Diesel Pollution Workshop
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) and the Pacific Institute are sponsoring a West Oakland Soot Busters Solutions Workshop to develop specific advocacy tools to engage residents in WOEIP’s organizing campaigns. For more information, contact Anny Chang or call 510-251-1600.
The West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, a community-based non-profit education and advocacy organization has an immediate opening for an experienced Community Organizer. To learn more, contact
New Report Finds California Agriculture Can Save Water
Savings Can Relieve Pressure on Delta
California farmers can grow more food and fiber with less water, according to a new Pacific Institute analysis. The report, More with Less: Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency in California – A Special Focus on the Delta, offers a comprehensive analysis of how to maintain a strong agricultural economy while improving the efficiency of water use and reducing groundwater overdraft and water withdrawals from the critically threatened Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Coauthors Heather Cooley, Juliet Christian-Smith, and Peter Gleick presented results and recommendations at a briefing for legislators and staff in Sacramento on September 8.
Read more/access the report. Send comments and questions here.
Read what the authors have to say:
|U.N. and Pacific Institute Present CEO Water Mandate Workshop||Working Conference on Corporate Water Stewardship
With operational support from the Pacific Institute, the U.N. Global Compact convened the second multi-stakeholder workshop of The CEO Water Mandate on August 21-22 during World Water Week in Stockholm. Jason Morrison, director of the Institute’s Globalization Program (pictured), welcomed participants and addressed the objectives and rationale of water and supply management.
The Mandate’s semi-annual conferences are designed to provide a forum for Mandate endorsers and key stakeholders to better understand and address challenges with respect to corporate water stewardship. This working conference brought together some 70 senior representatives from the private sector, civil society, U.N. agencies, and other key stakeholders.
Launched by the U.N. Secretary-General in July 2007, The CEO Water Mandate represents both a policy framework for water sustainability as well as a call-to-action to the global business community. To date it has been endorsed by 31 CEOs from corporations across a variety of sectors and nations. The third multi-stakeholder workshop will take place in March 2009 during the World Water Forum in Istanbul.
A detailed summary of the August 2008 conference will be posted on the U.N. Global Compact website within the next several weeks.
Learn more about The CEO Water Mandate.
|Youth Present Survey Results to Parks Commission||Commissioner to Work With Youth to Improve Parks
On September 3, four youth presented research they conducted on the condition of city parks to the Richmond Recreation & Parks Commission. They were part of a larger team of thirteen who surveyed more than 50 parks in San Pablo, Richmond, and North Richmond to address the parks’ physical conditions, upkeep and cleanliness, amenities, safety, and activities.
Upon completing the surveys, the young people presented concrete data accompanied by telling photos, as well as their individual experiences, to the Commission. They also offered a set of recommendations to improve park conditions, such as developing partnerships to advocate for funding for park maintenance and programs, increasing park mitigation fees to developers who do business in Richmond, and proposing a park bond measure on a ballot for Richmond voters.
In response, a commissioner was appointed to work directly with the youth, West County Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative (HEAL), and the Pacific Institute to determine next steps, such as having youth present their findings to the City of Richmond City Council.
Coordinated by HEAL, the youth park surveys is a project of the Neighborhood House of North Richmond and the Pacific Institute.
Task Force Delivers Protest Statement
Members of the NGO-CAG Task Force who had withdrawn in protest from the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) Environmental Management Committee, including the Task Force chair, Jason Morrison of the Pacific Institute, have delivered a formal statement calling for ISO Geneva to take corrective action. At the committee’s 2008 plenary meeting in Bogotá, Columbia, the Task Force’s final deliverables were rejected without debate. These proposed operating procedures were designed to improve balanced stakeholder involvement in the committee’s standards development. According to the Task Force statement: “The Bogotá meeting has demonstrated very tangibly that when it comes to actual standards development, ISO is not living up to its strategic policy commitments about ensuring broad and meaningful public-interest participation in advancing its goal of developing standards for a sustainable world.”
Palaniappan to Present Alternatives to Damming Polluted River in Mexico
In Guadalajara, Mexico, the country’s second largest city, the government is proposing to construct a dam to supply over 3 million people with drinking water. But the dam is to be built on the Santiago River, one of the most polluted rivers in the country. To discuss sound alternatives to this dam, the Colectivo de Organizaciones Ciudadanas por el Agua (COLOCA) will be hosting the Second International Encounter on Water Supply and Sanitation Alternatives for the Guadalajara Urban Area from September 17 to 20. Pacific Institute Senior Research Associate Meena Palaniappan will present on how water conservation and efficiency can reduce demand, and how soft supply options like rainwater harvesting can provide a better option to damming and treating the heavily polluted Santiago River.
Community Meets to Ensure Richmond Land-use Plan Protects Residents
Local residents participated in a community workshop at St. Mark´s Catholic Church in Richmond to develop action plans to ensure that activities around the Richmond General Plan Update include policies and land use options that protect residents from air pollution, noise, and other freight transportation impacts. This is an ongoing workshop series that is part of Project 12898: Solutions for West County Land Use and Environmental Justice — a CalTrans-funded partnership between the Pacific Institute, Contra Costa Health Services, the Neighborhood House of North Richmond, and the West County Toxics Coalition.
Salton Sea Legislation Awaits Governor’s Signature
In August the California legislature approved SB 187 and sent it to the Governor, where it now awaits his signature. The legislative action is a long-anticipated real step in addressing the public health and ecological crises developing around south-eastern California’s long-neglected Salton Sea. The bill will authorize vitally important initial activities for restoration. To learn more about the Salton Sea, click here.
Gleick Joins Middle East Experts to Assess Environmental Conflict
Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick gave the keynote address at a unique symposium on September 9 in Los Angeles that explored efforts for trans-boundary environmental cooperation in the Middle East. Presented by the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the symposium brought together Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian Authority Experts to assess similarities between environmental conflicts in the Middle East and California. Last month, Gleick also met with 20 Iranian hydrologists at the National Academy of Sciences in Irvine, California to share information on water resources challenges, climate change, and water management.
Student Design Competition Aims to Find Solutions to Global Freshwater Crisis
Can today’s generation of design students help find solutions to one of the 21st century’s most challenging and misunderstood problems — the global fresh water crisis? That’s the impetus behind the first-ever Aspen Design Challenge, a new global communications design competition launched by the AIGA, the 22,000-member professional association for design; INDEX, the global nonprofit design network in Copenhagen; and Circle of Blue, the international water-focused journalism, science, and data organization. Launched last month, the inaugural competition, titled “Designing Water’s Future,” is a call to students worldwide to create compelling, fact-based, inspirational design solutions that raise global awareness and present crucial information for informed response to the looming freshwater crisis. For more information, click here.
Gleick to Discuss Freshwater Management at 2008 Joint Annual Meeting
On October 5, Peter Gleick will speak on “New Thinking on the Path to Sustainable Freshwater Management” at a joint plenary session of the 2008 Joint Annual Meeting — an unprecedented joint technical program featuring papers from all geological disciplines and the soil, agronomic, and crop sciences. For more information, click here.
Cooley Discusses Water Conservation and Water Energy Link
On Sept. 10, Senior Research Associate Heather Cooley attended the plenary session of the California Urban Water Conservation Council in Santa Rosa. Later this month in New Paltz, New York, she will discuss the links between water and energy at the Fall Environmental Grantmaker’s Association meeting.