JANUARY 2006 HEADLINES

New Report Gets ‘Beyond Privatization’

Water managers face significant challenges meeting the freshwater, wastewater, and stormwater management needs of the communities they serve. Numerous solutions have been proposed, including privatization—the controversial involvement of the private sector. Pacific Institute’s Dr. Gary Wolff and researcher Eric Hallstein found that the debate over privatization overshadows discussion of the determinants of performance. Pacific Institute’s report Beyond Privatization: Restructuring Water Systems to Improve Performance finds that public versus private is not the bright line that separates success from failure.

“We hope this manual will help public decisionmakers focus their efforts where they matter most,” said Dr. Wolff, Principal Economist and Engineer at the Institute. “Performance depends on effective staffing, consistent public support for sufficient funding, better asset management systems, performance measurements and rewards, and more stakeholder involvement and transparency.”

Read more about the report, and download the full report or executive summary at pacinst.org/reports/beyond_privatization.

Water Research in India

Meena Palaniappan

This winter, Pacific Institute’s Meena Palaniappan is conducting research in India as part of a Fulbright fellowship. The Program Director is researching and implementing effective water and wastewater projects that address community involvement in water services, alternative wastewater treatment technologies, and demand-side management approaches to water management. In a series of diary entries, Ms. Palaniappan will elaborate on her experiences abroad. Read her first entry.

Gleick Receives Water Council Award

On December 7, the California Urban Water Conservation Council (CUWCC) recognized Pacific Institute president and co-founder Peter Gleick with the 2005 Excellence Award for Statewide/Institutional Innovations. The urban water agency professionals, public-interest advocates, and private interests who constitute the CUWCC gave the award in recognition of Dr. Gleick’s “extraordinary contributions over the past twenty years as head of the Pacific Institute, wherein he helped define and promote sustainable water policy in California. His creative, critical, and influential research into water efficiency options as part of statewide water resources planning has been invaluable to the California Bulletin 160 process by placing water efficiency squarely on the table.

“His leadership on water and climate issues have justly earned him a worldwide reputation as a thinker, scholar, visionary, and prophet. California is lucky to be his home and the constant beneficiary of his vision and research.”

UPCOMING

1/17-1/18/06. Salton Sea [Ontario, Calif.] Michael Cohen will participate in the Resources Agency’s Salton Sea Habitat and Infrastructure work group meetings.

1/26/06. Water Conservation [Sacramento, Calif.] Peter Gleick will participate in a panel on water conservation and efficiency at the California Irrigation Institute conference.

1/27/06. Goods Movement [Sacramento, Calif.] Andrea Samulon will participate in the Goods Movement Action Plan Integrating Work Group.

1/31/06. Salton Sea [Sacramento] Michael Cohen will participate in the Resources Agency’s Salton Sea Advisory Committee.

02/04/06. Water System Privatization [San Francisco, Calif.] Gary Wolff will be moderating a panel at the California Water Law Symposium at Hastings Law School: “The Efficacy and Morality of Private Sector Participation in Water Services: Through the Lens of Stockton.”


West Oakland EIP Earns National Recognition

Adding to the Pacific Institute’s recognitions in December, the Community Indicators Consortium, with support from the Brookings Institution’s Urban Markets Initiative, honored the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) with a 2005 Community Indicators Award. WOEIP earned third prize, nationwide. At a ceremony in Burlington, Vermont, WOEIP was recognized “for its effectiveness in using the ‘Neighborhood Knowledge for Change’ to catalyze action and drive community change.”


DECEMBER PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

On Truth, Fact, Values, Climate Change, and Doughnuts Environmental News Network, 11/29/05

Agencies implore state to build dams Contra Costa Times, 12/29/05

Water Rights: The discussion that is always tabled at global conferences WorldView, Winter 2005

Delta in decline: Sinking into peril Contra Costa Times, 12/25/05

War on the Water Front Time Magazine, 12/19/05


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Climate deniers have clung to this one slim bit of (recently debunked) uncertainty for over a decade, as a drowning man clings to a thin piece of wood. They are now searching for a new piece of debris to try to keep their skepticism afloat.”

- Peter Gleick, from his recent ENN Commentary

STAFF UPDATES

12/05-12/09/05. Globalization [United Kingdom] Jason Morrison and James Newcomb of Bio-ERA toured Edinburgh and London on a five-day road show promoting the findings and recommendations of a report the two organizations co-authored on the implications of global freshwater scarcity for investors and the financial sector. The paper was commissioned by the investment research firm, CLSA, which arranged up to five briefings a day with their client base, including Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, First State, and Baring.

12/08/05. Salton Sea [Thermal, Calif.] Michael Cohen participated in the Resources Agency’s Salton Sea Advisory Committee meeting.

12/10-12/14/05. Community Strategies [Philadelphia, Pa.] At the annual American Public Health Association Conference, Margaret Gordon presented on several panels regarding community-based health initiatives. She spoke about her experience with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project. Andrea Samulon presented on Pacific Institute’s participation in the Bay Area Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative as part of the “Environmental Justice: Recognizing The Problem To Forge A Solution” panel.

12/14/05. Desalination [San Francisco, Calif.] Peter Gleick gave a presentation to the California Coastal Commission on the Institute’s desalination work.

12/15/05. Colorado River [Las Vegas, Nev.] Michael Cohen met with senior Bureau of Reclamation officials at the Colorado River Water Users Conference.

12/15-12/16/05. Goods Movement [Sacramento, Calif.] Margaret Gordon and Andrea Samulon participated in the Goods Movement Action Plan Integrating Working Group meetings.

12/20/05. Goods Movement [Oakland, Calif.] Margaret Gordon met with the Port of Oakland administration staff on the process of forming a Port Community Advisory Committee.


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