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT ON HYDROELECTRICITY 
The Pacific Institute’s new report reveals the California drought has reduced water flow to generate hydroelectricity, resulting in increased reliance on natural gas. This shift in energy sources for electricity during the three-year drought has resulted in an estimated $1.4 billion to rate payers. The increased burning of natural gas during that time also has led to an eight percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions, putting the state further from its climate change targets.
 
Report author and Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick demonstrates that there are a wide range of social, environmental, and economic costs associated with the California drought, specifically with the generation of electricity – raising the question: how will we factor in climate change and consequently futures droughts when planning for electricity generation?

Download the full report here. 

CELEBRATE  WORLD WATER DAY WITH A GIFT TO THE PACIFIC INSTITUTE’S IMPACT FUND

Quiz Question: what “societal risk” is ranked #1 according to the World Economic Forum? Answer: Water crises. Water challenges around the globe topped the Forum’s list, considered more dangerous than “spread of infectious diseases” and “food crises”.

At the Pacific Institute we unpack the complexities of water-related crises – from the role water scarcity plays in war-torn Syria to the severe California drought – while promoting tangible solutions.


We encourage you to celebrate the 22
nd annual World Water Day by making a donation to the Pacific Institute’s Impact Fund today. By investing in the Impact Fund, you will:

  • Ensure legislators craft forward-thinking water laws
  • Give companies tools and guidance to more efficiently and fairly use water in their operations
  • Translate our scientific research and analysis into easily accessible information that leads to action by people like you

These are just a few examples of how your donation will help the Pacific Institute turn water crises into opportunities for healthy ecosystems and to bolster economies. Please invest in these opportunities today. Together, let’s do everything we can to make sure “water crises” does not lead the World Economic Forum’s global risks list next year.

THE WATER FOOTPRINT OF CALIFORNIA’S ENERGY SYSTEM 

 
A new article by Julian Fulton of the University of California, Berkeley and Water Program Director Heather Cooley evaluates the amount of water consumed in meeting California’s energy needs – also referred to as the water footprint of energy. The article, published in Environmental Science and Technology, examines how the water footprint of energy changed between 1990 and 2012.

 Fulton and Cooley find that while water consumption increased by 260% over recent decades, the new sources of water came from outside the state. Cooley and Fulton demonstrate that policies to reduce greenhouse gases may have shifted burdens from energy to water, rather than alleviate them. 

Read the full article here.
 

PETER GLEICK HONORED AT THE BAY INSTITUTE AWARDS CEREMONY  
Source: The Bay Institute

Last week Peter Gleick received the prestigious Carla Bard Education award from The Bay Institute for his continued work in educating government officials, the private sector, and the public on water-related issues. In attendance were award winners, Congressman George Miller, CNN reporter John Sutter, and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Zeke Grader. Nancy Pelosi was also in attendance and opened the ceremony with kind words for the award recipients. For more information and pictures from the event, click here.

 

UPDATE ON THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT 

 

The Pacific Institute Drought Response Team continues to provide biweekly updates on the severe California drought. To learn more, visit  www.californiadrought.org.  

 

In February, among the topics covered were NASA’s new soil monitoring satellite, maps showing California’s fallowed land, and grant money allocated for drought response. Read the latest drought update

A WARM WELCOME TO NEW PACIFIC INSTITUTE STAFF MEMBERS
The Pacific Institute has welcomed two new staff members this month.

Senior Research Associate Heather Rippman is the newest addition to the Corporate Sustainability Program. Prior to coming to the Pacific Institute, Heather worked for Nike where she developed the corporate water stewardship strategy, defined key water-related performance indicators for the company’s environmentally preferred materials index, and led a global supply chain water program focused on pollution prevention in apparel and footwear manufacturing.

 

Deb Janes is the Pacific Institute’s new Development and Communications Director. Prior to coming to the Pacific Institute, Deb held fund development leadership and management positions in environmental, investigative journalism and community-based nonprofits.

 

Find the Pacific Institute’s staff bios here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

On March 20th, Senior Research Associate, Michael Cohen will participate on “The Salton Sea: Haven’t They Solved This By Now?” panel at the California Water Policy 24 conference in Claremont, California.

 

 

On April 7th, Michael Cohen will join a celebration dedicating the Laguna Division Conservation Area, a 1,200-acre wetland restoration project along the Colorado River, as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the MSCP. The Pacific Institute developed and promoted the idea of the Laguna restoration project starting in 2007 and is delighted to see the project come to fruition.

 

IN BRIEF  

 

Pacific Institute Experts’ Outreach

   

In February, Pacific Institute staff presented at talks and workshops, among them Peter Gleick gave the keynote at the Abdullah S. Kamel Symposium at Georgetown University – speaking on the future of the water-energy nexus.

 

Read the full list and more details here. 

 

NEWS, OP-EDS, AND BLOGS

*MSNBC The Ed Show: ‘Ignorance is deadly’ about climate change

*KQED’s ForumCalifornia Weighs New Water Conservation Rules as Devastating Drought Persists

*MSNBC NOW with Alex Wagner:Report Links Climate Change to Syria Conflict

*The Huffington Post: Changing the Way We Think About Water: Q&A with Peter Gleick *Slate: The United States of Megadrought

*Green Biz: How to do business in a world running out of water

*The Desert Sun: After 12 years, legal dispute over water transfer ends

*National Geographic: Can Sun and Wind Make More Salt Water Drinkable?

 

Op-ed:The Drought Forecast Calls for Pain by Peter Gleick, appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Read more news stories here.

 

Pacific Institute staff contribute to the Pacific Institute Insights blog, with detailed conversations and critical analyses on sustainable water management and environmental and social justice. Here are last month’s entries: 

National Geographic ScienceBlog: Tackling Global Sustainability: A Need for Integrated Systems Approaches by Peter Gleick

Knowing and Showing that Companies are Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation by Mai-Lan Ha