Innovations and Challenges in Participatory Mapping
The Institute’s Community Strategies Program co-hosted a January symposium at UC Davis on participatory community mapping for social and environmental justice. The event brought together 40 community leaders, academics, and intermediary organizations to share innovations and challenges facing communities engaged in mapping. Pacific Institute Program Co-Director Eli Moore and Delphine Smith of the Contra Costa Asthma Advocates presented on neighborhood and regional mapping of freight transportation and environmental justice in Richmond and the San Francisco Bay Area. The event was co-sponsored by the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equite, and the Pacific Institute. For more information, contact Eli Moore.
Decolonizing the University Conference
The Community Strategies Program and the DataCenter co-facilitated a workshop on “Decolonizing Research” at the Decolonizing the University Conference at UC Berkeley in February. The conference gathered hundreds of students from across the UC and CSU university systems to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Third World Strike that led to the formation of Ethnic Studies Departments at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, and other campuses. Program Co-Director Catalina Garzón co-led the workshop with Miho Althea Kim, executive director of the DataCenter, an Oakland-based nonprofit that provides research support to grassroots organizations working to advance social justice. Fifteen students attended the interactive workshop, which focused on discussing the historical treatment of low-income and communities of color as “research subjects” and on re-imagining the role of researchers in documenting community-generated knowledge to support empowerment and social change.
Juliet Christian-Smith Elected to Agricultural Water Management Council Executive Board
Juliet Christian Smith has been elected to the Executive Board of the Agricultural Water Management Council and has been actively recruiting more Group 2 (environmental interest group) members. The Council is a non-profit organization that brings together all interested parties in agricultural water management with the expressed goal to achieve greater water management efficiency, a unique forum where the agricultural community and environmental interest groups become partners in change.
Institute Researchers Out and About:
Juliet Christian-Smith, senior research associate, spoke at the California Water Colloquium at UC Berkeley on “The Future of Irrigated Agriculture: Where’s the Water?” The popular lecture series aims to increase the understanding and appreciation among students, faculty, and the general public of water resources and to contribute to informed decisions about water in California. She also participated in the Johnson Foundation Freshwater Summit, where leading national experts discuss critical dimensions of freshwater issues, including the intersection of water quality and supply with agriculture, development, municipal water and wastewater services, and industrial uses.
On March 3 and 4, Dr. Christian-Smith participated in a panel at the California Water Policy Conference in Los Angeles, and was the featured speaker at the conference breakfast. In addition, she continues to work with the Governor’s Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Panel, which had convened in February.
Michael Cohen, senior research associate, appeared as a “Salton Sea Expert” on the television show “Life After People” on the History Channel on February 9. He presented the Institute’s research to date on the “Million Acre-Foot” Project on potential California water savings as part of a panel at the Department of the Interior’s kickoff WaterSMART Conference in Las Vegas on February 24. On March 12, he will discuss the future of the Salton Sea as part of the Water Education Foundation’s Colorado River tour, and on the 24th he will participate in a Salton Sea stakeholders meeting in Palm Desert organized by the California Department of Fish & Game in response to his recommendation.
Heather Cooley, senior research associate, spoke at the January 14 Asia Society Panel, “Global Warming and the Emerging Water Crisis in China and California.” She joined Saleem Ali of the University of Vermont and moderator Richard Drobnick, director of the Center for International Business Education and Research at the USC Marshall School of Business, to discuss the dimensions of the water crisis in California and China today, with issues of population growth, urbanization, pollution, and inadequate infrastructure and climate change impacts.
On March 3, Ms. Cooley presented results from the sea-level-rise analysis at the City of Oakland Environmental Lecture series. She discussed the “20% by 2020″ water conservation requirement at the California Water Policy Conference in Los Angeles, California on March 4. She will be in Santa Cruz, California on March 18 to address a community meeting on seawater desalination.
Catalina Garzón, CSSJ Program co-director, and Eyal Matalon, research associate, attended a February statewide convening in Fresno of community groups and allied organizations working on freight transport issues, hosted by The California Endowment.
Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, started a busy 2010 with his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water and Power (see Water Efficiency and Conservation story, above). On February 1 he addressed the California Irrigation Institute panel at their annual meeting in Sacramento, and on the 3rd he spoke at San Francisco’s World Affairs Council on the topic “From Peak Oil to Peak Water: The Impending World Water Crisis.” On February 9, he lectured on peak water and global challenges at Columbia University, and the next week delivered the Conradin von Gugelberg Memorial Lecture on the Environment at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business on “Peak Water and Solutions to the World’s Water Problems.” At Stanford, Dr. Gleick also gave a presentation on the Institute’s work on water-use efficiency. He wrapped up February by providing the keynote address at the 15th Water Conservation/Xeriscape Conference in Albuquerque.
In March, Dr. Gleick participated in a Carpe Diem conference on Water, Energy, and Climate Change, an initiative that brings together a network of experts and decision makers dedicated to addressing the impacts of climate change on water resources in the American West. This week he is speaking at CERAWeek in Houston, a leading forum offering insight into the energy future. (Look for next month’s Online Update for details from Dr. Gleick’s upcoming work with NASA’s LAUNCH program for water innovators and his presentation at U.N. World Water Week, March 22, in Nairobi!)
Matthew Heberger, research associate, gave a well-received talk to the First Friday Forum at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church on “California Water: Crisis or Crossroads.” On February 18, he participated in the California Water Forum at the Hayward Democratic Club, on the topic, “Managing California’s Water Resources in the 21st Century.” Mr. Heberger participated in the UC Berkeley Energy Symposium on the Water-Energy Panel moderated by Berkeley Law professor Steve Weissman, and also gave a presentation and answered questions during the session “Satisfying Water Demand in the Heat of Climate Change.” On March 23, he will be giving a talk at the 2010 Water Conservation Showcase, sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric, at the Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco.
Eli Moore, Community Strategies Program co-director, presented on freight transport and community health for staff at the Alameda County Department of Public Health in February.
Jason Morrison, director of the Institute’s Globalization Program, presented a comprehensive framework for corporate engagement on water-related public policy issues at the Corporate Water Footprinting conference in San Francisco. His presentation, which reflected a status update on a major workstream of the United Nations CEO Water Mandate, was followed by a discussion panel that covered a range of issues including the appropriate role of business in water policy, the business rationale, and the risks and opportunities associated with engagement.
Mr. Morrison also participated in a Board of Directors meeting of the Alliance for Water Stewardship, a multi-year initiative to develop a standards-based certification program for water. Among other issues, the Board scoped and choreographed the global roundtable process where the standards will be developed, and mapped the relationship of the global roundtable to emerging regional water stewardship efforts.