Water and Global Conflict, Hydropower Loss During CA Drought, and More

Latest News and Updates from the Pacific Institute 
May 2017
Credit: Ed Kashi/VII
New Release:

Water and Global Conflict Through the Centuries

This month, the Pacific Institute released an update to its Water Conflict Chronology. The online database documents global water-related conflicts spanning nearly 5,000 years. “Pressures on water resources around the world continue to grow,” says President Emeritus Peter Gleick. “The growing threat of conflicts over these resources is both disturbing and a call to action.”

Read more here. View the Water Conflict Chronology here
Credit: 66 North
New Release: Loss of Hydropower During California’s Five-Year Drought 

California’s recent five-year drought was the driest and hottest in the instrumental record. The new report Impacts of California’s Five-Year (2012-2016) Drought on Hydroelectricity Generation finds that loss of hydroelectricity during the drought led to an increase in electricity costs of approximately $2.45 billion and a 10% increase in the release of carbon dioxide from California power plants.

Read more here

Meet Our Summer Communications Intern 

Mara Brennan-Magidson recently joined the Pacific Institute as a summer intern. With her keen interest in social justice issues, she is excited to delve into the Institute’s past research on access to clean water access. During her time at the Institute, she will focus on making the organization’s publications more accessible online by improving website copy and keyword search capabilities.

Read more about Mara here

Update from Circle of Blue
An Affiliate of the Pacific Institute
Last week, Circle of Blue published its 2017 Water Utility Rates Report, revealing the role of investment and affordability in driving water rate changes around the country. The report showed that in response to the intertwined challenges of aging infrastructure, affordability, water scarcity, and conservation, water utilities are being creative in how they price water and earn revenue.

Read more here. 

Visit Circle of Blue’s website here. 
In Brief
Pacific Institute Experts’ Outreach

World Water Congress
Future Outreach   


On May 30, President Jason Morrison will participate in a panel on water and climate issues and a panel on the potential for businesses to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at the International Water Resources Association’s XVI World Water Congress in Cancun, Mexico

Read more about this event here
Credit: Geographer

Policy and Action on Water in the West
Future Outreach   


The combined impact of overconsumption, drought, and climate change have underscored the need to improve management of the Colorado River, a vital water resource in the West. On June 8, Senior Research Associate Michael Cohen will participate in a panel on Californai’s Salton Sea at the 2017 Martz Summer Conference in Boulder, Colorado. The Salton Sea plays an important role in negotiations over Colorado River water allocations. 

Read more about this event here

Read more about this issue in a recent Water Deeply interview with Michael Cohen here
Credit: Arne Hückelheim

Testifying on Chemicals Used in Fracking 
Past Outreach 

In April, Senior Research Associate Laura Feinstein testified at a hearing of the State Assembly Committee on Natural Resources concerning AB 1328, a bill to require disclosure of chemicals used in the oil and gas production process. The bill was developed based on recommendations from a report co-authored by the Pacific Institute on well stimulation technologies, including hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).
Credit: Portland General Electric

Quantifying Impacts on Water 
Past Outreach 

On May 18 and 19, Senior Digital Engagement Associate Peter Schulte attended the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Project Working Group workshop for the creation of GRI’s water reporting standards in Amsterdam. Along with other experts, he provided input to help shape the organization’s water-related reporting metrics, which aim to help businesses, governments, and organizations better understand and communicate the impact of businesses on sustainability issues, including those related to freshwater.

Read the full list of Pacific Institute experts’ past outreach here.
In the News
Pacific Institute Staff Help Shape Water Debates

New Scientist: California’s Wet Year Eases Drought but Many Still Lack Water

Los Angeles Times: As Political Pressure for Approval Intensifies, the Case for a Big Desalination Plant Remains Cloudy

KPBS: Report: California’s Five-Year Drought Increased Electricity Costs By $2.45B

San Francisco Magazine: Season of the Switch

Read more news stories and op-eds featuring the Pacific Institute here
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