July 2020
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Risks and Opportunities
The Pacific Institute is committed to providing data, analysis, and recommendations for addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19. In May 2020, we launched a Water and Pandemic Task Force to provide timely and useful analysis and recommendations about the links between water, human health, the coronavirus, 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.

Learn more about the Water and Pandemic Task Force and our work on COVID-19 here .

As part of the task force, we released a series of Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic issue briefs and fact sheets:
Issue Brief: Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts on Municipal Water Demand
This Issue Brief provides an early assessment of some of the critical impacts of the pandemic on municipal water demand, and includes recommendations to mitigate these effects. It finds that the pandemic has led to changes in water demand, with effects on utility expenditures and revenue, customer bills, building water quality, and operational conditions. Small utilities are especially vulnerable, as they have a smaller customer base to absorb any revenue losses and fewer operators.

Learn more here .

Issue Brief: Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Equity Dimensions of Utility Disconnections in the U.S.
This Issue Brief explores differences in utility disconnections due to non-payment in the U.S. across income, race, and housing type. It finds that Black, Native American, and mixed-race households are disproportionately impacted by utility disconnections compared to other races in the U.S., and includes recommendations to address gaps in data collection that will help inform effective and equitable policy, program design, and implementation.

Learn more here .
Issue Brief: A Business Framework for Water & COVID-19: Practical Actions to Contain the Pandemic
The business community has a key role to play in responding to COVID-19, rebuilding the economy, and preventing and mitigating future shock events — both broadly, and specifically in relation to water and handwashing. This Issue Brief, produced with the contribution and expertise of global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) NGO WaterAid, provides guidance for companies to take action on the water- and handwashing-related aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more here .
Issue Brief: Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ensuring Access to Water as Shutoff Moratoriums Lift
As water shutoff moratoriums lift, we need strategies to ensure water access is maintained if we hope to continue to protect vulnerable people and communities. This Issue Brief explores practical approaches water utilities and state and federal government can take to maximize water access while preserving utility revenue and preventing excessive debt accumulation.

Learn more here .
Fact Sheet: Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Reopening Buildings After Shutdowns: Reducing Water-Related Health Risks
As society begins to slowly reemerge from quarantine, stay-at-home orders, and business shutdowns during the pandemic, attention must be paid to unexpected, unknown, and often-ignored risks. In this Fact Sheet, the Pacific Institute provides information on how to avert risks associated with stagnant water, including bacteria such as  Legionella and heavy metals such as lead, with practices like flushing plumbing systems and heating water to a minimum temperature.

Learn more here .
Case Studies: Setting Corporate Water Targets Informed by River Basin Context in Southern India and South Africa
The variety of water challenges companies face — from water governance issues to extreme events like drought — manifest in the river basins where they operate. Therefore, setting meaningful targets requires companies to take the local context of their operations into consideration. These new case studies from the CEO Water Mandate , which the Pacific Institute serves as Co-Secretariat for, explore the use of contextual corporate water targets in important river basins in South Africa and Southern India.

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 .

Learn more about this project here .
Blog Post: What Can We Learn from Setting Site Water Targets in South Africa and India?
By Sonali Abraham, Research Associate
In this blog post, Ms. Abraham explores lessons learned from site-level corporate water target pilot tests in South Africa and Southern India.

Key lessons learned include:
  • Data is king;
  • Climate change and governance are common threads that touch every water challenge; and
  • Collective action saves resources and scales impact.

Read more here .
Upcoming Webinar: Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Tomorrow Wednesday July 29th, join the Pacific Institute for a special webinar, Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic , to hear key findings and important recommendations from recent research. “This work underscores the importance of considering equity when evaluating the pandemic’s effects on communities, and the urgent need to bolster water resilience in response to a more variable and uncertain future," says Heather Cooley, Director of Research at the Pacific Institute. 

Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: July 29, 1:00-2:00pm PT. Register now to reserve your space.

View the complete list of upcoming Pacific Institute webinars here .
Update from the CEO Water Mandate:  A Business Framework for Water & COVID-19
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. 
The CEO Water Mandate has launched A Business Framework for Water & COVID-19 , a new web-based resource that helps companies take action on the water- and handwashing-related aspects of the global pandemic. This new resource: 
  • Articulates the connections between water, COVID-19, and business; 
  • Offers a practical framework on the actions companies can take; and 
  • Connects businesses to capacity-building resources and practical examples.

View the resource he re .
Video: The World After Coronavirus: The Future of Water
"Water is tied to everything we care about, and the more we figure out how to move toward more sustainable management and use of water resources, the more likely we are to solve not just water problems, but energy problems, poverty problems, conflict problems, and economic problems," explains Dr. Peter Gleick, President Emeritus of the Pacific Institute, in this interview with Professor Adil Najam of the Pardee School of Global Studies.

Watch the interview here .
Meet Our Intern: Sasha Lishansky
Sasha joined the Pacific Institute this summer to help with the Water Action Hub , a project of the CEO Water Mandate. The Water Action Hub aims to raise awareness, catalyze collaboration, and scale critical lessons on water sustainability around the world. Through her work at the Pacific Institute, Sasha says she looks forward to deepening her understanding of the challenges and opportunities of engaging the private sector in water stewardship.

Learn more about Sasha here .
From the Blog: Pacific Institute Insights
Pacific Institute in the News
Green Sense Radio: Water Usage Reduction During COVID-19

South China Morning Post : Global Warming and Illegal Land Reclamation Add to Severe Floods in China

The Desert Sun : Imperial Irrigation District Seeks Salton Sea Consideration in Lawsuit Over Colorado River Water

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