MAY 2014



Oakland youth – with the support of the Pacific Institute and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) – have released the foto-novela Forgotten Voices to share their experiences and vision for creating opportunities for men of color. The comic-book-style short story features photos taken by the youth and dialogue they have written to document community conditions and identify issues – and to generate solutions for a healthier community. The foto-novela is available in both English and Spanish. Read more.


Download the foto-novela (PDF). 




The Pacific Institute Drought Response Team provides weekly updates. To learn more, visit  


In April, the Department of Water Resources increased State Water Project Allocations from 0% to 5%. The last time allocations were cut this low was 1991, when municipal customers received 30% of their allocation, while agriculture received none. Meanwhile, 2014 has already seen a handful of large fires throughout the state. Read the latest drought update





After several years of development and testing, the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) – whose founding members include the Pacific Institute and CEO Water Mandate – officially launched its global water stewardship standard coinciding with the CEO Water Mandate’s conference in Lima. The Standard provides water stewards with a six-step continual improvement framework that enables sites to commit to, understand, plan, implement, evaluate, and communicate water stewardship actions. Learn more.




Circle of Blue, an affiliate of the Pacific Institute, is the international network of journalists, scholars, and citizens that connects humanity to the global freshwater crisis. 

A gradual transformation is occurring in the water utility industry. As households embrace conservation and water becomes scarce, utilities are being forced to adapt their business plans. These shifts are reflected in their rates, which, for many reasons, are going up. Circle of Blue published its annual survey of water rates in 30 major U.S. cities. Average prices increased 6 percent last year and 33 percent since 2010. Learn more. 



Oakland Youth Reclaim Cinco de Mayo with the Release of Foto-Novela 

Pacific Institute community partner Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) launched its youth-led action research foto-novela Forgotten Voices at a Cinco de Mayo event in Oakland, Calif., featuring Danza Azteca, live music, and youth performers. Read more.


Pacific Institute Experts Outreach  

Pacific Institute staff presented talks and workshops this month including a film screening for Last Call at the Oasis, panel on climate change in Santa Fe, and symposium for community resilience planning for climate change in Oakland. Read the full list and more details here.



On Tuesday May 20, 5:30-8:30 p.m., the Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program will be co-hosting a Spanish-language workshop on personal and collective actions you can take to reduce indoor and outdoor asthma triggers with the Alameda County Healthy Homes Program and the Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative at the Cesar Chavez Branch of the Oakland Public Library, 3301 East 12th Street, Suite 271, in Oakland, CA. For more information or to register, please contact Araceli Tellez at 510-567-8237 or


The California Urban Water Conservation Council – in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, Department of Pesticide Regulation, CalRecycle, the Water Boards, and UC Davis – are hosting two symposia on “Achieving a New Normal in California Landscapes” for non-profit organizations and businesses to better understand how these agencies can work together to promote better landscape practices across the state. The Southern California symposium will be on May 22 and the Northern California event on May 29. Details on the symposia can be found at the Council’s website at


– The Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program will be co-hosting an Oakland Leaders Self-Care and Resiliency Workshop on June 5 and 6 at the First Unitarian Church, 685 14thStreet in Oakland, to build wellness and coping skills for chronic stressors related to local climate change impacts with the Oakland Climate Action Coalition and the Resource Innovation Group. For more information or to register, please go to





* KQED: Amy Standen speaks with Peter Gleick about the lack of mandatory water restrictions Californians are seeing despite the drought.
ABC 7 Local: In this television interview, Matthew Heberger discusses Californians’ water use compared to Australians and urges for increased voluntary water cutbacks.
East Bay Express: Heather Cooley weighs in on the pros and cons of altering your eating habits to conserve water during the drought.

* FierceEnergy: Barbara Lundin covers the latest Pacific Institute and Vox report on water risk mitigation for businesses.


Read more news stories here.


Pacific Institute staff contribute to the Pacific Institute Insights blog, with detailed conversations and critical analyses on sustainable water management and environmental and social justice. Here are this month’s entries: 

On the Back of an Envelope: That Glass of Water in a Restaurant?, Peter Gleick




Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   

#VWPLINK {display:none}