January 2021
A Look Back at 2020
The past year was 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 that has spread across the globe, 2020 has shown us how far we still have to go. These events have greatly informed and energized our efforts to advance water resilience in the face of a changing climate. We have made great strides in advancing our areas of focus: Vulnerable Communities, Nature-Based Solutions, and Water Efficiency and Reuse. 2020 was a prolific year as well: we released 26 publications, a 150 percent increase from the previous year. And we strengthened our collaborative partnerships, including launching an ambitious global initiative to advance water resilience. 

Read our 2020 Annual Review here.
New Study: Is Food Irrigated with Oilfield-Produced Water in the California Central Valley Safe to Eat?

In California, drought and a reduction in natural water availability in recent decades have led to a search for alternative water sources for agriculture. One controversial potential source is produced water, a byproduct of oil extraction. This peer‐reviewed study, produced by researchers at Duke University, RTI International, California State University-Bakersfield, and the Pacific Institute, evaluates how trace metals from inorganic compounds in produced water used to irrigate California crops may affect human health. The study finds increased risk for vegetarians eating more of the irrigated foods.

Blog Post: Q&A: Water Recommendations for the Next Administration
Water challenges in the U.S. are severe and worsening. In this blog post, we answer questions on topics ranging from the nation’s outdated infrastructure to the threat to national security from rising international conflict over water.

New Report: The Role of Onsite Water Systems in Advancing Water Resilience in Silicon Valley

Onsite water systems collect, treat, and reuse water from sinks, showers, laundry, toilets, and cooling towers for toilet flushing and outdoor irrigation. A new report from the Pacific Institute examines the opportunity for water systems located onsite in California’s Silicon Valley to effectively support community resilience. It finds that onsite water and wastewater systems can foster resilience when they are thoughtfully integrated into the broader existing water network.

Read more and download the report here. Read the blog post "What Role Should Onsite Water Reuse Play in Silicon Valley Water?" here.
Update from the CEO Water Mandate: Volumetric Water Benefit Accounting (VWBA): A Practical Guide to Implementing Water Replenishment Targets
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. 
This recently released guide assists practitioners with the application of the volumetric water benefit accounting method to meet corporate and/or site water replenishment targets. The guide offers support for how to map shared water challenges, estimate the cost of meeting a water replenishment target, develop an implementation roadmap, and more.

Learn more here.
Blog Post: The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Continued Toll on Drinking Water Systems and Their Customers
Water systems across the U.S. are facing budget shortfalls as a result of the pandemic and need assistance. For small water systems, total budget shortfalls are estimated to be $4 to $6 billion USD, primarily caused by decreased demand, delayed payments, and additional costs for protective equipment and sick time. This blog post explores the compounding crises of water system revenue loss and customer debt due to the pandemic, and outlines both immediate and longer-term solutions that could address these challenges.

Read the blog post here.
Thank You for Supporting a Water Resilient Future
On behalf of everyone at the Pacific Institute, thank you for your support in 2020. We are inspired by your generosity to help create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. We greatly appreciate your investment in all our work at the Pacific Institute. Thank you for your passion, your leadership, and your support for a water resilient future.
From the Blog: Pacific Institute Insights
Pacific Institute in the News
Los Angeles Times: Column: Wall Street Can Now Bet on the Price of California Water. Watch Out.

NBC Bay Area: Water Bill Debt Soars During Pandemic, Prompting Fears of Future Shutoffs

CBS SF Bay Area: Bay Area Reservoirs Get Much-Needed Rain To Boost Low Winter Rainfall Totals

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