Pacific Institute

Sneaky Bottled Water Advertising

Americans drink bottled water for many reasons, including fear of the tap water, convenience, taste, and relentless, pervasive advertising and marketing. Some of this advertising is blatant and obvious: ads on TV or in magazines for particular brands of bottled water, big billboards that blight every public sightline, and visible reminders in supermarkets and convenience stores, and ubiquitous vending machines.

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Time for a Drinking Water Fountain Renaissance

One of the reasons for the explosive growth in the sales of bottled water in the past two decades (the average American now drinks nearly 30 gallons of commercial bottled water per year, up from 1 gallon in 1980), is the disappearance of public drinking water fountains.

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What Singapore Can Teach Us About Water Security

Some of the most interesting water stories are coming out of Singapore -- an example of a place with serious water constraints and important political and economic incentives to address those constraints in a sustainable way. For years, Singapore has been buying water from its neighbor, Malaysia, to help satisfy the needs of around 4.5 million people. In a move with all sorts of political, economic, and environmental implications, the government of Singapore recently announced that it will not renew one of its two water agreements with its neighbor Malaysia under two water agreements, signed in the very early 1960s. This water comes at an economic cost, though a very small one -- the rate paid to Malaysia is very low. But it also comes with a political cost: their dependence on Malaysia for water constrains and affects their political relationships. In the past few years, Singapore has been working hard to diversify their water “portfolio.”

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Turf Wars

This story first appeared on SF Gate, you can read more here.

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Where To Find 1 Million Acre-feet of Water for California

This story first appeared on SFGate.com.

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Climate Change Is Heating Up Transboundary Conflicts Over Water

This story originally appeared in SF Gate.

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What the Frack? Poisoning our Water in the Name of Energy Profits

Here is your word for the day: Fracking or fraccing. [No, fellow Battlestar Galactica fans, this is a different use of the word "frack," although for some, the sentiment is the same.]

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Three Solutions to Our Water and Population Problems

In a previous post here, I raised the population and water issue in a general way. My point was that ignoring the population component of our resource challenges was a mistake, certainly in the long term and in some places, in the short term. I think this is indisputable — resource constraints are worse than they would otherwise be if populations are large and growing rapidly rather than small and growing slowly, or even shrinking.

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We Must Stop Ignoring the Role of Population in Our Water Problems

Population discussions raise lots of hackles. And they bring the crazies out of the woodwork like termites when the Orkin Man appears. But I hope to post a series of pieces on population and water because we must stop ignoring the role of population in our environmental and water problems.

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What Australia Can Teach Us About Water Efficiency

Regular readers of this blog know my feelings about the potential to improve the efficiency of our water use. Besides being cheaper and more environmentally beneficial than new supply options, efficiency improvements are easier to find. Our work at the Pacific Institute has repeatedly shown that the potential for improving efficiency is vast. Now, my colleague Michael Cohen of the Pacific Institute's Boulder, Colorado office has pointed out to me a new study from Queensland, Australia. This report highlights once again how far we, in the United States, have to go.

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