August 2013 Online Update 
Pacific Institute staff will be in Stockholm this month for World Water Week 2013 (see below). This year’s focus is Water Cooperation – Building Partnerships, a key underpinning of the Institute’s work. United Nations work on water notes that “water has long ceased to be solely a local issue,” and the on-the-ground reality is that even beyond recognition of transboundary and down-river water issues, in our time, sustainable water management is a global issue. The Human Right to Water, recognized by the United Nations in 2010 ¬- and by the State of California in 2012 – is tied to many factors, from unleashing the right to information and the right to a voice in water management processes and decisions, to sustainability goals and standards, to reforming policy and governance for appropriate regulation and investment. The Institute’s new work on water governance (below) takes a closer look.

Richmond Passes Laws on Community Reintegration and Employment for the Formerly Incarcerated

The Richmond City Council took a historic step in leveling the playing field for returning citizens voting to expand their “Fairness in Hiring” policy to include all companies doing business with the City of Richmond. Before the July 30 vote, the Safe Return Project released a newly published report, 
Employment and Community Reintegration in Contra Costa County, in collaboration with the Pacific Institute and CCISCO. The publication presents original research, including survey findings that 78% of formerly incarcerated Richmond residents are unemployed, and two out of three have not held a single job since their release.


The City of Richmond and 43 other cities and states across the U.S. have decided that in their hiring they will not consider applicants’ past convictions unless legally required and only after the person has found to be qualified for the position. The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission endorses this as a best practice and many county governments have found that it reduces costs in addition to improving public safety. 


More than 50 private business owners, including the president of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, have signed “Fairness in Hiring” pledges declaring their commitment to making “my best effort to employ the most qualified applicant at my place of business, regardless of their past convictions. This is my contribution in the effort to support public safety, and the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals in the city of Richmond.”


Read more on Richmond’s “Fairness in Hiring” policies.


Learn more about the Safe Return Project.


Read the report, Employment and Community Reintegration in Contra Costa County


From the
Pacific Institute Insights Blog 


Peter Gleick on National Geographic ScienceBlogs 




Global Water Governance in the 21st Century

Growing pressure on global water resources is having major impacts on our social, economic, and environmental well-being. But despite growing recognition that the world’s water-related challenges extend beyond national and regional boundaries, there has been little discussion about global water governance that looks more holistically at shared water challenges. The new Pacific Institute report, Global Water Governance in the 21st Century,examines structures and approaches needed to meet the challenge of sustainable water management in an interconnected world.

The report also identifies major concerns and offers recommendations for how water governance can be improved. 

Key recommendations include:

 -Securing a sustainable funding source and a stronger mandate for intergovernmental organizations to promote greater collaboration among organizations engaged in water governance.

-Adopting new standards, codes, and best practices for water resource development and management to promote greater transparency, participation, and accountability.

-Promoting capacity building and increasing participation in water management for local, regional, and national government entities and civil society groups.

…and more.

Learn more about global water governance for the 21st century.

Download the report

CEO Water Mandate Seeks Your Input on Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines


The CEO Water Mandate is seeking feedback and input on the Public Exposure Draft of its Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines by means of an online survey.


The Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines seeks to advance a common approach to corporate water disclosure that addresses the complexity and local nature of water resources. In doing so, it 1) identifies common metrics that support harmonization and comparability over time and across companies, 2) provides guidance on how companies can assess the water topics that are the most relevant to them, 3) describes how companies can best report activities that are difficult to depict quantitatively, and 4) aligns corporate water management with disclosure so as to enable companies to understand which information is most appropriate to report and how to generate water disclosure.

The public exposure draft, released in August 2012, allows companies to utilize and test this guidance before it is revised and finalized. The Mandate Secretariat now hopes to consult with Mandate endorsers, other companies, and key stakeholders in order to gather feedback on this draft. Specifically, it aims to explore whether the Guidelines represent an appropriate overall framework for water-related information, offer effective guidance on how companies can disclose this information, and are easy and intuitive to use. This feedback will directly inform Phase 2 of this project during which the project team will revise the Guidelines before they are published in Q1 2014.

This online survey is the primary mechanism through which the project team will garner this important feedback from companies and external audiences. To access the survey, go to:


If you have any questions or comments, please contact Peter Schulte at pschulte (at)


Learn more.


Take the survey.


Read the Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines 


Pacific Institute at World Water Week in Stockholm


Next month, staff members from the Pacific Institute will attend World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden for the annual global meeting for the world’s water community. Here’s where they’ll be:


Corporate Sustainability Program staff including Research Associates Mai-Lan Ha and Peter Schulte and Director Jason Morrison will be attending the CEO Water Mandate associated sessions on September 3-4. The September 3 event is titled, “How Can Corporate Water Stewardship Partnerships Benefit Society?” An all-day UNGC CEO Water Mandate Multi-Stakeholder Meeting will be held on September 4. Peter Schulte will also attend the World Resource Institute lunch discussion on water governance.


Water Program Research Assistant Julian Fulton will be participating on a panel on California’s water footprint.


Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick will be participating in a panel talking to young water professionals. Gleick will also be participating on a science panel on water scarcity and risk mapping to explore new data, modeling tools, and analysis for addressing water challenges.

Report from Circle of Blue   

circle of blue Circle of Blue, an affiliate of the Pacific Institute, is the international network of journalists, scholars, and citizens that connects humanity to the global freshwater crisis.

Photo by Carl Ganter

Circle of Blue goes on a special journey to India as it expands coverage of the fast-emerging global conflict between water, food, and energy in a changing climate. The team’s findings in China provided globally significant new data and thinking about the country’s water-coal conundrum. In the United States, it revealed a nation’s serious water-energy challenge. Now, in the next installment of an ongoing collaboration with the Wilson Center, Circle of Blue turns its lens to India.

The Green Revolution that catalyzed grain production in the mid-1960s ended India’s fear of famine. But achieving food abundance is overwhelming India’s mammoth and unwieldy bureaucracy, draining its freshwater reserves, and straining the energy sector and electrical grid.

Choke Point: India is about a 66-year-old democracy, touched by boundless energy and driven by endless ambition. But it also is a nation trapped by seemingly inescapable walls of resource waste, management disarray, and cultural divides of its own making.

Read the four-part series, The Leopard in the Well, which includes in-depth, on-the-ground coverage, interactive data maps, and photo galleries.


Upcoming Events      


-Research Associate Kristina Donnelly will be participating on a panel on August 22 called “WaterSide Chat” hosted by Water Smart Software as part of their free e-conference series. Ms. Donnelly will speak on, “Confronting Declining Revenue in a Time of Water Scarcity.”

You can register for the free e-conference at


In the News

The Institute’s Safe Return Project was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal following a historic ordinance passing in Richmond, California. This month, the city decided to expand their “Fairness in Hiring” policy to promote the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals. Read more.


David Arnod from AllAfrica interviewed Peter Gleick about Egypt’s power shift along the Nile River and the future management of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a massive hydro-electric project on Ethiopia’s Abai River. Read it here.

Peter Gleick was quoted in the SFGate series, “Taking the Heat,” a compilation of stories and videos by Bay Area thinkers working on cutting-edge ideas to help us meet the challenges of climate change. Read “No Global Warming Hasn’t Stopped and Here’s Why” here.

Quick Links   

WWW.PACINST.ORG View our videos on YouTube   Follow us on Twitter    Like us on Facebook