Institute Launches Science Integrity Initiative, Blog

The Pacific Institute launched its Integrity of Science Initiative in February to respond to and counter the assault on science and scientific integrity in the public policy arena, especially on issues related to water, climate change, and security. “The Pacific Institute was founded on the concept of using good science to inform good public policy,” said Institute president Dr. Peter Gleick. “The muddying of science that we have seen in the past several years has hampered governance in the United States. With this initiative, we are adding the Institute’s resources to the list of those favoring a fact-based government.”

As part of this initiative, the Institute will be convening an ad hoc science advisory review panel, working with like-minded organizations to combine our strengths at every level of government, and developing fact sheets for journalists who cover science and environment issues.

In addition, the Institute has launched the Integrity of Science blog. The blog will be updated regularly, and readers are encouraged to share their comments and news tips. Learn more about this initiative, and check out the Integrity of Science blog.

On Valentine’s Day, No Love for New Dams

Shasta Dam (Photo courtesy USBR)

The Pacific Institute’s Dr. Peter Gleick was not sweet on new water sources in his testimony before the California State Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water. In the Valentine’s Day hearing on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed water bond, Dr. Gleick touted the positive consequences of improving water efficiency in California as a cheaper, easier, and less destructive way to meet California’s current and future water supply needs, compared to the Governor’s effort to find billions for new, unnecessary dams and reservoirs. Story continued ||Download the testimony (PDF)

Ditching Dirty Diesel … in Delhi

Meena Palaniappan

Pacific Institute’s Meena Palaniappan continued to chronicle her experiences conducting water work in Chennai, India. In her latest posting, she took a temporary deviation from water to talk about India’s urban air pollution problem. The primary culprit? The numerous, smoke-spewing, three-wheeled taxis and other two-stroke engine vehicles. Read the entry

Upcoming Institute Reports, Spring 2006

The Pacific Institute is currently preparing new reports for release this spring (Note: Titles are subject to change).

* “The Future of the Salton Sea if No Restoration Project Is Implemented,” by Michael Cohen.

* “A Review of Seawater Desalination (With a California Perspective),” by Peter Gleick, Gary Wolff, and Heather Cooley.

* And coming this summer, The World’s Water, The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources: 2006-2007 by Peter Gleick, ed.

If you would like to receive information on one of the above reports, e-mail


“We have limited water in California, limited money, and competing demands. We have no limit to our ingenuity. We must capture the water savings that are the most cost-effective and environmentally smart, and not build new infrastructure that we do not need and cannot afford.”

- Peter Gleick, from his water bond testimony


3/9/06. Water Sustainability [Union City, Calif.] Gary Wolff will speak on “Policy Trends and Issues Concerning Sustainable Water Supply” at the 12th Annual PIBA Conference.

3/10/06. Climate Change [San Rafael, Calif.] Peter Gleick will testify at a town hall meeting hosted by California Assemblyman Joe Nation on “Global Climate Change in California and Beyond: Is There a Way Out?” The hearing will be held at Dominican University‘s Caleruega Hall, San Rafael, at noon. The workshop is open to the public. For more information, call (415) 479-4920.

3/14/06. Water Recycling [San Francisco, Calif.] Gary Wolff will present “Water Recycling in a Sustainable Water Supply Portfolio” at the closing luncheon of Bridging the Gap with Recycled Water, the annual conference of the California Section of the WateReuse Association.

3/16-3/21/06. World Water Forum [Mexico City, Mexico] Heather Cooley and Gary Wolff will attend the Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City.

3/23-3/24/06. California Water [Sacramento, Calif.] Heather Cooley will attend the Water Education Foundation’s Executive Briefing.

4/7/06. Water Reliability [Napa, Calif.] Gary Wolff will speak on “Water Reliability” at the North Bay Watershed Association’s 2006 conference “Water and Regionalism.”


Tempting fate: A torrent of doubts Sacramento Bee, 2/19/06

Terra Verde interview with Mike Cohen on the Salton Sea KPFA-Berkeley, 2/17/06 (MP3; streaming)

California has an expensive thirst Stockton Record, 2/15/06

Dam proposal raises concerns Tracy Press, 2/15/06

Water supply OK through 2030 San Jose Mercury News, 2/1/06


2/27/06. Goods Movement [Oakland, Calif.] Andrea Samulon and Margaret Gordon attended a public hearing on the Port of Oakland hosted by California’s Cabinet Goods Movement Working Group. The hearing focused on the state’s recently published Goods Movement Draft Framework for Action and the related Emission Reduction Plan.

2/16-2/17/06. California Law and Policy [Berkeley, Calif.] Ian Hart and Amy Baker attended California and the Future of Environmental Policy, a conference sponsored by the Boalt Hall School of Law and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. The conference highlighted the science, policy, and legal issues of climate change, air pollution, land use, and water resources, and included representatives from the governor’s office and US EPA.

2/16/06. Colorado River Delta [Tucson, Ariz.]  Michael Cohen participated in a binational NGO meeting to discuss items and issues related to the Colorado River delta, including the Institute’s streamgage paper and the ‘Conservation Before Shortage’ policy proposal.

2/9-2/10/06. Corporate Social Responsibility [Washington, DC] Jason Morrison attended the first meeting of the
American Chemistry Council (ACC)’s Responsible Care Strategic Review
Board (SRB). The seventeen-member SRB has been tasked with developing
recommendations geared toward maintaining and improving the perception
of ACC’s revamped Responsible Care certification program in the eyes of the
chemical industry’s external stakeholders. For trade press coverage of the SRB’s
inaugural meeting, see “EMS Review Board Includes Arch Critics” at

2/4/06. Wastewater Treatment [Royapettah, Chennai, India] As the compendium of Meena Palaniappan’s three month Fulbright research fellowship in Chennai, India, she organized and co-hosted a day-long workshop entitled: Wastewater Treatment: Opportunities for Chennai’s Water Future. The workshop was an exciting confluence of government, business, NGOs, and residents addressing a key problem in Chennai and in other Indian cities: the treatment of wastewater and its reuse to meet water needs. During the session “Current State of Affairs in Chennai Wastewater Treatment,” Palaniappan addressed the existing laws governing wastewater treatment, the potential for wastewater recovery, and compared the costs of wastewater recovery and desalination.

2/4/06. Water System Privatization [San Francisco, Calif.] Gary Wolff moderated 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.”

Shasta Dam photo courtesy US Bureau of Reclamation

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