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Kilimanjaro – home to a great example of water stewardship in action

And the highest mountain in Africa  Hannah Baleta  In Tanzania, between Moshi and Arusha, you come across a small town called Usa River, which is situated on the banks of its namesake: the Usa River, a tributary of the Kikuletwa and then eventually Pangani River. This region is a tourist-magnet due to its proximity to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Usa River in particular lies on the slopes of Mount Meru, a lesser known but equally beautiful dormant volcano.   My recent trip…

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National Geographic ScienceBlogs: From Scientists to Policymakers: Communicating on Climate, Scientific Integrity, and More

By Peter Gleick, President Emeritus and Chief Scientist December 2016 Among the different professional categories, scientists and engineers remain very highly respected by the public, at least compared to politicians, business leaders, the media, and even religious authorities. Part of this is due to the fact that success in the scientific enterprise depends on impartial analysis and independence from political ideology. And yet there are strong connections between science and policy: good policy without good science is difficult; good policy with…

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National Geographic Presents: Water Scarcity

By Peter Gleick, President Emeritus and Chief Scientist October 2016 The reality of climate change, driven by the fossil-fuel industrialization of the planet, is upon us. Scientists have known for decades of this risk and have, with increasing urgency, tried to alert the public and policy makers about the threat and the opportunities to reduce that threat, to little avail. And now, we must live with unavoidable consequences, even as we continue to work to reduce the emissions of climate-changing…

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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 pro-nuclear groups. That’s understandable. Diablo Canyon is aging, but is not the oldest nuclear plant in the fleet and PG&E could have chosen to push…

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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 water planners and managers. At this point, the effects of natural fluctuations in water availability in the form of extreme weather events become even more…

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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 security through changes in access to Arctic resources, food production, and water resources, as well as the ongoing Water Conflict Chronology – an on-line database, mapping system,…

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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 adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a blueprint for international development over the next 15 years. Ensuring safe…

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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, no amount of rain will be enough to set things right. Just as bad, talking about many of these bad practices has been taboo for…

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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 2013 at $33.8 billion, the highest level in California history, and declined only slightly to $33.4 billion in 2014 (all economic data have been corrected…

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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 both the impacts of water problems and identify smart solutions, we’ve just released the first comprehensive assessment of the actual impacts of the drought for California…

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About

Californiadrought.org is a project of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, one of the world’s leading independent nonprofits researching and finding solutions to freshwater issues.

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