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Recommendations to Congress for Fundamental Changes in National Water Policy

On December 8, 2011, Pacific Institute President Dr. Peter Gleick testified in Washington, D.C. before the before the Subcommittee on Water and Power of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources -- Hearing on Opportunities and Challenges to Address Domestic and Global Water Supply Issues. Dr. Gleick testifed that a new 21st-Century Water Policy is needed in the face of new water challenges such as climate change, new pollutants, and decaying infrastructure, and presented recommendations for fundamental change.

-Read the testimony.
-Read the press release.

Gleick Addresses American Meteorological Society Climate Briefing: Extreme Weather Events Are Subject to Human Influence

On May 9, 2011, Pacific Institute President Dr. Peter Gleick briefed congressional staff and personnel from government agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the vulnerability of U.S. water resources to climate change.

"Extreme weather is influenced by climate change, and extreme weather events are now subject to human influence," said Gleick. "The continued delay in taking action means we face rapidly worsening impacts, and unavoidable adaptation. We are loading the dice and painting higher numbers on them."

Gleick addressed the critical impacts of climate change on water resources, including:
· A hotter world.
· Mixed changes in precipitation (both by region and time period).
· Dramatic reductions in snowfall and accelerating snowmelt; related changes in runoff timing.
· Rising sea-level with impacts on groundwater quality and coastal/delta ecosystems.
· Accelerating influence on extreme events: including floods and droughts.

Read more and access slides of full testimony.
Watch a video of Dr. Gleick's presentation.

Comments to Delta Stewardship Council on Water Efficiency and Conservation with a Focus on California’s Agricultural Sector

On April 15, 2011, Peter Gleick testified at the invitation of the Delta Stewardship Council (California). His testiomy states: There is broad agreement that no single strategy in the area of water storage, water efficiency, water pricing, or water policy will be sufficient to satisfy the goals of sustaining the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta’s ecosystems and vital water delivery systems. The proposed policy in the Second Staff Draft of the Delta Plan identifies mandatory key elements, including “water-use efficiency.” I support these, with the understanding that they must include both agricultural efficiency improvements and urban improvements, with explicit targets...

Read the full testimony.
Watch Dr. Gleick's testimony (Select April 15, 2011 Video, forward to minute 35:00; Questions and Answers at minute 45:45)

Climate Change is Happening Faster than Predicted; Both Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies are Crucial

On December 1, 2010, Peter Gleick testified in Washington, D.C. before the hearing of the Congressional Select Committee on Energy and Global Warming that there is growing evidence from the real world that climate changes are accelerating faster than originally feared and that impacts – already appearing – will be more widespread and severe than expected. This makes the arguments against taking actions against climate change not just wrong, but dangerous. Dr. Gleick testified that responsible action is needed to slow the rate of these changes and to reduce the ultimate cost to the U.S. economy and public health, which means that planning adaptation strategies now is crucial.

-Read the testimony.
-Read Peter Gleick's responses to additional questions from Minority Staff.
-Read the press release.

Water Efficiency and Conservation Can Save
One Million Acre Feet of Water Quickly and Cost-Effectively; 6-8 Million Acre Feet by 2020

On January 25, 2010, Peter Gleick testified in Los Angeles before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water and Power. The hearing, called by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), was intended to help California handle its water problems and determine how the federal government can assist. Gleick testified that Pacific Institute work on urban and agricultural water efficiency show that existing, cost-effective technologies and policies can reduce state demand for water by 6-8 million acre-feet, or around 20 percent, findings that have been adopted in the California Water Plan, and new work details effective solutions in conservation and efficiency that can save one million acre feet of water in the shorter term.

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Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture

On June 18, 2009, Heather Cooley testified on the impacts of climate change on agriculture before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Cooley discussed how precipitation and weather patterns will affect agriculture and what adaptation methods will be necessary to maintain a healthy agriculture sector in the U.S.

Read the testimony.

Water and Energy

On March 10, 2009, Dr. Peter H. Gleick testified before a packed hearing of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in support of a new bill that aims to integrate the relationship between water and energy use into national policy decisions. Gleick explained how water and energy are linked, how limits to the availability of both resources are beginning to affect one another, and how recognizing this link when developing national energy and water policies can lead to many substantial economic and environmental benefits.

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Integrated National Water Policy

On March 4, 2009, Dr. Peter H. Gleick testified before Congress in support of bill HR 1145. Introduced by Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (Tennessee), the bill provides for coordination of national research and development on water and efforts to ensure adequate water supplies in the future.

Read the testimony.

Climate Change and U.S. Water

On January 9, 2009, Dr. Peter H. Gleick, addressed legislators and staff from the House of Representatives and the Senate on “Climate Change: Intersections of Science and Policy” in two briefings sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Flaring Events at the Chevron Richmond Refinery

On July 15, 2008, Eli Moore provided public comment to the Richmond City Council about the quantity of flaring events at the Chevron Richmond refinery since 2003 during a hearing on the Draft Environment Impact Report of the Chevron Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project.

Download statement (PDF)

Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Water Resources

On July 10, 2008, Heather Cooley testified before the U.S. Congress Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on the rising risk of extreme weather-related events as a result of climatic changes and their impact on water resources, with a focus on the western United States.

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The Community Health and Justice Impacts of Port Trucking

On October 16, 2007, Swati Prakash testified on the community health and justice impacts of port trucking before the California Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment and Assembly Select Committee on Ports.

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The Bay-Delta Crisis and the
Implications for California Water Management

On July 2, 2007 Heather Cooley testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Water and Power regarding the role that conservation and efficiency can play in restoring the health of California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Download testimony (PDF)

Critical Impacts of Climate Change to
Calif. Water Resources and Coastal Systems

At a hearing on the California Air Resources Board Request for a Waiver of Preemption, Peter Gleick testified before the California Environmental Protection Agency on May 30, 2007 regarding the impacts of climate change on California's water resouces and coastal systems.

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Incorporating Climate Change
Into Water Resource Decisions

On February 20, 2007 Peter Gleick testified before the California Assembly Committee on Water, Parks & Wildlife at the informational hearing, "Climate Change and Water Resources." Gleick summarized four questions related to climate change and water resources:

  1. What has been done to deal with water-related risks of climate-change?
  2. What has not been done?
  3. What should not be done?
  4. What should be done?

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Washington’s Attacks on Science “Pervasive”

Testimony submitted February 7, 2007.

Political distortions of the scientific process have undergone a dramatic rise in Washington over the past six years, according to the Senate testimony of Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute. Gleick’s testimony was provided to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Climate Change Research and Science Integrity Wednesday. Misuse of science and attacks on scientists, Gleick finds, have been pervasive and categorical.

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Gleick Addresses Congressional Committee
On Security Risks of Climate Change

"It is widely acknowledged that the dependence of the U.S. on imported energy resources can lead to economic pressures and tensions or as triggers to conflict when other pressures and tensions exist between nations. Less appreciated is the extent to which the environmental impacts of energy use can lead to international security threats, especially when those impacts are as severe and wide-ranging as climate change."

On May 16, 2006, Peter Gleick addressed Congress at a hearing entitled "Energy as a Weapon: Implications for U.S. Security."

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Assemblyman Nation Invites Gleick to
Climate Change Town Hall Meeting

"The risks to (California’s) water are real; and the state and federal agencies looking at our water problems need to do a better job of addressing them. Climate change is a complicated and difficult issue, but not nearly as complicated as some think. Let me offer you a summary of the major concerns for California’s water resources ..."

On March 10, 2006, Peter Gleick addressed a Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change called by Assemblyman Joe Nation.

Download testimony (PDF)

US EPA Hearing on Particulate Matter

Testimony delivered March 8, 2006

"Our West Oakland diesel study found that some West Oakland residents are exposed to about five times more diesel particulates than residents in other parts of Oakland. This is
also a community where asthma is epidemic: children in West Oakland are seven times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than the average child in California."

Pacific Institute Program Associate Emily Lee testified on National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter.

Download testimony (PDF)

Dam It, Not Now:
Governor Schwarzenegger’s Water Bond Proposal

Testimony delivered February 14, 2006

"As California’s population and economy grow, there is mounting concern about our ability to meet future water demand. The traditional approach to meeting this demand has been to develop new supply by building pipelines, dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts to capture, store, and move water from one place or season to another. While this approach has brought tremendous benefits to this state, it has also brought serious and unexpected costs. There is another way: improving the efficiency with which we use water is the cheapest, easiest, and least destructive way to meet California’s current and future water supply needs."

Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick testified before the California State Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on the topic of Governor Schwarzenegger's water bond proposal and statewide water management.

Download testimony (PDF).

Institute Testifies on State Water Planning and Conservation Need before the California Assembly Select Committee on Growth and Infrastructure

Testimony delivered October 19, 2005

"As California’s population and economy grow, there is mounting concern about our ability to meet future water demand. The traditional approach to meeting this demand has been to develop new infrastructure. While this approach has brought tremendous benefits to this state, there are serious inadequacies that a broader approach may help resolve."

Pacific Institute's Heather Cooley testifies about the fiscal, social, and environmental benefits of water-use efficiency and conservation in order to meet California’s current and future water supply needs.

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Gleick Testifies on Impact of Climate Change on California's Water Future

"There are things we should be doing right now. California water planners have not adequately addressed this issue, at the federal, state, or local levels. In particular, the Department of Water Resources has not addressed this issue adequately, nor has CALFED."

On August 11, 2005 Peter Gleick testified before the California Assembly Select Committee on Air and Water Quality.

Download testimony (PDF)

Institute Testifies on Water Issues to Joint Session of California Legislature

Testimony delivered on March 2, 2005

Water is critical for all we do. It is vital for human and ecosystem health, the production of energy and food, industrial and commercial activities, and maintaining healthy and vibrant communities.

In "Water for our Future," Dr. Peter H. Gleick details the bad news regarding California's water, lays out water myths and taboos, and ends with good news and recommendations. This testimony was presented on March 2 to a Joint Hearing of the California Senate and Assembly Committees on "The State of California's Environment: Obstacles and Opportunities" in Sacramento, California.

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Gleick to U.S. Congress: Water Efficiency is the WayWater Efficiency, Conservation are Greatest Untapped Sources of Water in U.S.

Testimony delivered on June 4, 2003

Water conservation and efficiency are the greatest untapped sources of water in this nation -- cheaper, cleaner, and more politically acceptable than any other alternative. That was the central message of testimony given today by Dr. Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, to the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Read June Testimony
Download June Testimony (PDF)

Institute Testifies on Need for National Water Commission
National Water Commission Needed to Head New Effort to Ease U.S., Global Water Crisis

Testimony delivered on April 1, 2003

The United States should establish a National Water Commission for the 21st Century to direct an aggressive new effort to protect our national water resources and to advise the country on how to best to participate in addressing the global water crisis. The Pacific Institute called for the creation of a National Water Commission on March 11, 2003 and Dr. Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, spoke to its importance in testimony he made to the Subcommittee on Water and Power of the U.S. House of Representatives on April 1. Dr. Gleick also addressed the benefits and flaws of House bill H.R. 135, which seeks to establish a National Water Commission.

Read April Testimony
Download April Testimony (PDF)
National Water Commission Information Page

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California Water 2030

Water for California's Future (PDF)

Gleick to U.S. Congress: Water Efficiency is the Way