December 2020
Looking Back at 2020
Happy Holidays from all of us at the Pacific Institute!

The past year has been a challenging one for all of us -- from the COVID-19 pandemic to extreme weather events and a racial justice reckoning in the United States, 2020 has shaken people to the core and opened the eyes of many as to how far we still have to go.

Despite the challenges of this year, we have continued to work towards water resilience, through partnerships and collaboration, ambitious new initiatives, and scaling proven successes.
Examining the Connections Between COVID-19 and Water
This year we launched a Water and Pandemic Task Force to provide timely and useful analysis and recommendations about the links between water, human health, COVID-19, and the roles of the public and private sector. The task force was comprised of Pacific Institute staff and included collaboration with groups from around the world. As part of the task force, we released a series of Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic issue briefs and fact sheets:

View our webinar "Water and COVID-19: From Risk to Resilience" here.
Our Water Recommendations for the Incoming Administration
In September, we crafted a set of recommendations for the next United States presidential administration, which we shared with both presidential campaigns. The recommendations outline the nation’s water challenges and call for swift and meaningful action to carry the nation into a water-equitable and resilient future. Then in November, we hosted a webinar on our recommendations, taking audience questions on topics ranging from the nation's outdated infrastructure to the threat to national security from rising international conflict over water, and offering specific recommendations for the incoming Biden administration.

Read Water Recommendations to the Next President here. View the webinar here.
Ensuring Equitable Access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in a Changing Climate
In 2020 we continued to explore the connections between equitable water, sanitation, and hygiene access and climate change. The report Financing Water Supply and Sanitation in a Changing Climate, produced with, found that investments in water supply and sanitation can benefit both the climate and those living in poverty. The report finds that energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions from water supply and sanitation systems can be reduced through water and energy efficiency improvements and the adoption of renewable or lower-greenhouse gas emissions energy options, such as biogas recovery. Doing so can make water supply and sanitation systems less vulnerable to climate impacts on energy systems, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn more here.
Update from the CEO Water Mandate: Looking Back at 2020
The Pacific Institute is Co-Secretariat of the CEO Water Mandate, a UN Global Compact initiative that mobilizes business leaders on water, sanitation, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 
2020 was a unique year for the CEO Water Mandate, as it entered the final year of its 2018-2020 Water Security through Stewardship Action Platform and also launched the Water Resilience Coalition (WRC). The WRC aims to significantly accelerate progress against the global water crisis in stressed geographies, powered by leading corporations, with their senior leadership's direct and personal involvement. Setting ambitious, time-bound, and quantifiable targets, the WRC aims to have its member companies be net positive on water impact by 2050 in high-stressed basins.

Learn more here.
Advancing Corporate Water Stewardship Around the Globe
We continued to advance corporate water stewardship around the globe, among other projects developing case studies on setting site-level, contextual corporate water targets. While focused on river basins in India and South Africa, lessons learned from these case studies can be applied in other regions around the world.

Read Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context: Upper Vaal River Basin and Berg and Breede River Basins, South Africa here.

Read Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context: Noyyal-Bhavani River Basin, South India here.
Supporting Water Resilience Through Nature-Based Solutions and a "Multi-Benefit" Approach
We continued to advance nature-based solutions, with the understanding that climate change -- along with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems -- will require significant investment in built and natural water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide economic, social, and environmental benefits. In 2020, we released a guidebook for water managers to incorporate valuable co-benefits, or "multi-benefits," into water management decisions, along with a case study showing the guidance in action in Austin, Texas. 

View the guidebook here. View the Austin case study here. Learn more about the multi-benefit approach here.
Meet Our Staff: Heather Cooley, Director of Research
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Heather says she has vivid memories of exploring the beauty and wonder of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a child – from the water and from atop the levees – and of the punishing drought that gripped California from 1987 to 1992. “I remember the effort to conserve water,” she recalls. “That was when I first understood its importance and how much we take water for granted.”

Learn more here.
Help Support a Water Resilient Future
As the year draws to a close, our country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we also continue to experience climate change and global warming.

The planet just recorded its hottest November, and 2020 may end up being the warmest year on record. This follows 2019, which was the second warmest year on record globally, concluding the hottest decade ever recorded.

The impacts of global warming and climate change are not only limited to higher temperatures, they also include changes in precipitation patterns, more frequent and extreme floods, droughts, and wildfires. Climate change necessitates a fundamental transformation in how we use and manage water.

That’s why I’m turning to you, as a Pacific Institute supporter, to ask for assistance. Your financial support helps to identify solutions that inform policymakers, hold water managers accountable, and lead to meaningful policy decisions to create a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable water future. Please make a year-end gift to the Pacific Institute today!
From the Blog: Pacific Institute Insights
Pacific Institute in the News
Circle of Blue: Will Water United Us?

Circle of Blue Op-Ed by Peter Gleick: Water Scarcity Will Increase Risk of Conflict, Says New National Intelligence Report

Read more news featuring Pacific Institute research and experts here.
Help create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.