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Institute Online Update for December 2003

This Issue

Report: California Can Slake its Thirst with Efficiency
“Clearing the Air” Takes Aim at W. Oak’s
Diesel Pollution

Efforts in North Richmond Begin to Show Fruit

Report: California Can Slake its Thirst with Efficiency

largest, least expensive, and most environmentally
sound source of water to meet California’s future
needs is the water currently being wasted in every
sector of our economy. That’s the core message of
“Waste Not, Want Not: The Potential for Urban
Water Conservation in California,” a major
new report released by the Pacific Institute on
November 18. “After three years of research,
we’ve found that California can cut it’s urban water
use by a third through efficient technology, simple
changes in policy, and improved public education,”
said Dr. Peter H. Gleick, a lead author of the report.
“What this means is that we can avoid new,
expensive, and environmentally destructive water
projects and still meet California’s future needs
– even if California’s population and economy grow
as expected.”

report release was covered by a range of media including
National Public Radio, The
Sacramento Bee
, The Mercury News, The San Francisco
Chronicle, The Associated Press and KCBS radio.
Dr. Gleick also penned an opinion
on the report, which ran in the San Francisco
Chronicle. The entire 176-page report is available
for download without charge and can be purchased
via credit card or check. Find out more online.

the Air” Takes Aim at W. Oakland’s Diesel Pollution

Oakland residents are breathing way too much diesel
pollution, but solutions abound to clear the air
without harming the economy. That’s the conclusion
of a new report released on November 15 by the West
Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, the Coalition
for West Oakland Revitalization, and the Pacific

innovative study employed local residents, under
the guidance of a technical contractor, to count
trucks at key intersections. Several residents also
had their indoor air monitored. And what the research
found is shocking: West Oakland generates 90 times
more diesel pollution per square mile than the average
for California as a whole and some West Oakland
residents breathe 5 times the diesel soot of people
in other parts of Oakland. With truck traffic to
the Port of Oakland — a significant source of pollution
– set to double by 2010, solutions are badly needed.
But as the report shows, there are a host of workable,
cost-effective solutions — from rerouting trucks
and educating drivers, to getting the dirtiest trucks
off the road — that will help West Oakland and
the entire Bay Area.

from the Port of Oakland, the City of Oakland, truckers,
State and County Health Agencies all attended the
report release. The release was also covered by
a host of media including the Oakland
, The San Francisco Chronicle, KRON-TV,
KTVU-TV, KCBS and KGO radio. The report is available
for download without charge from our website.

Efforts in North Richmond Begin to Show Fruit

Richmond is a California community fighting to protect
open space along the San Francisco Bay while working
to reduce pollution from nearby refineries. The
Pacific Institute, along with The Community Health
Initiative (CHI) of North Richmond, the Neighborhood
House of North Richmond, and the West County Toxics
Coalition, held a very successful town hall meeting
focused on reducing air pollution on November 20th.
CHI staff delivered presentations on air pollution
and community health concerns to over 60 people,
including about a dozen decision-makers and agency
officials. Local cable access, NBC3 television and
KPFA radio all covered the meeting.

Staff Updates

Water and Sustainability
, Peter H. Gleick gave
two live radio interviews, one for Wisdom Radio
on the Sirius Network and the other for Earth News
Radio, on water and sustainability and global water

Environmental Justice
, EJWC Staff and Steering
Committee members attended the 13th Annual Water
Policy Conference, Juggling Our Water Future, hosted
by Public Officials for Water and Environmental
Reform (POWER) in Los Angeles.

Water and Sustainability
, Peter H. Gleick gave
a talk on water issues to the Berkeley chapter of
the League of Conservation Voters.

Environment and Health
, Meena Palaniappan participated
in an all day planning exercise with the California
Department of Health Services related to the Environmental
Health Tracking Network.

Water and Sustainability
, Dana Haasz testified
at a State Water Resources Control Board hearing
held to determine whether any modifications in permit
terms or conditions are necessary to protect public
trust and downstream water rights on the Santa Ynez
River below Bradbury Dam.

Water and Sustainability
, Peter H. Gleick gave
a seminar on water privatization and other water
issues for the Knight Journalism Fellowship Program
at Stanford.

International Standards
, Jason Morrison attended
a meeting in Geneva jointly sponsored by ISO’s policy
committees on developing country issues (DEVCO)
and conformity assessment (CASCO). Participants
at the workshop discussed emerging issues including
the role of certification in trade and market access,
the future of mutual recognition of certifications,
and certification of greenhouse gas emissions.


Water and Sustainability
[San Diego, Ca], Peter
H. Gleick will give a keynote talk on water and
sustainability at the U.S. Business Council for
Sustainable Development’s year-end meeting.

Water Efficiency
[Austin, Texas], Dana Haasz
will make a presentation on the potential for water
use efficiency in California at the American Water
Works Association Water Sources Conference and Exposition.
More info is online.

Salton Sea
[Sacramento, CA], Michael Cohen will
participate in a panel discussion on the restoration
of the Salton Sea at the Department of Water Resources
Salton Sea Symposium.

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2003 Pacific Institute for Studies in Development,
Environment, and Security