Water is one of our most precious natural resources and is fundamental for maintaining human and ecological health and economic prosperity. Yet, we are over-exploiting and degrading water resources at an alarming rate. Even more concerning, climate change is significantly accelerating these challenges and creating new ones for many aspects of freshwater management.

Building on over thirty years of innovative research and thought leadership, the Pacific Institute is significantly accelerating and scaling our reach and impact in response to this mounting crisis.

We have redirected our strategic focus and set a new 2030 organizational goal to catalyze the transformation to water resilience in the face of climate change. We have three core focus areas: Vulnerable Communities, Nature-Based Solutions, and Water Efficiency and Reuse.

Vulnerable Communities

Around the globe, 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water, and 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation. Even in the United States, access to water and sanitation is not universal. Climate change threatens to worsen poverty and current inequities in access to water and sanitation. It is imperative that climate resilience strategies address the needs of our most vulnerable communities and that efforts to meet water and sanitation needs consider climate impacts.

The Pacific Institute is addressing climate impacts on access to water and sanitation, as well as economic livelihood for vulnerable communities in the U.S. and around the world. This critical work helps ensure investments that address the current humanitarian crisis also consider climate variability and uncertainty.

Nature-Based Solutions

Nature-based solutions use or mimic natural processes to meet societal and environmental needs. They can be used to restore, manage, or protect water resources while also increasing biodiversity and providing additional social and economic benefits.

The Pacific Institute is working to scale uptake of nature-based solutions that support more climate-resilient water systems and the communities they support, while reducing the severity of climate change through carbon sequestration and storage. We work to identify and advance solutions that catalyze investments in nature-based solutions and connect stakeholders with shared interests around those solutions.

Water Efficiency and Reuse

Water efficiency and reuse are powerful, albeit still underutilized, strategies for enhancing water sustainability and resilience. They can help to reduce water withdrawals from over-tapped rivers and aquifers as well as vulnerability to droughts and other water-supply constraints. Moreover, water efficiency and reuse can save energy, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.

The Pacific Institute is at the forefront of assessing water efficiency and reuse opportunities and their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While communities around the world are now implementing these strategies, far more can and must be done. We work to innovate new solutions and scale proven approaches, providing decision-makers and communities with the knowledge and tools they need to implement water efficiency and reuse strategies.