|Fresh Water in 21st Century Challenges Us All||Gleick Kicks Off Water Series|
Images of the transformative power of water in West Africa and an expert’s hope for the future brought a capacity crowd to San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club on August 1 for “Fresh Water in the 21st Century.” Kicking off the Cool, Clear Water series, Dr. Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute President and co-founder, addressed the world’s freshwater challenges.
“Around the world, over 1 billion people still lack access to safe water. Millions perish from preventable water-related diseases,” said Gleick. “We have the knowledge and the tools to change this. In the 21st century, we have an obligation to provide safe, clean water and sanitation to the world’s people.”
The event also featured the photography of Gil Garcetti from his new book, Water is Key, which documents the impact a safe water source can have West African communities. Signed first editions of Water Is Key are available for purchase from the Pacific Institute (while supplies last).
Water Bottles in ’06: 17 Millions of Barrels of Oil
What is the environmental cost of bottling water for U.S. consumption? The New York Times editorial page recently tackled this question, citing a source that found the energy used in bottling alone could power 100,000 cars for a year. Unfortunately, that figure underestimates the energy use by a factor of ten.According to the Pacific Institute’s analysis, more than 17 million barrels of oil were used to make the billions of plastic water bottles American’s consumed in 2006. That figure that does not include the energy used to fill, transport, chill and dispose of the bottles. Much of that water was tap water, refiltered and packaged for purchase.”The U.S. has some of the best water in the world, yet we’re paying a huge premium and making a big mess to drink it from a bottle,” said Institute Communications Director Ian Hart.For more information on the economic and environmental costs associated with bottled water, read our fact sheet.
|In US, Tap the Responsible Choice||
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission projects that it will need 14% more water to meet the region’s needs by 2030. They have proposed diverting more water from the Tuolumne River — 25 million gallons per day — to help meet this need. The Tuolumne River Trust asked the Pacific Institute to conduct an analysis of the SFPUC proposal. The Institute released its assessment in July, finding that the SFPUC overestimated future regional water demand and underestimated the potential for cost-effective conservation.
“The SFPUC’s proposal encourages water waste,” said Institute Senior Associate Heather Cooley (above). “The proposed conservation programs fail to incorporate technologies and policies to promote wise water use – despite the fact that agencies throughout the state have shown that these efforts are cost-effective.”
|Research Bolsters Case for Conservation|
|River Withdrawals Questioned|
|Ideas, Fiji Water Flow at Annual Aspen Festival||Gleick Talks Softly, Carries Refillable Water Bottle|
Pacific Institute President Dr. Peter Gleick and Circle of Blue Director J. Carl Ganter, rubbed elbows with Bill Clinton and Karl Rove at last month’s third annual Aspen Ideas Festival. The two water experts presented “The Future of Water,” a multimedia presentation on the world’s freshwater crisis. The pair discussed the state of the problem and the most promising solutions, including the roles of journalism and quality research.
As an aside, ample quantities of Fiji bottled water were provided free to attendees. Gleick and Ganter opted for Pacific Institute 20th Anniversary water bottles, filled with high quality Rocky Mountain tap.
Gordon Nominated for Port of Oakland Post; Letters of Support Welcome
Oakland, California Mayor Ron Dellums has nominated Margaret Gordon to the Port of Oakland’s Board of Commissioners. Gordon is the West Oakland Environmental Indicator’s Project co-founder and co-coordinator. The Oakland City Council will vote on her confirmation in September. Letters of support for Ms. Gordon are welcome.
New Reports Highlight Canadian Water Solutions
The Canadian environmental organization Pollution Probe has recently released two reports that may be of interest to Online Update readers. The reports are available free online: Towards a Vision and Strategy for Water Management in Canada (PDF) and Mainstreaming Climate Change in Drinking Water Source Protection Planning in Ontario. (PDF) The latter report focuses on ways in which consideration of the impacts of climate change must be built into – or mainstreamed in – source water protection planning. The case region is Ontario, but the approach is likely broadly relevant in other regions and watersheds.
© 2007 Pacific