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Peter H. Gleick
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Dr. Peter H. Gleick is co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California. He is a hydroclimatologist by training, with a B.S. from Yale University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley from the Energy and Resources Group. His research and writing address the critical connections between water and human health, the hydrological impacts of climate change, sustainable water use, privatization and globalization, and international conflicts over water resources.

Dr. Gleick is an internationally recognized water expert and was named a MacArthur Fellow in October 2003 for his work. In 2001, Gleick was dubbed a "visionary on the environment" by the British Broadcasting Corporation. In 2006 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. In 2011, he and his Pacific Institute were awarded The U.S. Water Prize.

Gleick serves on the boards of numerous journals and organizations, and is the author of many scientific papers and 10 books, including the biennial water report, "The World's Water," "Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water," published by Island Press (Washington, D.C.), and his latest, "A 21st Century U.S. Water Policy" (Oxford University Press, NY).

Entries by Peter H. Gleick

The New UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Fresh Water

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 5:43 PM

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For 15 years, the world community has worked to achieve a comprehensive set of goals and targets called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - launched in 2000 to tackle poverty, economic and environment inequity, and strategies for effective development. The MDGs concluded this...

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The Climate Question That Should Be Asked in the Upcoming Presidential Debates

(210) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 12:54 PM

Given the seriousness of the global climate change threat, the tremendously strong scientific consensus about it, and the critical role that the United States must play in any international agreements about national and global responses, it is vital to know how the next President would address this issue.

As...

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The Power and Potential of Improving Water Efficiency: CaliforniaToilets

(8) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 11:00 PM

By Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley (Pacific Institute)

Debates about water in California, the western U.S., and indeed, worldwide, have traditionally focused on the question of how best to further expand water supply to meet some hypothetical future increase in water demand. And the solution frequently offered is...

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Laudato Si' and Water: The Vatican's Encyclical Letter and Global Water Challenges

(4) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 10:32 AM

The official text of the much-anticipated Vatican's Encyclical Letter, "Laudato Si'" ("On Care for our Common Home") was released today. While considerable attention is being devoted to the sections of Pope Francis's new Encyclical related to the threats of climate change, the letter also tackles many other environmental...

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The New U.S. EPA Clean Water Act Rules

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 8:34 PM

On Wednesday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued -- after many years of debate, analysis, court rulings and new science -- final rules on what constitutes "waters of the United States" that are eligible for protection under the national Clean Water Act. The new rules are...

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Where Does California's Agricultural Water Go?

(12) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 2:17 PM

Water plays a vital role in California's agricultural sector, using 80 percent of the water used by humans in the state. In recent months, water challenges imposed by the current severe drought have brought this agricultural water use into the limelight, raising new questions about how the water is used....

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Flooding Google: Google's New Headquarters and the Threat of Sea-Level Rise

(3) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 6:39 PM

Google has just released a video and story about plans for a new "futuristic" headquarters at their Mountain View, California location. As described in an article in the Guardian, Googlers can look forward to "woodland glades and wildflower meadows, next to trickling streams and verdant allotments,...

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The 10 Most Important Water Stories in 2014

(5) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 12:47 PM

Peter Gleick (Pacific Institute) and Carl Ganter (Circle of Blue)

1. The California Drought Becomes an Emergency
California's multi-year drought grew dire enough in 2014 to prompt Governor Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency in January. By the end of...

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Peak Water: United States Water Use Drops to Lowest Level in 40 Years

(8) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 11:41 AM

The most important trend in the use of water is the slowly unfolding story of peak water in the United States and elsewhere. Data on US water use are compiled every five years by the US Geological Survey, covering every state and every sector of the economy. The...

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The California Water Bond is a Beginning, Not an End: Here's What's Next

(7) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 6:54 AM

by Peter Gleick, Kristina Donnelly, Heather Cooley

California voters have approved Proposition 1 - the 2014 California Water Bond. The ultimate value and effectiveness of the bond will depend on how it is implemented and how the funds are spent. Here are some key issues to watch, things to understand...

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What Does Proposition 1 -- the 2014 California Water Bond -- Really Say?

(4) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 12:04 PM

On November 4, California voters will decide the fate of Proposition 1 -- the 2014 Water Bond -- which authorizes the sale of $7.12 billion in new general obligation bonds and the reallocation of an additional $425 million of previously authorized, but unissued, bonds.

Do you live in California and...

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When Our Responses to Drought Make Things Worse

(8) Comments | Posted October 18, 2014 | 11:17 AM

In a new study just published by the journal Sustainability Science (Springer), analysis from the Pacific Institute shows that many of the fundamental responses of California water users to severe drought actually make the state's overall water conditions worse -- that in the end, many of...

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Our Disappearing Snows: Climate Change and Water Resources

(5) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 3:58 PM

As the Earth has warmed over the past 30 years, the global water cycle has begun to change. In particular, our snows have begun to disappear. The implications for the water systems we've built and operate are vast and pervasive. And despite decades of research, observations, and outreach to water...

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'What If? - A Review of Randall Munroe's New Book

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2014 | 2:53 PM

One night, years ago, when I was complaining (again) at dinner about having to spend so much time on the inter-tubes responding to trolls disputing the science of climate change, one of my sons wordlessly got up from the table, walked out of the room, and a couple of minutes...

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Solving California's Water Problems

(11) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 1:06 PM

For over 150 years, Californians have argued, litigated, yelled, and otherwise fought over water. California is a big state -- we have redwood forests, desert regions, mountains, coasts, rich agricultural lands, amazing natural ecosystems. And overall, we have a pretty good amount of water.

The problems with California's water are...

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Will New Climate Regulations Destroy the Economy? (Hint: No.)

(9) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 11:48 AM

No. On the contrary, they might just save it by helping stimulate new technologies and industries and by reducing the risks of climate disruption.

There is a long history of claims that new rules to protect the environment or human health will seriously harm the United States economy. These claims...

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Water and Conflict in Syria

(4) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 1:19 PM

Drought, Water and Agricultural Management, and Climatic Conditions as Factors in the Syrian Conflict

Starting in 2006 and lasting through 2011, Syria suffered the worst long-term drought and the most severe set of crop failures in recorded history. In a new research paper, I've looked at the role of regional...

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The Risks to U.S. Water Resources From Climate Change

(2) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 11:11 PM

Water and Climate Change: Snapshots from the New National Climate Assessment

After three years of intensive effort, research, writing, and review by hundreds of climate scientists, the latest update of the U.S. National Climate Assessment was released today. It includes many long, carefully prepared sectoral and regional studies,...

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Throwing Away Good Water

(34) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 8:55 AM

[Heads up for the overly sensitive: I'm going to talk about pee, piss, taking a leak, and other euphemisms for urine and urination. But hey, you all do it.]

Man urinates in reservoir, "ruins" 38M gallons of water.
That was the headline in an article in...

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The State of Our Water: World Water Day 2014

(3) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Welcome to World Water Day 2014.

As I said last year, I think every day should be World Water Day, not just March 22nd, but hey, those of us who work on water take what opportunities we can to get the word out. Here are some thoughts...

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