MAY 2015 

WATER USE FOR CALIFORNIA’S KEY CROPS DEFINED IN INSTITUTE BRIEF 


Water Program Director Heather Cooley explains in a “Need to Know” brief the water use levels of key California crops and evaluates other factors, such as the crops’ contributions to the economy. The brief also reveals the challenges associated with evaluating California’s agricultural water use.

The brief concludes that in order to better understand and evaluate water used for California’s agriculture, additional and more clear data is needed.

Read the brief here.

INSTITUTE ADVISES CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ON WATER ISSUES


In May, Institute President Peter Gleick had the opportunity to meet directly with Governor Jerry Brown and his senior water advisors in a three-hour discussion about how to expand effective responses to the severe California drought.

 

Gleick brought a series of recommendations in line with recent work at the Institute on improving water-use efficiency by agriculture and urban water users, the urgent need to provide help for disadvantaged communities without access to safe water, new strategies for groundwater management, wastewater reuse, and better water pricing, the role of markets and water rights, and efforts to encourage partnerships with local communities, federal agencies, and water managers.
 

“THE DYING SEA”

In the May edition of The New Yorker, Senior Research Associate Michael Cohen explains the vital connections between the Colorado River and the deteriorating Salton Sea. Without water inflows, the Sea continues to increase in salinity, harming fish and bird species, as well as the environment, Cohen explains in the article. “The sea is the linchpin between Colorado River water and urban Southern California,” Cohen states.

In addition, the article draws from the Pacific Institute’s report Hazard’s Toll: The Costs of Inaction of the Salton Sea. The report reveals that by doing nothing to restore the Salton Sea, the costs to the environment, property values, and human health could reach up to $70 billion.

Read the full article from The New Yorker here.
 

Download the executive summary and full Hazard’s Toll report here


 

CEO WATER MANDATE HOLDS STAKEHOLDER MEETING AT WORLD WATER FORUM 7


The CEO Water Mandate, in cooperation with the UN Global Compact Korea Network, held a multi-stakeholder meeting, that coincided with World Water Forum 7. The event included presentations by the Pacific Institute’s Jason Morrison and Mai-Lan Ha, serving in their capacity as the CEO Water Mandate’s Co-Secretariat.


The meeting explored emerging corporate water stewardship practices that can help achieve the forthcoming water-related Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, participants reviewed the “good practice” guidance tools developed by the CEO Water Mandate and others to support companies in their efforts to improve their water stewardship. Among the documents and tools reviewed were the Mandate’s
Guidance for Companies on Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, the soon-to-be-released tool on managing effectiveness and integrity in water stewardship initiatives, as well as the Water Action Hub.

 

PETER GLEICK HONORED AT THE COUNCIL FOR SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY PRESIDENTS

 

On Sunday, May 3, Peter Gleick was honored to receive the Citation for Leadership and Achievement by The Council for Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP). The award recognized Gleick for “his exceptional guidance in promoting the sustainability of our most precious resource- water; for his extensive research on topics related to water education, innovative technologies, the promotion of smart water incentives, and efficient water use… and for his dedication to public and professional services and his global scale vision for water in our future. He has earned our esteem.”


Learn more about the award and the CSSP
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 April, among the topics covered were California’s Record-low snowpack, state-wide mandatory water reductions, and water rates. 

 

Read the latest drought update

UPCOMING EVENTS
 

On June 11th, Michael Cohen will present “Urban Water Reliability and the Salton Sea: Can We Have Both?” at the 2015 Martz Summer Conference of the Getches-Wilkinson Center in Boulder, Colorado. 
 

IN BRIEF  

 

Pacific Institute Experts’ Outreach

 

In April and May, Pacific Institute staff presented at many talks and workshops. For example, Heather Cooley provided comments at the State Water Control Board hearing on the California Ocean Plan. 

 

Read the full list and more details here. 

 

NEWS, OP-EDS, AND BLOGS

 

The Institute continues to be a primary source of information for reporters from across the world covering the California drought and examining the myriad ways water plays a major role in the political, economic and environmental landscapes in the state and across the country. This past month Institute staff was interviewed by dozens of media outlets. Below is a sample of the Institute’s press coverage.
 

*The Guardian: $8 billion habitat conservation plan scrapped as California prioritizes agribusiness
*KQED’s Forum: Tips for Using Less Water at Home and at Work
*Los Angeles Times: Don’t praise Starbucks for moving its water bottling out of California
*Sacramento Bee op-ed by Peter Gleick: Don’t let special interests dictate state water policy
*The New York Times: Troubling Interdependency of Water and Power
*Marketplace: Raising water rates isn’t just a California problem
*San Jose Mercury News: California drought: New poll finds residents think it’s serious, but aren’t sure they can conserve more 

 

Read more news stories here.


Pacific Institute staff contributes 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: 

Huffington Post: Where Does California’s Agricultural Water Go? By Peter Gleick

 

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