Latest News and Updates from the Pacific Institute

2017 Global Water Challenges, Oil and Gas Production in California, and More! 
November 2017
Credit: Daniel M. Edwards
The Salton Sea
Newly Launched Webpage Offers Daily Updates

A newly launched webpage reports — for the first time — daily information about the Salton Sea, including changes in the sea’s elevation and size relative to its size 14 years ago, when the nation’s largest agriculture-to-urban water transfer agreement was signed. The new webpage also reports the most recent information about the sea’s salinity and the status of habitat and dust control projects at the sea.
View the webpage here
Chemical Use Transparency in California Oil and Gas Production

Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation to strengthen the authority of the state’s water boards to obtain information about the chemicals present in wastewater from oil and gas production. Assembly Bill 1328 was conceived in response to recommendations for greater transparency in the use of chemicals in An Independent Assessment of Well Stimulation, co-authored by the Pacific Institute. 

Senior Research Associate Laura Feinstein worked closely with the bill’s author on a technical background brief, testified at an Assembly Natural Resources committee hearing on the bill, and provided input on the bill’s language.

Read more about our ongoing contributions to California water policy here
Credit: Roberto Marsanasco
Featured Blog Post: The World’s Water Challenges (2017)
By Research Associate Cora Kammeyer
 
“Today 1.7 billion people live in river basins where water demand outstrips supply,” writes Research Associate Cora Kammeyer. “By 2050, this is expected to jump to 2.3 billion.” Yet there are no silver bullet solutions. “The nature and degree of water stress depends on myriad basin-scale factors such as hydrologic conditions, precipitation, infrastructure, and number and type of water users in a given space and time,” writes Kammeyer. “Effective progress will require careful consideration of the watershed context and collective action among water users in a basin.”

Read the blog post here

Meet Our Staff: Anne Thebo  
Pacific Institute Senior Research Associate

Anne first became interested in water as a child growing up in an agricultural region of northwest Ohio. This part of the state was once a vast wetland known as the Great Black Swamp, but it was drained to create highly productive farmland. While good for agriculture in the region, Anne explains that excess fertilizer can drain into the western basin of Lake Erie, where harmful algal blooms have become common. This situation ingrained in Anne “the understanding that all water problems are ultimately embedded within a complex, multi-scale system where environmentally and economically sustainable solutions require collaboration and consideration of diverse viewpoints.” 

Read the full article here.  

Credit: Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
Update from Circle of Blue

An Affiliate of the Pacific Institute

 
On July 1, the Philadelphia Water Department stepped into unexplored territory for a U.S. water utility when it became the first to determine the monthly water, sewer, and stormwater bill for its poorest residents according to income. In “Philadelphia Water Rate Experiment Aims to Help Struggling Residents Pay Their Bills,” Circle of Blue’s Brett Walton takes a look at the country’s first income-based water rate. 

Visit Circle of Blue’s website here. 
In Brief
Pacific Institute Experts’ Outreach

Water University Launched

 
On October 23, President Jason Morrison attended the launch of Water University, a hands-on training facility for clients and associates of Ecolab’s global water management business, Nalco Water. Water University aims to provide tools and training to help businesses manage water more strategically. 

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois State Senator Michael Connelly, and Naperville, Illinois Mayor Steve Chirico were in attendance, along with water industry leaders and various representatives from non-governmental organizations.

Water and Long-Term Value Conference

 
How do water issues affect company performance, and how can companies benefit from effective water stewardship? On October 24-25, the Pacific Institute hosted the “Water & Long-Term Value” conference, coordinated by Skytop Strategies.

Speakers included Pacific Institute President Jason Morrison, who provided an opening presentation on “Water Security: The Defining Issue of the 21st Century” and served as a panelist on the discussion “Policy Outlook on Water: 2017 and Beyond.”

Read more about this event here

Read the full list of Pacific Institute experts’ past outreach here.
In Case You Missed It… 

Last month the Pacific Institute released a video on its mission and current areas of focus. 

We recently released a Twitter account focused on the role of business in water stewardship around the world. 

To celebrate 30 years of protecting water resources, through December 31 the Pacific Institute is offering matched donations to our Rapid Response Fund up to $100,000 made possible by the generosity of our board of directors.  
In the News
Pacific Institute Staff Help Shape Water Debates
Circle of Blue: California Hepatitis Outbreak Has Killed 19 People

Desert Sun: Our Voice: California Must Build on Salton Sea Momentum

The News Tribune: California Approves Rescue Plan for Shrinking Salton Sea

Read more news stories and op-eds featuring the Pacific Institute here
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