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“Cool Clear Water” Series:
Pacific Institute Highlights

Among the 24 programs associated with Cool Clear Water, five programs will highlight the work of the Pacific Institute's researchers and our affiliates. These programs will be held at The Club offices located at 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor in San Francisco (map). To reserve tickets, go to

Thursday, August 2

Fresh Water in the 21st Century
Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
Gil Garcetti, Photographer

Peter Gleick
Gil Garcetti

Peter Gleick, co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute, will discuss the threats and solutions to the world’s – and California’s – water challenges. The evening will also feature the water-related photography of Gil Garcetti from his new book Water Is Key.

5:15 p.m. reception/viewing of photographs, 6 p.m. program
members free, $8 non-members
Reserve Tickets

Thursday, August 9

Colonial History and India’s Water Woes
Meena Palaniappan, Pacific Institute

Meena Palaniappan

While Londoners celebrate the rebirth of the Thames River and seals return to Boston Harbor, urban waterways in many developing countries are open sewers. Contaminated water causes more than 80% of disease and one third of all deaths in the developing world. Frustrated by conditions she observed during her work as an engineer in India, Meena Palaniappan examines the history that led to the vastly different sanitation conditions in Third World and Euro-American cities.

5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. program
members free, $8 non-members
Reserve Tickets

Wednesday, August 15

The Nexus of Water, Energy and Climate
Heather Cooley, Pacific Institute

What impact will climate change -- in the form of altered precipitation patterns, rising sea level, and hotter temperatures -- have on California's water resources? How does our water use relate to our greenhouse gas emissions? And what is the role of efficiency in addressing the above? Institute Senior Associate Heather Cooley will tackle these topics, and more.

11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program
members free, $8 non-members
Reserve Tickets

Tuesday, August 21

The Future of the Salton Sea
Michael Cohen (Pacific Institute), Rick Daniels, Dale Hoffman-Floerke

Michael Cohen

California's Salton Sea covers an astonishing 360 miles, yet without a restoration project, it will transform from California’s largest lake into an economic, health, and environmental hazard. On its current path, the Sea’s surface elevation will drop by more than five feet in just the next 12 years. Within the next 30 years it will lose 40% of its surface areas. What will these changes mean for the more than 400 species of migratory birds that visit the sea each year? What would the exposed salty earth mean for local residents? Panelists will address steps California can take to address this impending hazard.

5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. program,
members free, $8 non-members
Reserve Tickets

Thursday, August 30

The Struggle for Water Justice
Whitney Dotson, Mark Franco, Laurel Firestone, Amy Vanderwarker (Environmental Justice Coalition for Water)


The Struggle for Water Justice will explore the struggle to gain access to safe, clean, affordable water among low-income communities and communities of color throughout California. Many low-income communities and communities of color drink contaminated water from their taps, have their tribal culture and traditions severely impacted because of water development, or are unable to participate in decisions around their local water resources. The panel will provide the context for ‘water justice’ in California, discussing the intersection of environmental justice and water issues in statewide water management policy and will feature several community activists and organizers who are struggling in different ways to secure access to safe, clean, affordable water for their communities.

5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. program,
members free, $12 non-members
Reserve Tickets

For more information on individual programs and to reserve tickets, go to


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Cool Clear Water


Ian Hart
Pacific Institute
510-251-1600x106 or contact via email.

Riki Rafner,
Commonwealth Club


Schedule of Events

Printable Cool Clear Water schedule (PDF)

Commonwealth Club press release (PDF)

Commonwealth Club calendar and ticket reservation