NOVEMBER 2006 HEADLINES

Now Available: World’s Water 2006-2007

The fifth volume in the highly regarded series, The World’s Water 2006-2007, is now available! The formal release of the report will take place in Washington D.C. on November 16 and will be broadcast worldwide via live Webcast.

Pacific Institute President and series editor Peter Gleick convened Pacific Institute staff and others in presenting the latest edition, covering some of the most significant current worldwide water issues:

 
The World's Water, 2006-2007
  • water and terrorism,
  • preserving and restoring instream water allocations,
  • an update of seawater desalination,
  • the growing risks of floods and droughts,
  • environmental justice for water,
  • water risks facing industry, and
  • updated information on bottled water, international disputes over water, and the discovery of water on Mars.

Produced biennially, The World’s Water identifies and explains pertinent trends and offers the best data available on a variety of water-related topics. It is an essential reference for water resource professionals in government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, researchers, students, and anyone concerned with water and its use.

The Financial Times Global Water Report declares of The World’s Water , “There are few books that can genuinely be described as indispensable. This is one…. Essential reading.”

Dr. Gleick will deliver a public lecture and live Webcast at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. on November 16 at 10 AM EST. To learn more about the event, RSVP, or watch the Webcast, click here.

The World’s Water 2006-2007 is available for purchase from Island Press. Purchase online in softcover and hardcover editions. Additionally, individuals or companies can contact the Chicago Distribution Center directly at (800) 621-2736/fax:(800) 621-8476 or by emailing custserv@press.uchicago.edu.

Salton Sea Advocates
Grade California’s Restoration Plans for the Sea

None of the ten Salton Sea restoration plans assessed in the Department of Water Resources’ draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) earned high marks for achieving restoration goals, according to the Salton Sea Coalition’s Restoration Plan Report Card released on October 19. The ten alternatives contain all the right components, though, to develop a successful plan.

Salton Sea
Salton Sea fish kill

The Coalition, a diverse group of conservation, recreation and hunting and fishing organizations, released its report card assessing each alternative in an effort to help citizens and policymakers understand the strengths and weaknesses of each proposed plan. According to the Coalition, in order to earn an “A” grade, the final plan should “mix and match” components from several of the project proposals to produce a new plan that meets the legal requirements to provide enough habitat for fish and wildlife, ensure no new air quality impacts, and improve water quality at the Sea, as well as local expectations for recreation and economic development.

“This DEIR contains information on all of the elements we need to save the Salton Sea,” said the Pacific Institute’s Michael Cohen.  “We will work with the state and other stakeholders to assemble these elements into a restoration project that successfully meets the needs of people, wildlife, the local economy, and the law.”

More news and scorecards here.

Institute Helps Coordinate NGOs on CSR Issues

The Pacific Institute helped organize, and participated in, a series of recent meetings geared toward more effectively coordinating NGO efforts to improve corporations’ social and environmental performance. On October 23 in Berlin, the Institute co-hosted a high-level meeting that brought together 25 representatives of leading sustainability initiatives, including standards and certification programs, reporting initiatives, best practice platforms, and NGO research and advocacy organizations. Entitled “Framing the CSR Landscape,” the event provided an opportunity to step back from individual initiatives to assess where the Corporate Social Responsibility landscape is heading, and to begin to articulate different visions of what that landscape should look like.

Jason Morrison
Jason Morrison

On October 24-25 Jason Morrison participated in Reinventing Globalization 2006, a meeting organized by the French NGO Bridge Initiative International. It was attended by 60 civil society representatives from around the world. Held in Lyon, France, the event focused on improving the response of global civil society to global challenges, including the corporate-driven push toward trade liberalization. The workshop was immediately followed by a smaller two-day meeting of eight NGOs to further a nascent initiative, called C-Change, that will center on improving the response of civil society actors to global challenges.

Water Conflict Chronology

In an ongoing effort to understand the connections between water resources, water systems, and international security and conflict, the Pacific Institute initiated a project in the late 1980s to track and categorize events related to water and conflict. The Water Conflict Chronology has been updated is now available online. The update includes several events from the past few years, including 2006 events in Lebanon, Israel, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, re-categorized events, updated citations, and more.

New Journal Launches

Environmental Research Letters (ERL), a new open-access journal serving the entire environmental science research community, was launched at the end of October. The high-impact, open-access letters journal provides a coherent and integrated format that includes research articles, perspectives, news and editorials, as well as meeting notices for the environmental science community. The journal is free and available online. Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick serves on the journal’s editorial board.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Every person uses water in many different ways every day. So water permeates every social, economic, and political area of human activity; it cannot be treated simply as a technical subject.”

– International water expert Jon Lane, from the foreword to The World’s Water 2006-2007 (Island Press, November 2006) See HEADLINES

UPCOMING

11/9/06. Healthy Communities [Oakland, Calif.] The Pacific Institute will be hosting a follow-up to its October “Planning Healthy Cities” forum focused on identifying opportunities for collaboration between public health professionals and city planners in Oakland. It will take place from 3-5pm in City Hall Hearing Rm. #4. All are welcome.

11/14/06. Freight Transport [Fresno, Oakland, and L.A., Calif.]

Diesel-powered freight transport impacts local communities

The Pacific Institute, NRDC, the Coalition for Clean Air, and others will be releasing “Paying with Our Health: The Real Cost of Freight Transport in California” at press conferences in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Oakland. For information on the report and on release events, contact the Pacific Institute.

11/14-11/16/06. Salton Sea [Imperial and Coachella Valleys, Calif.] California’s Resources Agency will host public outreach meetings on its recently-released 3,000 page draft Environmental Impact Report for the Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Program.

11/14-11/16/06. World’s Water [Washington, DC] Peter Gleick will be speaking at numerous events as part of the release of the 2006-2007 edition of The World’s Water, including a live Webcast on November 16. See HEADLINES

11/16/06. World Water Crisis [New York, N.Y.] Peter Gleick will be attending the worldwide premiere of the MTV News Documentary “The Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life” and Human Development Report 2006 “Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis.” The events are a partnership between the United Nations, Jay-Z, and MTV.

11/27-12/3/06. Water Financing [Paris, France] Peter Gleick will be attending a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to present the Pacific Institute’s report on new financing models for water supply and sanitation.

Career Opportunities

Research Associate: The Pacific Institute is seeking a Research Associate in water resources modeling and analysis to work on ongoing projects related to sustainable water management and use. The ideal candidat has experience in quantitative analysis and modeling (water-use efficiency, climate projections and water demand forecasting, energy and water, agricultural economics, and similar topics). Most modeling is likely to be Excel-based, but experience with other platforms should be noted. Interest and experience in diverse aspects of freshwater management and use are advantageous. Learn more.

Program Associate: The Institute is seeking an experienced Program Associate with a community/urban planning background who can lead our efforts in two main initiatives: 1) addressing the environmental and community health impacts of freight transport from a land use and planning perspective, and 2) developing a Neighborhood Indicators report for West Contra Costa County focused on environmental, economic, and community health issues. We seek an energetic, enthusiastic, organized person with strong analytical abilities, writing skills, and motivation. Learn more.


PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

The Debate: Water Management, Water Fees and Conservation New York Times, 10/1/06

Flushing water and money down the drain San Francisco Chronicle, 10/12/06

What Another Hundred Million Would Mean ABC News, 10/17/06

Prop 84: Water Infrastructure Bond California Report, 10/18/06 (mp3 audio)

State presents long-awaited alternatives for saving Salton Sea San Diego Union Tribune, 10/18/06

Salton Sea help gets closer Press Enterprise, 10/19/2006

Salton Sea’s salvation? The Desert Sun, 10/19/2006

The Last Drop: Confronting the possibility of a global catastrophe The New Yorker, 10/23/2006

US$6 billion plan to save California’s largest lake China Daily, 10/24/2006

Group of elected officials rally around Salton Sea Authority plan San Francisco Chronicle, 10/25/06


STAFF UPDATES

10/25/06. Agriculture and Water [Washington, D.C.] Peter Gleick met with the Secretary of Agriculture at a session of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board to discuss critical agricultural water issues facing farmers in coming years.

10/24/06. Salton Sea [Sacramento, Calif.] Michael Cohen participated in the Resources Agency’s Salton Sea Advisory Committee meeting.

10/24/06. Water Privatization [Brooklyn Center, Minn.] Ian Hart presented “Beyond Privatization: Restructuring Water Systems to Improve Performance” at the Minnesota Water 2006 and Annual Water Resources joint conference.

10/19/06. Salton Sea [Sacramento, Calif.] California’s Resources Agency released its 3,000 page draft Environmental Impact Report for the Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Program (available online) for a 90-day public review period.

10/19/06. Salton Sea [Sacramento, Calif.] The Pacific Institute and other members of the Salton Sea Coalition released a report card evaluating the eight restoration plans in the draft Environmental Impact Report and suggested that a hybrid approach, combining the best components of several of these plans, would be the best approach for the Salton Sea (see Headlines)

10/12/06.  Regulatory Reform Stakeholder Forum [Washington, D.C.] Jason Morrison participated in a U.S. EPA-organized roundtable which, among other things, discussed stakeholder perspectives on the EPA’s National Environmental Performance Track program, along with ideas for strengthening it in the future.

10/6/06. Planning Healthy Communities [Oakland, Calif.] The Pacific Institute and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project sponsored a “Planning Healthy Cities for the 21st Century” forum at City Hall to address the question, “How healthy is Oakland’s development?” The event, co-sponsored by the Alameda County Public Health Department and Environmental Health Services, brought together City of Oakland planners, economic development staff, City Councilmembers Nancy Nadel and Jean Quan, as well as community advocates. Over 60 participants in all came to listen to speakers and discuss the need for greater collaboration between health and planning interests.

10/5-10/6/06. Corporate Disclosure [Amsterdam, Netherlands] Jason Morrison attended the Global Reporting Initiative’s launch of the third iteration (dubbed “G3”) of its sustainability reporting guidelines. Over a thousand people participated in the two-day conference.

10/5/06. Water Privatization [Urbana, Ill.] Ian Hart presented the Institute’s report “Beyond Privatization“at the Institutional and Economics Strategies panel of the 2006 Illinois Water Conference.

10/5/06. Desalination [Long Beach, Calif.] Peter Gleick presented the results from the Institute’s report “Desalination, With a Grain of Salt: A California Perspective” at a desalination conference at the Long Beach Aquarium. The report has been downloaded more than 42,000 times since its release in late June.

10/3-10/4/06. International Sustainability Forum [Stockholm, Sweden] Jason Morrison joined 135 sustainability experts from 33 countries to discuss how international institutions such as ISO, UNEP, WBCSD, IISD, and UN Global Compact can partner to develop a new long-term global program for Sustainability of the Planet. A summary of the meeting can be found at: www.sustainabilityoftheplanet.se.


“No Trucks Over 4 1/2 Tons” photo courtesy of Brian Beveridge.

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