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Pacific
Institute Online Update for November 2002


15th
Anniversary Open House Celebration a Smash Success

The
Pacific Institute’s 15th Anniversary Open House
was a smash success, according to those who attended.
Over seventy supporters, old and new, came out to
celebrate, learn about our work, and chat with staff.
Highlights included a dark but witty vision of the
future spun by the Pacific Institute’s President,
Peter H. Gleick and a pyramid of water bottles that
compared the average Californian’s water use (130
gallons) with the average water use of someone in
the developing world (roughly five gallons).

We
also unveiled our new logo and a new
brochure (Adobe PDF)
about the Pacific Institute.
A Pacific Institute timeline tracing our fifteen-year
history and dotted with press clippings and relevant
computer media (from punch cards to smart cards)
was also popular. Thanks to all who came out to
celebrate with us.

One-Sided
Privatization Debate Continues in Stockton, Calif.

On
October 3, Peter Gleick traveled to Stockton, California
to debate Gary Podesto, the city’s mayor, regarding
the benefits and drawbacks of the city’s proposed
water privatization plan. Over 200 residents came
out to hear the discussion, but once the mayor got
word that local TV planned to cover the event, he
bailed out. Dr. Gleick instead debated one of the
lawyers employed by the City to aid its privatization
effort while the mayor sat in the audience.

The
City of Stockton, which is considering one of the
largest privatization deals in California to date,
seems to be giving little care to public concerns
as they race to complete their planned privatization
ahead of a citizen-sponsored ballot measure that
requires public input on major public-private deals.
This race to privatize before all of the facts can
be scrutinized is exactly the kind of danger that
the Pacific
Institute’s water privatization principles
are
meant to guard against.

In
the News: Mother Jones Dives into Water Privatization

Mother
Jones magazine is ringing alarm bells over the problems
of water privatization with two articles in its
November issue. The overview piece quotes Peter
Gleick and looks at the problems that can flow from
the corporate control of water. An in-depth look
at South Africa details the benefits and dangers
of privatization in that nation. The magazine is
now available at newsstands, more information can
be found on
their Website.

Also
in the news:
Chapter 11 of the Orlando Sentinel’s
year-long look at water issues in Florida quotes
the Pacific Institute’s Principal Economist and
Engineer, Gary Wolff. The piece notes that while
water conservation has become a way of life in states
including California, Texas and Washington, Florida
has lagged behind in encouraging greater residential
efficiency. “Saving
Each Drop” is available online.


Staff
Updates: World Food Prize, POWER Conference, More

October
29 – Gary Wolff, Principal Economist and Engineer,
was one of eight invited speakers to short course
on “Challenges of New Water Policies in the
XXIst Century” at the Universidad Internacional
Melendez Pelayo in Valencia Spain. He presented
the Institute paper, “The New Economy of Water:
The Risks and Benefits of Globalization and Privatization
of Freshwater,” to about 100 faculty and students
of the University.

October
26 – Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute
participated in the 2nd annual meeting of the Philosophical
Society of Arizona and gave an overview of global
water resources, Dante’s Inferno, and baseball/bumper-sticker
philosophy as it relates to water.

October
24 – Dr. Gleick gave one of the opening keynote
addresses at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des
Moines, Iowa. The symposium this year focused on
global freshwater problems. The $250,000 Prize was
awarded to Dr. Pedro Sanchez for his pioneering
work on soils and food production in Latin America
and Africa.

October
16 – Dr. Gleick lectured on climate change, water
resources, and California resource policy at the
University of California, Berkeley.

October
15 – Jason Morrison, Director of the Economic Globalization
and the Environment program, attended his first
meeting of the Genencor Sustainability Management
System Stakeholder Board (SHB), which was convened
at the Genencor International, Inc. main campus
in Palo Alto. The Institute has agreed to serve
as the environmental NGO representative on the multi-stakeholder
panel, which has been assembled to provide input
on Genencor’s sustainability practices.

Oct
14 -17 – Michael J. Cohen, Senior Research Associate,
attended the “Mapping Conservation Priorities”
workshop in Tijuana, Mexico to identify priority
conservation areas within the Colorado River delta
and to develop an annotated map depicting these
areas.

October
10 – Dr. Gleick and Mr. Cohen attended the POWER
water conference in Los Angeles. Mr. Cohen, as part
of a panel, discussed the Imperial Irrigation District-San
Diego water transfer and the consequences for farmers,
the Salton Sea, and the environment. Dr. Gleick
provided the final lunch crowd with a vision of
California’s water in 2025.

October
6-7 – Jason Morrison attended a standards meeting
of ISO Technical Committee 207 Working Group 4 (WG4),
held in Cancun, Mexico. Mr. Morrison is one of four
US delegates to WG4 (and one of two NGOs in WG4),
which is developing a standard on environmental
communications.

Upcoming

Gleick
on Nov 13 Population, Environment and Security Roundtable

On
November 13, The Woodrow Wilson International Center
for Scholars will hold a roundtable discussion on
population, environment and human security. The
discussion will be held at the Fairmont Hotel in
San Francisco from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm with a
reception at 4:30 pm. The discussion will feature
Robert Engelman, Vice President for Research, Population
Action International; Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Director,
Environmental Change and Security Project; and Peter
Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute.

To
RSVP, please contact Saiqa Panjsheri at spanjsheri
@ popact.org or by phone at (202) 557-3432. For
more information, please contact Ariel Méndez
at MendezA @ wwic.si.edu or by phone at (202) 691-4185.


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Copyright
2002 Pacific Institute for Studies in Development,
Environment, and Security