October 2010 Online Update

Research for People and the Planet  
In This Issue
-Call to Freshwater Action
– Stockholm World Water Week
– Nitrates Research
– Research Project for Formerly Incarcerated
– Launch of Facebook and Twitter
– In Brief
-Upcoming Events

 

Check out  Peter Gleick’s blog on San Francisco Chronicle’s “City Brights.”


Misusing California Water Numbers for Political Purposes
, 9/30/2010

Time for a Drinking Water Fountain Renaissance

, 9/22/2010

Try WECalc!
WECalc Button


Pacific
Institute Participates in Federal Call to Action on Freshwater Issues

 

charting_new_waters.jpg

The
Pacific Institute joined the Johnson Foundation and more than two dozen
water-related agencies and organizations on September 15 to call for immediate
federal action to address key freshwater challenges. The event, which was
keynoted by Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, signaled a consensus around
both the urgency to act and necessary first steps in freshwater governance,
including dramatically increasing the efficiency of water use, better
enforcement of existing water laws, and more coordinated management of water
resources. Pacific Institute President Dr. Peter Gleick participated on a panel
moderated by television journalist Gwen Ifill, and Senior Research Associate
Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith presented at briefings on Capitol Hill.

This
event is part of a larger effort by the Pacific Institute to improve federal
water policy for the 21
st century. The Institute will
be releasing a book on federal water policy next year. The book discusses the
current status of our water use and waterways, emerging threats such as climate
change, and persistent challenges such as water quality and maintaining water
supply and treatment infrastructure. The Institute lays out a detailed vision
of 21
st century water policy,
building on some of the issues highlighted in the
Charting New Waters report released this month
at The Johnson Foundation Freshwater Summit.  

Read
the report
here.




 

Globalization Program Convenes CEO Water Mandate Meetings
at World Water Week

In
its capacity as operational arm of the CEO Water Mandate, the Pacific
Institute’s Globalization Program convened two meetings at this year’s World
Water Week in Stockholm. 

The
first meeting was an extension of the initiative’s ongoing work with the UN
Environment Programme (UNEP) on corporate water accounting. This event brought
together key stakeholders to discuss core issues relating to current and
emerging water accounting practice and to identify opportunities for alignment,
harmonization, and/or coordination. In particular, the meeting explored
possibilities relating to Phase II of the Mandate’s collaboration with UNEP ­–
the development of an online capacity-building platform that will attempt to
characterize, categorize, and serve as a jump-off point for corporate water
accounting tools and methodologies. This online tool will build on the
corporate water accounting stocktaking exercise published in April 2010.

The second meeting —
open to all World Water Week participants — aimed to inform interested
stakeholders about the CEO Water Mandate and allow the Mandate Secretariat,
endorsing companies, and NGO partners to share information about the initiative.
This included:

·
Informing
the audience of the initiative, its objectives and approaches, as well as the
initiative’s three current focus areas/workstreams;

·
Garnering
feedback regarding the degree to which current approaches, focus areas, and
workplan meet stakeholder needs and interests; and

·
Gathering
input from audience (and ideally common ground) on next steps for the Mandate.

The
Mandate will hold its next working conference in Cape Town, South Africa, from
November 14-17.
Read more about the Pacific Institute’s work with the CEO Water
Mandate.

Community
Strategies Launches Research Project for Formerly Incarcerated Residents in
Richmond, Calif.

A
new project launched this month by the Pacific Institute’s Community Strategies
for Sustainability and Justice Program will advance community health and safety
by building the capacity of a group of formerly incarcerated residents to
research and take action on the challenges facing Richmond residents coming
home after incarceration. Ten Community Researchers will participate in
trainings and planning meetings led by the Institute over the next year,
preparing them to plan and carry out primary research in an effort to improve
service provision and employment opportunities for the Richmond community.

The
project is a partnership with the Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS)
and Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO). ONS and
CCISCO will provide leadership development capacity-building for the Community
Researchers and support them as they advocate for solutions they develop in
analyzing their findings. This exciting new area of work draws on the
Institute’s experience in developing curriculum and trainings on
community-based research and partnering with community organizations to combine
rigorous research methods with on-the-ground experience and strategies for
implementing innovative policy solutions to complex social and environmental
health and justice issues. For more information, contact Eli Moore.

Pacific Institute
Advocates Solutions to Drinking Water Contamination

 

California’s
Irrigated Lands Program has granted waivers to the agricultural industry for years, exempting it
from certain Clean Water Act standards; however, they are now considering
increased monitoring and regulation. Drawing on our ongoing research on the
impacts of nitrate contamination of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley, the Pacific
Institute provided input to the Irrigated Lands Program on the costs of
drinking water for consumers and communities that had been excluded from the
draft of the Environmental Impact Report and economic analysis of the state
program.

Communities
across the San Joaquin Valley cannot drink their tap water due to public and
private wells being contaminated with nitrates. Nitrates can cause death in
infants and contribute to various chronic illnesses, and are found at high
levels largely due to over-application of agricultural fertilizers.

Read more about the Pacific Institute’s research on nitrate contamination of the
San Joaquin Valley groundwater.

Pacific Institute Enters the Social Media World

The
Institute is happy to announce the launch of our
Facebook and Twitter accounts. Follow us
to receive regular updates, news, links about the Institute, the water world,
and environmental justice issues. Stay connected to the work that we do and
show your support for research that produce solutions that advance
environmental protection, economic development, and social equity-in
California, nationally, and internationally. We’ve set a goal to reach 500 “Likes”
and Followers by the end of the month. Tell your friends about Pacific
Institute, and invite them to check us out!


In Brief

– Governor Signs Salton Sea Legislation
California Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill by Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny (D) to
create a new council to oversee the restoration of Salton Sea. The bill to
create the Salton Sea Restoration Council passed the Assembly 51-25 on Aug. 31,
the last day of the legislative session. It then passed the Senate 26-4 on
September 27. The Pacific Institute, in conjunction with other organizations
representing environmental, hunting, and fishing interests, sent the Governor
a letter urging him to sign
SB 51 which would establish a governance
structure for Salton Sea restoration and revitalize the state’s moribund
efforts, a move the Pacific Institute has long advocated. The council will
create a dedicated forum for developing a restoration plan for the Salton Sea,
bringing transparency and collaboration to a process that has stalled in
Sacramento.
Read more about the Salton Sea.

Institute Hosts
International Visitors

On
September 27, Pacific Institute staff hosted a group of 25 international
visitors participating in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor
Leadership Program. Guests and staff engaged in a lively exchange, and the
Institute presented its latest research on the critical connections between
water and human health, the hydrologic impacts of climate change, sustainable
water use, and efforts to reform California and Western water policy.

Lucy
Allen
, research associate, participated in
a panel on water and climate change at the Climate Corps Bay Area training on
September 9. The training prepared 30 AmeriCorps members for internships with
local governments, agencies, and nonprofit organizations to work on projects to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area.  Lucy gave a presentation
entitled, “Water-Energy-Climate: Critical Links.”

Heather Cooley, co-director of the
Water Program, attended the California Urban Water Conservation Council plenary
meeting on September 15 in West Sacramento, CA. The following week, she
participated in the Climate Leadership Academy in Boston, MA to learn what
other U.S. cities are doing to advance climate change adaptation within their
communities. Cooley was a member of Team Oakland, which consisted of staff from
the City of Oakland. Teams from eleven other cities from across the nation
attended. She also led a workshop on strategies for evaluating climate impacts
on vulnerable communities.

– Matthew
Heberger
, research associate, gave a
presentation to the San
Francisco Chapter of the Construction Specification Institute on September 8 entitled, “California Water: Crisis or
Crossroads.” Later that month, he participated in a panel for the
American Institute of Architects San Francisco
Chapter event, Rising
Coastlines — What the Building Community Needs to Know
. The panel
addressed the impacts of climate change on the Bay Area’s coastline and
discussed proposed actions to mitigate the detrimental effects. 

Catalina Garzón and Eli Moore, co-directors of the
Community Strategies Program, were guest trainers at the DataCenter’s
Environmental Justice Research Camp on September 12. Garzón and Moore provided
participants with an overview of photo-voice and community mapping as tools for
conducting community-based research.

Jason Morrison, director of the
Globalization Program, and Institute President Peter Gleick attended World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden from
September 5-10. Morrison led the convening of meetings of the CEO Water Mandate
(see “Globalization Program Convenes
CEO Water Mandate Meetings at World Water Week,” above)
. Dr.
Gleick gave two presentations including one on “Water and the Media” and
another titled, “
Peak Water: Where Water Quality and Quantity Meet“.

Peter Gleick also participated
in The Water Symposium sponsored by San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council on
September 28. On September 30, he gave a lecture on his book, Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water, at the California Academy of
Science’s “Nightlife H20.”

Upcoming Events

The Atlantic’s Green Intelligence Forum in Washington, D.C.
Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick will be a panel speaker at The Atlantic’s Green Intelligence Forum in Washington
D.C. on October 27. The panel will be leading a discussion on
The Future of Fresh Water: H2O in Crisis — Rising Demand, Falling Supply and
What To Do About It. The Atlantic’s
third annual
Green Intelligence Forum features the world’s leading authorities on energy and
environmental issues coming together for two days of exchange on the shifting landscape
of energy markets, conservation efforts, and alternatives to fossil fuels. The
forum includes a unique mix of keynote speakers and panel discussions. Keynote
Speakers include Bill Ritter,
Governor of Colorado, and John Holdren, Assistant to the
President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy. Admission to the event is free, but all attendees must register on the
website prior to event.

Date/Time: October 26, 2010, 8:30am –
3:30pm and October 27, 2010, 9:00am – 3:00pm

Location:
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, Washington,
D.C.

For more information and a
full list of speakers, please visit
: http://www.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Custom.aspx?cid=17&e=cb99e13f-33e0-4cb0-a2a3-723d6a7e7b40

 

To register, please visit the event website: http://guest.cvent.com/d/xdqvx7/4W

 

Forum on Agricultural Water
Use in California

Senior Research Associate
Juliet
Christian-Smith

will be participating on a panel hosted by the Dominican Sisters of San
Rafael’s Earth Charter Implementation Committee on October 24. The panel will
be discussing water issues regarding agriculture in the state of California.
This forum is a culmination of the committee’s studies on water with an
opportunity for interaction with the panelists. Other panelists include
California farmers Sandy Denn, Paul Newton, and John Diener.
The event is free.
Event: Forum on Agricultural Water
Use in California
Date/ Time: Sunday, October 24, 2010,
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Location: Dominican Sisters of San
Rafael Gathering Space, 1520 Grand Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901

– Pacific
Institute Co-Sponsors Symposium on Environmental Justice Research at UC
Berkeley

The Pacific Institute is co-sponsoring a
symposium on “Empowered Partnerships: Participatory Action Research for
Environmental Justice” on Friday October 15 at the UC Berkeley School of Law in
Boalt Hall. The event is open to the public and free to attend.

“Empowered Partnerships: Participatory
Action Research for Environmental Justice” is the first of a series of symposia
on participatory action research (PAR). This inaugural conference will focus on
the partnerships between communities seeking to promote environmental justice
and participatory action researchers at academic institutions and nonprofit
organizations. The gathering will highlight several Environmental Justice/PAR
collaborative efforts and will lay the foundation for constructing new models
that meld the expertise, perspectives, and needs of community groups and
researchers. By providing scholarship, strategies, and practical tools for
building these partnerships, the symposium seeks to provide opportunities for
academics to learn how such partnerships can strengthen and enrich their
research and for environmental justice activists to understand how PAR can
inform and advance their work.

For the symposium schedule and more
information please go to
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/9318.htm.

Pacific Institute in the News

Heather Cooley and Juliet Christian-Smith co-authored an opinion-editorial
featured in the Sunday Sacramento Bee

on September 12. In the article, the Pacific Institute researchers urge California
policymakers to create a more effective water bond to put before voters in
2012, and in the meantime continue the focus on tackling California’s persistent
water problems. Read the article here.

 Cooley and
Christian-Smith

were also featured in Capital Press – Agriculture
News
discussing the important role of water conservation and efficiency in
enhancing water security and providing a range of co-benefits including water
savings and crop improvements. Read the Capital
Press
article
here.

The
Pacific Institute’s Community Strategies
for Sustainability and Justice
Program,
member of the Healthy Richmond Steering Committee, participated in a Richmond
community meeting on September 25. As part of the Richmond Reentry Project, the
Institute hired a group of formerly incarcerated residents to collect data
which was analyzed and used in the discussion of Richmond’s $1.3 million budget
allocated by the California Endowment. Read the full Bay Citizen article
here.

– Peter Gleick spoke to Cy Musiker
on KQED Radio on September 23 to discuss the issues and complaints that the
California Resources Agency has been holding secret meetings on plans about
Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Listen to the full interview
here.

CNBC
Host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera interviewed Peter
Gleick
for CNBC’s original production, Liquid
Assets: The Big Business of Water
. During the interview, he discussed the
misconceptions of bottled water perpetuated by bottled water marketers. Watch a
clip of the interview
here.

Peter Gleick also spoke to CBS News
on the 10 most shocking facts the water bottle industry doesn’t want consumers
to know. Read them
here.

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