April 2013 Online Update 
Celebrating Partnership

Dr. Peter Gleick and the Pacific Institute were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards ceremony in San Jose for World Water Day 2013, an exciting recognition of our 25 years of advancing sustainable and equitable management of our water. World Water Day marks the United Nations’ International Year of Cooperation on Water, recognizing that cooperation is essential to striking a balance between different needs and priorities and sharing this precious resource equitably. Partnership is key to the Pacific Institute’s water and equity work. This month, we highlight the launch of the international Water Action Hub in European Basins, our Community Choices work in Ghana, and our work on resilience to climate change impacts with the Oakland Climate Action Coalition. From the global to the local, it’s about cooperation.

Peter Gleick and Pacific Institute Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for World Water Day 2013

Dr. Peter Gleick, left, with presenter Peter Drekmeier

Dr. Peter Gleick and the Pacific Institute were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards ceremony in San Jose for World Water Day 2013.

Peter Gleick is president and co-founder of the Oakland, Calif. organization that has built over 25 years a reputation in California and around the world as one of the most innovative, independent nongovernmental organizations in the fields of sustainable and equitable water management.

Dr. Gleick and the Pacific Institute have done extensive research and education to influence how we use water and how we must move to a sustainable approach – a “soft path for water” that recognizes the realities of a renewable but ultimately limited resource. The Institute drives a vision and strategy of a comprehensive approach to water use and management that takes advantage of remarkable engineering skills and technologies – but also looks to tools like the innovative application of economics; smart incentives for efficient water use; appropriate regulatory approaches for protecting water quality, ecosystems, and local communities; and expanded public education and participation in water decisions through networking.

The Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards, recognizing the primacy of water to the health and economic vitality of the region and to the environment, are presented to organizations, agencies, businesses, and individuals whose programs and leadership have advanced water conservation in Silicon Valley (San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and Alameda County from Hayward south). The coalition of 19 member organizations represents a diverse cross-section of respected parties concerned about water conservation and the need for a strategic response, both to droughts and to a new era of water scarcity. The goal of the Awards is to raise awareness and celebrate outstanding achievements in water conservation through best practices, efficiency, and innovation.

Read more. 




First hand testimonials from attendees praising IWS 2013


First-hand testimonials from attendees and exhibitors of the 2nd International Water Summit 2013 in Abu Dhabi, where Pacific Institute staff presented.


The Guardian UK’s Global Development Podcast:


Water, Water Everywhere, featuring Dr. Peter Gleick.
Listen to the podcast. Read the transcript of the interview.
Webcast of United Nations General Assembly event “High-Level Interactive Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on Water Cooperation” can be viewed at 


Blogs by Peter Gleick 

National Geographic’s ScienceBlogs 

Iconic Curves #2: On Exponential Curves, “Hockey Sticks,” and Environmental Crises

Three Iconic Graphs Showing the Climate Fix We’re In 

Three People, Three days in the Desert, 7 Gallons of Water

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science Redux

Water at the Movies: 2013 Update


On the Back of an Envelope: The Water Benefits of an Efficient Toilet



Huffington Post   



Oh Wait: The Earth Really Is Warming. Fast



Breaking News: Climate Change Is Real, But the Earth Is Actually Cooling Rapidly


CEO Water Mandate and European Water Partnership Join Efforts to Launch the Water Action Hub in European Basins

To mark World Water Day 2013 and in the spirit of the 2013 Year of Water Cooperation, Brussels-based NGO European Water Partnership (EWP) and the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate
 announced a new partnership. The two organizations are joining efforts to launch the Water Action Hub  (“the Hub”) in European basins. 
The Hub is a platform to facilitate match-making among a range of organizations interested in improving water management in regions around the world. It does so via an easy-to-use online platform that connects and filters a range of interconnected data. Users of the Water Action Hub can organize data and find potential collaborators through a range of means including by: action areas, geographies, local challenges, specific existing projects and types of partner organizations. Simple maps that visually place salient water projects accompany this information. Supplementing these maps and data sets is basin-specific information that informs collective action.

“We are very excited about this new partnership and for the Hub’s continued growth and expansion,” said Jason Morrison, technical director of the CEO Water Mandate and program director at the Pacific Institute. “The Hub’s expansion to Europe and the partnership with EWP signifies the continued need for effective collaboration in order to address today’s most pressing water challenges.”

Read more.

Pacific Institute Hosts International Workshop on Community Choices System in Ghana 


The Pacific Institute and its West African partners hosted a two-day workshop to share experiences from pilot testing of the Community Choices System (CCS) and to assess the usefulness of the tool in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. 
The Pacific Institute and its West African partners hosted a two-day workshop on March 26-27 to share experiences from pilot testing of the Community Choices System (CCS) and to assess the usefulness of the tool in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. The workshop took place at the Radach Centre in Tamale, Ghana. Over 35 participants from World Vision International, Water and Sanitation for Africa, WaterAid, UNICEF, NewEnergy, Pronet North, University of North Carolina, Community Water and Sanitation Agency and six pilot communities in Ghana and Burkina Faso attended the workshop.


Discussions at the workshop centered on the system’s technical content, use, and creating ab enabling environment for scale-up and hosting of the tool for users in West Africa and beyond. There were four PowerPoint presentations from NGO partners and six oral presentations from pilot communities. At the end of the two-day workshop, participants observed that the tool was useful in contributing to access to potable water supply. Representatives from the Community Water and Sanitation Agency were excited to hear the testimonies from pilot communities and pledged their support to get the tool adopted and hosted at their website based on further review with their colleagues in the field.


Watch for our announcement of making all workshop materials accessible on the Community Choices Tool website in the near future at

Pacific Institute Co-Hosts Climate Change Survivor Workshop in West Oakland

West Oakland residents learned more about community assets and actions they could take to build community resilience to local climate change at the  “Are You a Climate Change Survivor?” workshop.
On March 23, the Pacific Institute co-hosted an “Are You a Climate Change Survivor?” workshop in West Oakland with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project and other members of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition’s Resilience and Adaptation Subcommittee. Over 30 participants attended the workshop, which engaged West Oakland residents in learning more about community assets and actions they could take to build community resilience to local climate change impacts like heat waves, flooding, and poor air quality. The workshop activities and materials will be included in our upcoming “Are You a Climate Change Survivor?” activity workbook containing popular education tools for use in engaging residents in taking action to build resilience in local communities.
For more information please contact our Popular Education Associate Ariana de Leña at (510) 251-1600 x104.

Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program Facilitates Photo-Voice Training-of-Trainers for Youth Workers

Program Director Catalina Garzón and Popular Education Associate Ariana de Leña co-facilitated a training-of-trainers on photo-voice methods for youth workers hosted by Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) and the Intertribal Friendship House on March 15 in Oakland, California.  Photo-voice is a highly accessible and engaging participatory research method that combines picture-taking and storytelling to identify issues of concern, document community conditions, and generate solutions to create healthier communities. Nearly a dozen staff and volunteers of community-based organizations working with Latino, African American, and Native American youth participated in the training, which provided them with a set of tools and interactive activities that they can use to engage youth in planning and carrying out their own photo-voice projects in their communities.

For more information please contact Catalina Garzón at (510) 251-1600 x108.

In Brief   


Pacific Institute staff members gave talks and lectures, conducted workshops, and participated on panels far and wide this month. Here are some of the places we’ve been:

Dr. Newsha Ajami, Senior Research Associate

-  delivered two public talks on “Climate Change and California’s Water Resources” and “Translating Water Science into Effective Public Policy” at the Symposium on Water Issues in Climate Change. The event was convened jointly by UC San Diego, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change

- participated at a two-day forum on “Research Frontiers in Water Reuse,” held at ASU Tempe campus. The forum was convened by the Global Institute of Sustainability and the Decision Center for a Desert City at Arizona State University and was focused on technical, social, and political barriers to water reuse.


Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith, Senior Research Associate  

- presented on the recent publication, A Twenty-First Century U.S. Water Policy, at the 10th Annual Water Conservation Showcase in San Francisco, California.

- spoke at the California/Nevada American Water Works Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The conference, themed “Sustainability in a Time of Change,” focused on the latest issues and challenges facing the drinking water industry.


Heather Cooley, Water Program Co-Director:

- presented at the Water Education Foundation Executive Briefing in Sacramento, California. Her presentation focused on seawater desalination in California.
- presented at the Jackson/Ho Forum on water and energy conflicts in China and the United States in Denver, Colorado.

- gave lectures on the connections between water and energy and on California water at UC Berkeley.

- gave a keynote address at the CSU Chico Sustainability Conference.


Dr. Peter Gleick, President:

- gave a lecture on peak water and its implications on security at Kings College in London and on moving to a sustainable water future for the Distinguished Lecture Series at Cambridge college.

- participated on a panel at The Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative, “2013 Resources Roundtable, The Future of Urban Water,” and gave a talk entitled, “The Audacious Vision for Water and the City of the Future.”

- gave the keynote address at the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards Ceremony.

- gave a talk on peak water solutions in a changing climate at the Yale Climate and Energy Institute 2013 Annual Conference.

- gave the keynote address at The Bay Nature Local Hero Awards Annual Fundraiser event, “The Future of the Bay’s Nature: Our Estuary in a Changing Climate.”


Matthew Heberger, Research Associate
- spoke at Beyond the Shore, a “science panel and town hall meeting on sea-level rise” held at San Francisco’s Aquarium by the Bay and organized the Bay Institute.

- presented the latest findings from the National Climate Assessment and the Pacific Institute’s research on climate change at an event in Los Angeles sponsored  by the Center for Sustainable Cities at the University of Southern California.

- was featured on Boing Boing for one of his “extracurricular” projects in a post entitled “Four More Amazing Things Our Readers are Doing Right Now.” Matt co-founded an organization that is helping translate the book Where There is No Doctor, by Berkeley-based Hesperian Health Guides, into Bambara, a language widely spoken in Mali, West Africa, where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer a decade ago.


Jason Morrison, Corporate Sustainability Program Director:

- served on a panel appearing before the United Nations General Assembly as part of an all-day event entitled the “High-Level Interactive Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on Water Cooperation.” The intent of the convening, which was kicked off by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, was to inform the water-related aspects of the UN’s post-2015 sustainable development agenda.  A webcast of the event has been archived at:  


In the News

Peter Gleick talks with Mother Jone’s Kate Sheppard on where the majority of water that goes into bottled water comes from. Read it here


View the webcast of United Nations General Assembly event “High-Level Interactive Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on Water Cooperation.”


Ian James from The Desert Sun highlights Peter Gleick’s blog on climate change and water on World Water Day. Read it here.  

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