Financing Water Supply and Sanitation in a Changing Climate

Published: October 2020


Human-caused climate change is real and accelerating, creating new challenges for all aspects of freshwater management, including meeting basic human needs for water and sanitation. Important gaps in our understanding of these challenges include both the complications climate change poses for planning, implementing, and sustaining water supply and sanitation systems, especially for the poor; and the links between these systems and the emissions of greenhouse gases that worsen the overall climate problem.

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Ensuring One Water Delivers for Healthy Waterways: A Framework for Incorporating Healthy Waterways into One Water Plans and Projects

Published: October 2020


As forward-thinking cities become increasingly adept at capturing and reusing wastewater, stormwater, and greywater, essential river systems may be at risk. The “One Water” approach to water management emphasizes an integrated planning and implementation approach that acknowledges the finite nature of water resources and prioritizes long-term resilience and reliability.

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The Future Has Arrived. These Explosive Fires Are Our Climate Change Wakeup Call

Published: September 2020


Like millions of people in the western United States this week, I woke up to deep red, sunless skies, layers of ash coating the streets, gardens, and cars, and the smell of burning forests, lives, homes, and dreams. Not to be too hyperbolic, but on top of the political chaos, the economic collapse, and the worst pandemic in modern times, it seemed more than a little apocalyptic.

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Water Recommendations to the Next President

Published: September 2020


Every human being needs safe and affordable water, but in the United States, tens of millions of people still lack it. As the COVID-19 pandemic revealed, poor water infrastructure and the failure to provide universal access to safe water and sanitation threaten public health. Meanwhile, water shortages, poor management, and antiquated water systems threaten the nation’s food supply, ecosystems, and economy.

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Sustainable for Whom? The Impact of Groundwater Sustainability Plans on Domestic Wells

Published: September 2020


Studies estimate that 1.5 to 2.5 million Californians rely on domestic wells to meet their household water needs, but because domestic wells are often shallow, they are often sensitive to changes in groundwater levels. Thus sustainable groundwater management has an important role to play in safeguarding the health and safety of Californians and the achievement of the state’s recognized human right to water.

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Ending Conflicts Over Water: Solutions to Water and Security Challenges

Published: September 2020


Water-related conflict and political instability are on the rise across the globe. But while intensifying water challenges and the threats they pose to security are well documented, relatively few solutions have been presented. This report fills the gap by exploring several dozen strategies to reduce water-related conflicts in key water-insecure hotspots around the world.

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Water Resilience in the Age of COVID-19

Published: August 2020


In the past few weeks, communities around the country have experienced record-breaking rain, heat, hurricanes, and drought. We have seen flooding from failed dams and levees, as well as fires from unseasonably dry forests and grasslands.

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Comment Letter on USEPA WaterSense Program

Published: July 2020


This comment letter submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) expresses strong support for both maintaining and strengthening the WaterSense Program at the USEPA, and includes specific recommendations for improving the program. 

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Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Business Framework for Water & COVID-19: Practical Actions to Contain the Pandemic

Published: July 2020


To combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and rebuild our economies during and after the pandemic, collective action on water is essential. Such action can help not only to contain the virus, but also to realize the human right to water and accelerate the “blue” economy, whereby economic well-being and water resilience mutually reinforce one another.

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Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context CASE STUDY: Noyyal-Bhavani River Basin, South India

Published: July 2020


The world’s water resources are under increasing pressure from rising water consumption, pollution, and climate variability. The variety of water challenges companies face, from water governance issues to extreme events like drought, manifest in the river basins where the companies operate. Therefore, setting meaningful targets requires companies to take the local context of their operations into consideration.

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Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context CASE STUDY: Upper Vaal River Basin and Berg and Breede River Basins, South Africa

Published: July 2020


The world’s water resources are under increasing pressure from rising water consumption, pollution, and climate variability. The variety of water challenges companies face, from water governance issues to extreme events like drought, manifest in the river basins where the companies operate. Therefore, setting meaningful targets requires companies to take the local context of their operations into consideration.

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Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts on Municipal Water Demand

Published: July 2020


The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 has imposed massive health and economic burdens on communities around the world, and affected every sector of society, including the water sector. Unexpected events – from social disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic to more extreme droughts and floods due to climate change - highlight the need for water utilities to bolster their resilience so they can continue to provide critical water and wastewater services in a more variable and uncertain future.

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Scaling Green Stormwater Infrastructure Through Multiple Benefits in Austin, Texas: Distributed Rainwater Capture on Residential Properties in the Waller Creek Watershed

Published: June 2020


The City of Austin, Texas is facing an increasingly uncertain water future, from decreasing water supplies and more intense droughts to periodic flooding and water quality impairments. Austin is addressing these challenges head on, from investments in water efficiency and water reuse to rainwater harvesting and stormwater management.

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Urban and Agricultural Water Use in California, 1960 -2015

Published: June 2020


Water is the lifeblood of California, providing for the household needs of 40 million people and supporting one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, various commercial and industrial activities, and the health and viability of the state’s aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

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No COVID-19 Models Are Perfect, But Some Are Useful

Published: May 2020


The global coronavirus pandemic has brought renewed interest and focus on scientific models as we try to get a handle on what the future will bring, how many people will fall sick and die, what the economic impacts will be, and what actions politicians should take.

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Mapping Public Water Management: Proof of Concept

Published: April 2020


What cannot be measured cannot be managed. Poor water management poses major risks to agriculture, industry, and local communities. However, there is a critical lack of information available about local water conditions, making better management difficult.

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Corporate Water Resilience in an Uncertain Future

Published: March 2020


Around the world, businesses are experiencing adverse physical effects of climate change, from increased operational costs and disrupted production to social unrest in communities in which they operate. These impacts are most prominently expressed through changes in the water cycle, including precipitation shifts and extreme drought.

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Climate-Equitable Water

Published: September 2019


The failure to meet basic needs for safe water and sanitation worldwide is one of the great tragedies of our age, with billions of people paying the price in illness and poverty.

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Protecting the Environment in Times of War

Published: September 2019


War is a miserable thing. It kills and maims soldiers and civilians. It destroys infrastructure, cultures, and communities. It worsens poverty and development challenges. And it damages and cripples vital ecological and environmental resources.

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When the River Meets the Sea

Published: July 2019


This presentation on the Salton Sea presented by Michael Cohen at the 2019 GWC Summer Conference covers progress at the sea, the Colorado River and the sea, new bargains, and potential solutions.

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Comment Letter on the Proposed North Lake Project at the Salton Sea

Published: January 2019


This comment letter sent to Phil Rosentrater, Executive Director of the Salton Sea Authority, on behalf of Alianza Coachella Valley, Audubon California, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense Fund, Kounkuey Design Initiative, the Pacific Institute, and Sierra Club California discusses the proposed North Lake Project at the Salton Sea.

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Water Service Disconnections in California

Published: October 2018


When a person fails to pay their water utility bill, their water service can be disconnected. Lack of water in the home compromises health, and renders housing legally uninhabitable and untenantable. Shutoffs also pose a financial burden; in addition to the original debt, there are usually fees associated with late payment, notice of an impending shutoff, and service reconnection.

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