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Pacific Institute Insights is the staff blog of the Pacific Institute, one of the world’s leading nonprofit research groups on sustainable and equitable management of natural resources. For more about what we do, click here.

  • blog-jm-5-30-13

    Can Business Help Achieve Water-Related Sustainable Development Goals In a Post-2015 World?

    By Jason Morrison, Corporate Sustainability Program Director

    May 30, 2013

    The answer is an emphatic, YES! In fact, given that the private sector accounts for the majority of global water use (when including both industrial water use and companies’ agriculture-based supply chains), one could argue that achieving such goals without direct business involvement and support will be near impossible. The good news is that many in the business community share an interest in achieving more sustainable water management, as there’s a growing understanding within companies that such an outcome is perhaps the most viable long-term strategy for addressing water-related business risk. …»

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  • blog-cooley-5-28-13

    Desalination and Energy Use…Should We Pass the Salt?

    By Heather Cooley, Water Program Co-Director

    May 28, 2013

    Long considered the Holy Grail of water supply, desalination offers the potential of an unlimited source of fresh water purified from the vast oceans of salt water that surround us. Interest in seawater desalination in California is high, with 17 plants proposed along the California coast and two in Mexico. But the rapid expansion of desalination in California – there are currently only a handful of small plants operating along the coast, and most of these are for industrial purposes – raises concerns that must be addressed. …»

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  • Pacific Institute Blog Launches

    By Pete Stanga, Chief Operating Officer


    May 24, 2013

    I am proud to announce the launch of the new Pacific Institute blog, Pacific Institute Insights! It is our intention to make this blog a hub for conversations that lead to sustainable solutions in the areas of water management, corporate water stewardship, and economic and environmental justice.

    At the Pacific Institute, we have long recognized that good science plays a critical role in creating positive change and sound policy. Key to the Institute’s mission is ensuring that the research which leads to best environmental management policy gets into the hands of those who need and can make the best use of it …»

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  • Mauna-Loa

    National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Three Iconic Graphs Showing the Climate Fix We’re In

    By Peter Gleick, President 

    April 2, 2013

    Here are three iconic graphs (unfortunately, there are many, many more) showing just some of the clear observational evidence that we’re changing the climate.

    The first is the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, measured at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii. It shows the little ups and downs in concentration that varies with the seasons, …»

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  • Notes from the Field: What We Know about Indonesian Urban Residents, Water Utilities, Local Government Agencies and NGOs at the Beginning of Our Third Year Developing WASH SMS

    By Misha Hutchings, Senior Research Associate

    February 5, 2013

    Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. – Henry Ford.

    December marked the beginning of year three in the development of the WASH SMS platform through our pilot project in Indonesia. The Institute and our partners Nexleaf Analytics and PATTIRO have been developing two Indonesia WATER SMS systems …»

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  • Rosyid awaiting customers in his shop where he sells secondhand mobile phones, handpon bekas, at prices the poor in Malang can afford.
Source: Misha Hutchings

    Notes from the Field: Mobile Phones Within Reach

    By Misha Hutchings, Senior Research Associate

    Septemeber 26, 2012

    Due to their ubiquity in low- and lower-middle income countries, mobile phones are being used throughout the developing world to connect the poor with a range of information and services that can transform their lives: education, election polling information, peer-group (mental health) support, health services, disaster relief, and micro-banking. Indonesia is ranked fifth in the world for number of mobile phone subscribers …»

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  • This pond is where the people of Bissighin access water.

    Notes from the Field: Resident Says He Would Use Information from Community Choices for Water Tool to Be an Agent of Change

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    August 13, 2012 

    Jean Zoundiis a 51-year-old man from Bissighin, a community located in the Commune of Saaba, which is about 25 km East of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. When I learned that the village was 22 km away from the Burkinabe Capital, I thought there was no need to go there to treat water since there would be running water. To my surprise, Mr. Zoundiled me to a pond that over 600 people depend on for drinking and other domestic purposes (see photo). …»

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  • CCW_biosand_filter_may_2012

    Notes from the Field: Pilot Testing the Community Choices for Water in Ghana

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    May 16, 2012

    Over the past 12 months, the Pacific Institute – in partnership with its West Africa partners NewEnergy, World Vision, Rural Aid, Pronet North, and Water and Sanitation for Africa – has been conducting learning sessions to develop the Community Choices decision support tool to help communities and NGOs make informed decisions for  their water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges. The internet-based prototype includes many field-proven technologies and is designed to empower water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) professionals and communities to choose technologies based on their responses to a set of questions that reflect cultural, socio-economic, hydrological, and religious factors. …»

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  • CCW_gofai_sahi

    Notes from the Field: Gofal Sahi Gets Excited with Community Choices for Water

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    May 8, 2012

     “When you arrived from Wa at our community, we thought you were another group coming to deceive us,” said Ms. Barakisu Yusuf. Though Gofal Sahi community has received several promises of a borehole, the government officials have never returned to fulfill the promises. She added, “We never knew we could ever get clean water in our community.”

    …»

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  • CCW_zouzugu_water_supply

    Notes from the Field: Household Water Treatment Could Improve or Maintain Access to Water Coverage

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    May 7, 2012 

    I heard the good news from the Director of Water and Sanitation for Africa, Mr. Idrissa Doucoure, at a sustainability framework workshop in Acrra, Ghana, on April 3, 2012: Ghana had achieved its Millennium Development Goal for water supply. But, Mr. Idrissa was quick to add that a high percentage of water coverage and access to an “improved source” of water today did not mean that the goal of “sustainable access to safe drinking water” has been met for the years ahead. …»

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