Blog Archives

National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Diablo Canyon, Climate Change, Drought, and Energy Policy

  By Peter Gleick, President Emeritus and Chief Scientist June 24, 2016 The announcement that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will close the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant when its current operating licenses expire in 2025 has caused what can only be described as consternation mixed with occasional conniptions among the nuclear industry and some strongly

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Global Droughts: A Bad Year

By Peter Gleick, President April 27, 2016 Populations around the world face many severe water challenges, from scarcity to contamination, from political or violent conflict to economic disruption. As populations and economies grow, peak water pressures on existing renewable water resources also tend to grow up to the point that natural scarcity begins to constrain the options of

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Water, Security, and Conflict: Violence over Water in 2015

By Peter Gleick, President February 17, 2016 Since its founding in 1987, the Pacific Institute has worked to understand the links between water resources, environmental issues, and international security and conflict. This has included early analytical assessments (such as a 1987 Ambio paper  and this one from the journal Climatic Change) of the risks between climate change and

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Huffington Post: The Most Important Water Stories of 2015

By Peter Gleick, Brett Walton, and J. Carl Ganter February 4, 2016 Water was a Top Risk on the 2015 Global Agenda In early 2015, participants at the World Economic Forum, a who’s who of the political and business elite, ranked water crises as the top global risk. Water was also a key factor in the

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Breaking Water Taboos

National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Breaking Water Taboos By Peter Gleick October 26, 2015 The recent severe drought in the Western United States — and California in particular — has shined a spotlight on a range of water-management practices that are outdated, unsustainable, or inappropriate for a modern 21st century water system. Unless these bad practices are fixed,

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Impacts of the California Drought, Part 2: Net Agricultural Income

By Heather Cooley, Kristina Donnelly, and Peter Gleick September 3, 2015 Last week, the Pacific Institute published the first comprehensive analysis of the impacts of the drought on California crop revenue and agricultural employment through 2014. The study showed that during the recent drought California’s agriculture sector experienced record-high crop revenue and employment. Crop revenue peaked in

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: Impacts of the California Drought: Agriculture

By Peter Gleick, President and Heather Cooley, Water Program Director August 26, 2015 California is in a severe drought – four years long now. But what does the drought really mean for the things we care about: food production, fisheries, industrial activities, rural communities? As part of the work of the Pacific Institute to evaluate

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New Data Show California Cities’ Progress towards State-Mandated Conservation Requirements

by Kristina Donnelly, Research Associate August 4, 2015 In response to the Executive Order Governor Brown issued in April, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an emergency regulation requiring 25% savings in urban water use across the state, with a goal of saving 1.2 million acre-feet over a nine-month period. Each water supplier serving more than 3,000 connections

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: The Future of Desalination in California is Still in the Future: California, Israel, and Australia

By Peter Gleick, President June 10, 2015It’s only natural that during a crisis we look to single, “silver bullet” technical solutions, after all, they are supposed to be effective against werewolves, witches, and other monsters. For monsters like the ongoing severe California drought, the current favorite silver bullet is seawater desalination.  And why not? California sits

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: The California Drought: Almonds and the Bigger Picture

By Peter Gleick, President May 28, 2015 California is a wonderful place to grow food. The climate is highly favorable; soils are some of the best in the world, it is located well to serve global distribution markets with major ports and other transportation infrastructure; and normally, some regions are relatively well-watered. Normally.

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