December 2007

Atlanta Report


CTC Restores Air Quality Criteria
Las Vegas Water Use
Gleick Talks Water on NPR
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Community Workshop
Richmond, Calif.
Community-based organizations in West Contra Costa County are invited to a workshop on practical research tools that engage members and build leadership for change. Put on by the West County Indicators Project, this skills-based workshop will build participants’ capacity for planning and implementing community research projects. For more information, email Eli Moore or call (510)251-1600 x123.

AGU Presentations
San Francisco, Calif.

Peter Gleick will give two presentations at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting. One will look back on what we’ve learned and what we might expect from water sciences; the second will explore how to protect the integrity of science, with a focus on educating media, scientists, and the public. For more information, click here.

Career Opportunities

The Pacific Institute is seeking a new full-time Program Associate to lead our Freight Transport, Community Health, and Environmental Justice Project (Freight Transport Justice Project). The project’s goal is to reduce the adverse health impacts of the movement of freight through California, particularly on low-income communities of color closest to freight transport hubs in the Bay Area. For more information or to apply, click here.

The Institute is also seeking a part-time intern to assist with a study quantifying the economic impacts of sea level rise on the California coast, including the areas at risk and the cost of protecting those areas. This study will provide critical information for Californian and national policymakers as they begin to evaluate the costs of unavoidable climate changes and adaptation strategies. Learn more.



  Institute Releases Atlanta Water Report


Analysis May Shed Light on Current Crisis


Atlanta SkylineThe 2006 Pacific Institute analysis Review of Water Conservation Planning for the Atlanta, Georgia Region, is now available to the public. The report may offer insight into Atlanta’s current water crisis.

Originally completed for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in 2006, the analysis finds the Atlanta region’s conservation and efficiency efforts to be inadequate and not sufficiently included in the region’s water planning.

Public for the first time, the review takes on a new light, as Atlanta faces something unprecedented for the world’s wealthiest nation: the possibility of a major city running out of water in a matter of weeks.



  Calif. Commission Does About-face on Air Quality

Pressure, Testimony Secure EJ Win


DDD testifyPacific Institute Program Director Swati Prakash and other members of the Bay Area Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative helped successfully urge the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to restore air quality as a screening criteria used to distribute state transportation improvement funds.

The $2 billion Trade Corridor Improvement Fund, part of a voter-approved transportation bond, was created to fund freight transportation infrastructure projects that improve mobility while reducing air pollution.

The CTC, which previously removed air quality from its project selection guidelines, reversed its decision Nov. 27 after testimony from community leaders and advocates from the Bay Area, Central Valley, and the South Coast.

“The reversal is a victory for communities near the expanding freight transport hubs and corridors who are already disproportionately impacted by the negative health effects of freight transport,” said Prakash.

Learn more:


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 Institute Engages on Las Vegas Water Tour
Officials, Media Briefed on Savings Potential

Hidden OasisReporting on the findings of their recently released report, “Hidden Oasis: Water Conservation in Las Vegas,” the Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley met with officials and media in Nevada and Utah to highlight the myriad benefits of smart water use for metropolitan Southern Nevada.

“Meeting with government officials and media outlets was key to increasing the dialogue about water conservation and efficiency,” said Cooley.

Co-authored by the Pacific Institute and Western Resource Advocates, the report finds that significant water savings can be made in Las Vegas through improving indoor and outdoor water efficiency.

Learn more.

Related news:



Gleick Talks U.S. Fresh Water on NPR’s Fresh Air
Terry Gross Interview Available Online


Peter GleickOn National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, Pacific Institute president and co-founder Peter Gleick spoke with Terry Gross on the looming water crisis in the United States.

“Water is a resource we can no longer take for granted anywhere,” said Gleick. “I think that is going to be one of the new challenges in the coming decades.”

Listen to the Nov. 27 interview online.


In Brief

Fundraiser Benefits Safe Drinking Water Campaign
On Dec. 13, WaterAid will host a fundraising reception and book-signing at the Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles featuring speakers Peter Gleick and Gil Garcetti, editor and author, respectively, of the photography book, Water Is Key. For more information on the event, click or call (212) 683-0430.

Morrison Reelected as NGO Representative
At the annual plenary meeting of the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility in Vienna, Austria, Institute Program Director Jason Morrison was reelected by the NGOs participating in the ISO 26000 initiative to serve as the developed country NGO representative on the Working Group’s governing body.

Institute Helps Steer GHG Emission Reduction Standard Program

On Nov. 26, Jason Morrison participated in the Carbon Trust’s inaugural Steering Group focused on developing a product-related greenhouse gas emissions reduction standard and verification program. The Pacific Institute, which has 10 years of experience developing social and environmental international standards, will serve as the project team leader for the standard’s consultation process in North America as well as for NGO outreach internationally.

Morrison Leads Training on Sustainability Reporting
As a senior project team member of the Ceres-led Facility Reporting Project (FRP), Jason Morrison led trainings Nov. 13 and 14 on comprehensive sustainability reporting and stakeholder engagement at two of the nine facilities participating in the U.S. EPA-sponsored pilot project.

Prakash Presents on Environmental Justice Panel
On Nov. 13, Swati Prakash presented on a panel, “Environmental Justice, Ports and Regional Planning,” at the Blueprint Learning Network’s workshop, “Making It Real: Housing, Public Engagement, Environmental Justice and Blueprint Planning.” To view the presentation, click here.

Institute Helps Develop Corporate Accountability Initiative Workplan

On November 15-16, Jason Morrison participated in a strategic planning meeting of the C-Change Stewardship Team. The eight-person team developed the 2008 workplan for the C-Change Initiative, which aims to develop a common platform that can unify diverse corporate accountability initiatives; to campaign to achieve systemic reform of the corporation; and to strengthen actions of civil society groups locally and globally.

Community Workshop Develops Solutions for Impacts of Freight Transport
On Nov. 8, residents of Richmond, North Richmond, and San Pablo convened for a second workshop to discuss the environmental health impacts of land use changes and increased rail traffic in West County. The solutions developed at the workshop are being drafted in documents to be submitted to the General Plan Advisory Committee, Richmond Equitable Development Initiative, MIG, and other involved groups. For more information, email Catalina Garzón or call (510) 251-1600 x108.