Visit Circle of Blue’s WaterNews desk. From breaking headlines and the latest research to emerging trends and success stories and challenges, WaterNews is the go-to source for comprehensive, engaging freshwater coverage.
New Report Shows Chevron’s Contribution to
Richmond is 10%
Chevron Working to Pay Less to Richmond
From roadways, streetlights, and parks to police, fire trucks, and shelters, the resources and services that Richmond residents look to in their community depend on public revenue. As Richmond’s largest industry, Chevron also relies on the city’s optimal location, infrastructure, and public services to function, but how much it contributes to the public revenue has been unclear. In the newly released chapter from its West County Indicators Project, the Pacific Institute reports on “Richmond’s Tax Revenue from Chevron,” countering reports that one-third of the city’s revenue comes from Chevron.
“The research released today, based on publicly available data, shows Chevron’s revenue contribution to Richmond is closer to 10% of the city’s total revenues–and it also shows that these figures are not at all transparent; definitive figures are frustratingly hard for the community to come by,” said Eli Moore, Pacific Institute research associate.
Access to accurate information is particularly critical at this time, when the financial contributions of Chevron to Richmond and Contra Costa County are currently under scrutiny in the courts, on the November ballot, in a proposed community benefits agreement, and in a confidential audit of the company’s utility users’ tax payments, raising the issue of whether the company is paying enough–as Chevron works to cut what it pays to Richmond. Read the chapter.
|Gleick Offers Water Policy Recommendations to Next President||Four Critical Challenges Must Be Addressed
Many serious issues face the American people, and many pressing concerns await the next President of the United States. But water–central to policy around energy, climate change, and national security–must not be ignored. Pacific Institute President Peter H. Gleick offers four critical domestic and international challenges related to fresh water that must be addressed and 16 key recommendations to the next U.S. president on how to tackle these challenges.
According to Gleick, the next administration must (1) develop a comprehensive national water policy, with a new bipartisan Water Commission for the 21st Century; (2) spotlight national security issues related to water; (3) expand the role of the U.S. in addressing global water problems; and (4) integrate climate change into all federal water planning and activity.
“The next President faces challenges around our freshwater supply and management with diplomatic, economic, political, and public health ramifications,” said Gleick. “The administration must make comprehensive and sustainable national water policy an early priority.”
Read Peter Gleick’s Recommendations to the President.
|Discussion Generated on Agricultural Water Use||Institute Continues Meetings with Agricultural Community
Reporting on key findings from the Institute’s latest report, “More with Less,” Pacific Institute researchers met this month with decision makers from across the state to discuss the potential for water conservation and efficiency in California’s agricultural sector.
Meeting with the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and individual California state legislators, report authors Heather Cooley, Juliet Christian-Smith, and Peter Gleick have been working to start a discussion about how to overcome the financial, institutional, and technical barriers to water conservation in order to help farmers grow more with less water.
“During our meeting with the Board of Food and Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture A.G. Kawamura noted that ‘doing nothing is not an option.’ We could not agree more and will be working to create a dialogue about how to help farmers prepare for an increasingly water-scarce future,” said Juliet Christian-Smith, co-author of the report.
The report’s authors are visiting a number more farms, along with farm bureaus and cooperative extension offices throughout the state, to get further input from the broad agricultural community for the Institute’s next agricultural water conservation and efficiency report that covers all of California, to be released at the beginning of 2009.
Read the current report focusing on the Delta.
Governor Signs Salton Sea Restoration Bill
On September 27, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 187, authorizing the initiation of pilot restoration projects for the Salton Sea and demonstrating the state’s interest in protecting the sea. The bill, when combined with the recently-signed budget, targets an initial $17.8 million for Salton Sea restoration work. The Pacific Institute strongly supports this legislation and looks forward to working with legislators and the Administration to craft a governing body for Salton Sea restoration in the coming year. Read more about the Salton Sea.
Gleick Makes Wired Magazine’s 2008 Smart List, Participates in Economist Debate
Named one of Wired magazine’s “15 People the President Should Listen To,” Institute President Peter Gleick discusses water-related challenges facing the next president. Gleick also discusses the importance of balancing water as a human right and an economic good as part of The Economist’s Debate Series: The Value of H20.
Christian-Smith Discusses Potential For Cal. Agricultural Water Use Efficiency
On October 8, Senior Research Associate Juliet Christian-Smith participated on a panel titled “The Water Connection: State Policies and the Impact on Local Food Systems” at the Commonwealth Club. Recognizing the increasing threat of water scarcity in California, Christian-Smith presented challenges of future shortages for agriculture, as well as policies and actions to increase water use efficiency in food production.
Cohen Discusses Future of Colorado River
On November 1, Senior Research Associate Michael Cohen will participate in a roundtable panel on “21st Century and the Colorado River.” The roundtable is part of a symposium on the “Fate and Future of the Colorado River,” which is cosponsored by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West and the Water Education Foundation. For more information, click here.
On Nov. 7, Michael Cohen will participate on the panel “Colorado River: Peace on the River, But for How Long?” at the California Water Policy 18 conference held in Pasadena, Ca. For more information, click here.
Prakash Facilitates Panel on Building Coalitions for Environmental Health Justice
On September 29, Program Director Swati Prakash facilitated a panel discussion on “Building Coalitions for Occupational Health and Environmental Justice” at The California Wellness Foundation 2008 Conference on Work and Health, in San Francisco. The panel discussed opportunities and strategies for forging strong alliances between the movements for worker and community health and justice.
Institute Helps Community Address Freight Transportation Impacts
As a follow up to the August 14th workshop with the Oakland City Auditor, the Pacific Institute and West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project convened a workshop on October 1, 2008 with West Oakland residents to develop advocacy tools and an action plan to address freight-transportation-related impacts in their neighborhoods. Residents presented testimony to Oakland city officials on concerns around truck impacts in West Oakland.
Morrison Works to Help Businesses Overcome Threats to Water
On Sept. 16-18, Program Director Jason Morrison participated in the Business, Human Rights, and Water Roundtable, hosted in Washington D.C. by the nascent UK-based Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). Attended by 20 experts from businesses, government, and civil society groups, the roundtable worked to share experience and challenges, and to understand best practice relating to a rights-based approach to business and water issues. On Septebmer 22-23, Morrison served as a panelist on a water and climate risk session at the Corporate Climate Response conference in Chicago. The conference was attended by 250 environmental professionals seeking practical guidance on dealing with increasing water scarcity challenges.
What Matters: Thirsty World
What Matters is the newly released collection of 18 socially conscious photo essays by renowned photojournalists including James Nachtwey and Sebastiao Salgado. Created by New York Times editor and author David Elliot Cohen, the collection of essays, shot over the course of years, addresses the essential issues of our time. Each is accompanied by a passionate essay written by a prominent expert, including Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick who penned the chapter “Thirsty World.” With an extensive “What You Can Do” section, What Matters is a compelling call to action, available in a free online version, or for purchase.
Peter Gleick Photo: J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue
Friant-Kern Canal Photo: Peter Gleick