Our Approach


What We Do

The Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts to develop sustainable water policies. Since 1987, we have worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to disenfranchised communities to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. Identifying solutions and developing recommendations for sensible water policies isn’t enough — we must also persuade decision makers to adopt these solutions. At every level, from the halls of Congress to international negotiating tables, we promote effective policy solutions based on our research and analysis.

Learn more about our policy work here.

How We Work

Our science-based approach draws from many disciplines and benefits from collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, from governments to grassroots organizations.

Science-Based Research

Our work is firmly grounded in meticulous research and sound science. Our experts draw on knowledge and experience in disciplines ranging from climatology to environmental engineering and hydrology, examining critical water challenges and identifying the most effective science-based solutions.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Water challenges are characterized by complex interdependencies. We recognize that effective solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research, so we integrate knowledge and approaches from many disciplines, identifying real-world solutions that work.


Collaborative partnerships are core to our approach. By establishing mutual interests with various stakeholders, the Institute has been able to focus its science-based solutions towards shared goals, building cross-sector alliances to tackle complex water challenges.

Our Results Speak for Themselves

We have received several awards in recognition of our impact, including:

  • First Lifetime Achievement Award for Water Conservation from the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards Program (2013)
  • Partners in Conservation  Award from the Department of the Interior (2009 and 2012)
  • First U.S. Water Prize from the US Water Alliance (2011)
  • Region 9 Award for Environmental Excellence from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009)
  • Csallany Award for Exemplary Contributions to Water Resources from the American Water Resources Association (2009)
  • Top Environmental Achievement Awards for Freshwater Protection and Restoration from Environment Now Foundation (2007)
  • Excellence Award for Statewide/Institutional Innovations from the California Urban Water Conservation Council (2005)

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