SEPTEMBER 2004 HEADLINES

Institute Explores
Energy and Water Links and
the Business Risks of Water in Two New Reports

Businesses face a serious risk from
water shortages and pollution — and understanding the hidden
links between water and energy can help us save water, reduce
energy use, and cut air pollution. Those were the key points from
two separate reports released by the Pacific Institute in August.

In “Energy Down the Drain,”
which was co-produced with the NRDC, Pacific Institute researcher
Dr. Gary Wolff finds that “we can reduce our energy use,
cut air pollution and create new energy supplies with cost-effective
improvements to water efficiency.” The report looks at water-related
energy use in California and finds some surprising connections
between these two seemingly unrelated topics.

The second report, “Freshwater
Resources: Managing the Risks Facing the Private Sector,”

makes the case that businesses around the world, from beverage
companies to chip manufacturers, are failing to prepare for the
serious economic and political risks posed by growing competition
for fresh water, the threat of water contamination, and rising
water-related costs. Jason Morrison, writing with Dr. Peter Gleick,
argues that water-related business risks are a serious and overlooked
threat to many kinds of businesses. The report notes that there
are a range of cost-effective solutions businesses can take to
reduce these risks ranging from increased water efficiency to
improved outreach and communication. The business risks report
was covered by the Wall Street Journal (8/23) and both reports
were also included in an Associated
Press story
.

“Energy
Down the Drain”
and “Freshwater
Resources: Managing the Risks Facing the Private Sector

are both available online without charge.

Pacific Institute to California Air
Resources Board: Indoor Air Pollution a Big Problem

Indoor air quality has long been identified
as a key concern for environmental health, but few regulations
address the air inside people’s homes. Unfortunately, regulators
are largely ignoring the impact that outdoor pollution has on
indoor air and the impact of dirty indoor air on human health.
Fanta Kamakate and Meena Palaniappan brought together a group
of environmental health and justice organizations to respond to
a California Air Resources Board draft report on indoor air pollution.
In our response, we strongly recommend that the Board consider
the disproportionate impact of diesel pollution on indoor air
quality and diesel’s role in cancer and asthma. Our study of diesel
pollution in West Oakland found 5 times higher levels of diesel
particulates in West Oakland homes than in other homes in Oakland.

“Clearing the Air”
is available online
without charge.

UPCOMING

9/23/04, San Francisco Climate Action Plan
Release
[San Francisco, Calif.], Dr. Peter Gleick will speak
on the science of climate change and the best policy solutions
at the release of the San Francisco Climate Action Plan. Info:
Ian Hart, ihart @ pacinst.org.

9/24-9/25/04, Environmental Justice
Summit 2004: Critique the Past, Explore the Present, and Project
the Future
[Richmond, Calif.],
The Community Health Initiative, West County Toxics Coalition,
and the Pomo Indians are holding a summit to discuss the past,
present, and future of the environmental justice movement. Location:
Neighborhood House, 820 23rd St. Info: Dr. Henry Clark, (510)
232-3427.

10/1/04, Ditching Dirty
Diesel
[Oakland, Calif.], The Pacific Institute and other
organizations are convening a Bay Area-wide conference on diesel
pollution, asthma, and public health. The conference will focus
on the health impacts of diesel exhaust and solutions to reduce
pollution. There is no fee, food will be provided, and registration
(PDF) is required. Info: Meena Palaniappan, (510) 251-1600, or
mpal@pacinst.org.

10/7/04, West Oakland
Health Survey Release
[Oakland, Calif.], The Pacific Institute
and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project will unveil
the results of a pilot West Oakland health survey at the Prescott
Joseph Center, 920 Peralta, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Refreshments
will be provided. Info: Emily Lee, 251-1600 or elee @ pacinst.org.

11/18-11/19/04, POWER
Conference
[Los Angeles, CA], Michael Cohen will discuss Colorado
River basin drought conditions and solutions on two different
panels. Dr. Gary Wolff will present his paper, “Economies
of Scale and Scope in River Basin Management,” to the Watershed
Management panel. More info online.

 


STAFF UPDATES

9/16/04, Dr.
Gary Wolff
gave the keynote presentation to the Arizona Hydrological
Society’s 17th annual meeting, which focused on “The Value of Water”.
Dr. Wolff explained how value differences and conflicts shape the structure
of government, which, if managed effectively, enables us to become wealthier.
Dr. Wolff touched on several examples including demand management in
California and the repayment structure for the Central Arizona Project.
The meeting was held in Tuscon.

9/9/04, Michael
Cohen
organized and participated in a Salton Sea Coalition meeting
where two of the most prominent rehabilitation alternatives were described
by their proponents and reviewed by Coalition members.

9/8/04, Michael
Cohen
participated in the California Department of Water Resources
Salton Sea Advisory Committee meeting.

9/7/04, Michael
Cohen
met with the Assistant Secretary of the Interior and Bureau
of Reclamation staff, to discuss opportunities for improving the Lower
Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program.

8/30-9/6/04,
Jason Morrison attended the 12th Annual Plenary of ISO TC 207
– Environmental Management. Morrison serves as one of the US delegates
for the environmental communications standard being developed by ISO
(ISO 14063). He also serves as chair of a group that is developing a
plan for improving the effectiveness of NGO participation in ISO 14000
standards development. During the meeting, Morrison presented the task
force’s recommendations for Phase 1 of the plan.

8/30-9/5/04,
Margaret Gordon attended the Community Action Partnership’s 2004
Annual Convention in Washington, DC to celebrate the 40th Anniversary
of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

8/27/04, Michael
Cohen
participated in the California Department of Water Resources
(DWR) Salton Sea Advisory Technical sub-committee meeting to provide
guidance to DWR’s Salton Sea consultant.

8/25/04, Mari
Morikawa
presented her work on participation in ISO’s standard development
process at “Standards, Democracy, and the Public Interest,”
a workshop hosted by the Ford foundation. The workshop, which took place
in Paris, France, focused on how standards, and standards-setting organizations
fit with modern ideals of democracy, public accountability, and the
public interest.

8/23-8/24,
Jason Morrison attended the semi-annual meeting of the U.S. Technical
Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO Technical Committee 207, in Washington,
DC. As Vice Chair of the national mirror body to TC 207, Mr. Morrison
helps develop U.S. positions on issues pertaining to the ISO 14000 standards.

8/24/04, Meena
Palaniappan
made a presentation to the Regional Asthma Management
Program’s Environment Committee.

8/24/04, Michael
Cohen
met with Department of Interior staff, other NGO representatives,
and the Assistant Secretary of the Interior to discuss drought management
strategies for the Colorado River.

8/23/04, Dr.
Gary Wolff
co-chaired two sessions on the relationship between water
and energy use at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
(ACEEE). Participation in the sessions was strong and topics ranged
from the release of “Energy Down the Drain” to the US EPA’s
efforts to develop a “Water Star” program similar to the existing
Energy Star program. Many examples of the benefits of considering energy
and water issues together were suggested by participants.

8/17/04, Michael
Cohen
gave a presentation on Western Water Policy to the Natural
Resources Policy class at the federal Eastern Management Development
Center.

8/16/04, Meena
Palaniappan
participated in a meeting between the US EPA and the
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project to design a collaborative
process to reduce diesel pollution in West Oakland. The agreement between
the two groups that Ms. Palaniappan helped design was approved in August.

8/13/04, Margaret
Gordon, Emily Lee, and Azibuike Akaba
met with City traffic engineers
to discuss re-routing truck traffic in West Oakland. After hearing feedback
from community members, the Environmental Indicators Project will meet
with the city to discuss a revised truck route.

8/9/04, Fanta
Kamakate
presented a draft technical report on diesel pollution
in West Contra Costa County to the West Contra Costa County Asthma and
Diesel Committee. This is the first step in a broader effort to identify
sources of diesel pollution and reduce pollution in West County.

8/5-8/6/04, Catalina Garzon, Margaret Gordon, and Emily Lee participated
in the Environmental Justice Action Camp coordinated by Azibuike Akaba,
the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project Community Technical
Assistance Coordinator. Ms. Gordon gave a presentation on the Healthy
Homes Project, which aims to improve indoor air quality in West Oakland
homes. The camp was held at the Oakland Army Base.


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