Publication | February 2, 2021

Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Business Framework for Water and COVID-19: Rebuilding and Resilience

The business community has a key role to play in responding to COVID-19, rebuilding the economy, and preventing and mitigating future shock events — both broadly speaking and specifically regarding water and handwashing. This second in the Pacific Institute’s Business Framework for Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic issue brief series continues to explore the role of businesses in a robust COVID-19 response, outlining how businesses can contribute to a “blue” economic recovery and help make society more resilient to future shocks.

Blog | January 28, 2021

What Role Should Onsite Water Reuse Play in Silicon Valley Water?

Water systems in most large urban areas like California’s Silicon Valley are linear and highly centralized. Water is cleaned at a central treatment plant, distributed to homes and businesses through a vast and decades-old system of pipes, used once, and then returned through another set of pipes to a wastewater treatment plant, before being discharged into a nearby waterway like the San Francisco Bay.

Publication | January 28, 2021

The Role of Onsite Water Systems in Advancing Water Resilience in Silicon Valley

California’s Silicon Valley faces a host of water challenges. The region’s water and wastewater infrastructure are aging, and in some cases are nearing the end of useful life. Continued growth and development are putting additional strains on the region, and climate change is adding to that burden through sea level rise, more intense storms, and more severe droughts. These challenges present risks but also an opportunity to rethink the design, configuration, and operation of water and wastewater systems.

Blog | January 22, 2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Continued Toll on Drinking Water Systems and Their Customers

Water systems across the country are facing budget shortfalls as a result of the pandemic and need assistance. For small water systems (systems serving 10,000 people or fewer) total budget shortfalls are estimated to be $4 to 6 billion, primarily caused by decreased demand, delayed payments, and additional costs for protective equipment and sick time.

Blog | January 7, 2021

Q&A: Water Recommendations for the Next Administration 

The fact is that water challenges in the U.S. are severe and worsening. As the COVID-19 pandemic revealed, poor water infrastructure and the failure to provide universal access to safe water and sanitation threaten public health. Water shortages, poor management, and antiquated water systems threaten the nation’s food supply, ecosystems, and economy. Conflicts over water around the globe threaten our national security. Worsening climate changes are increasing these risks, and the failure to act now will only make solving these issues harder.  

Blog | December 23, 2020

Building Resilience and Addressing Inequities in Small, Underperforming Drinking Water Systems

Approximately 25 million people in the United States are served by water systems that regularly fail to meet federal safe drinking water standards. In addition, systems with poor water quality are more likely to serve low‐income and semi‐rural communities, as well as people of color. Internationally, other developed nations like Canada and Australia also struggle with delivering safe drinking water universally, particularly to rural, indigenous communities.

Publication | December 9, 2020

Water Scarcity Will Increase Risk of Conflict, Says New National Intelligence Report

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 116-92), including the Intelligence Authorization Act of FY2020. Section 6722 of that law required a report be prepared on the national security effects of “global water insecurity” and be submitted within 180 days (by late June 2020) to “the congressional intelligence committees, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.”