Entries by Dr. Peter Gleick

Peter Gleick: Mining California Groundwater – The Cadiz Project

A private company, Cadiz Inc. (Cadiz), has revived plans to mine groundwater underlying land in the delicate Eastern Mojave Desert. This project revives fundamental questions about how we manage our precious water resources, and in particular, whether in the 21st century it is appropriate, or even necessary, to use renewable water resources in a nonrenewable and unsustainable way, for short-term profit.

Peter Gleick: Climate Change, Disbelief, and the Collision between Human and Geologic Time

Geologic time scales are long – too long for the human mind to really comprehend. Over millions, and tens of millions, and hundreds of millions of years, the Earth has changed from something unrecognizable to the planet we see on maps, plastic globes, and photos from space.

Peter Gleick: Zombie Water Projects (Just when you thought they were really dead…)

Not all zombies are fictional, and some are potentially really dangerous – at least to our pocketbooks and environment. These include zombie water projects: large, costly water projects that are proposed, killed for one reason or another, and are brought back to life, even if the project itself is socially, politically, economically, and environmentally unjustified.

Peter Gleick: Energy, Water, and Climate Change in the Western U.S.

A new analysis from the Pacific Institute evaluates the water needs for different energy futures and identifies a growing risk of conflicts between electricity production and water availability in the U.S. Intermountain West. The new report also identifies strategies to ensure the long-term sustainable use of both resources, especially given the realities of climate change. […]

Peter Gleick: Why Spend Public Money for Private Bottled Water?

When I go to water meetings, there are serious scientific discussions about climate impacts on water systems, international conflicts over water, water quality and contamination threats, new technologies and strategies for providing basic water and sanitation for the world’s poor, and much more. But in the hallways between meetings and sessions, the real arguments are about the conflicts between public and private control and management of water.

Peter Gleick: Water Emergencies — Time for New Plans and Technology

The world faces a wide range of serious, complex, and long-term water challenges, from shortages to contamination to local and regional disputes over water to long-term climate changes. But there are other challenges that are short-term, emergency situations that could also be addressed by some new thinking and new technology.

Peter Gleick: Is the U.S. Reaching Peak Water?

Adequate, high-quality freshwater is fundamental for health, growing food, natural ecosystems, and a productive U.S. economy including the production of energy and all vital goods and services. But as populations and economies grow, new constraints on water resources are appearing, raising questions about ultimate limits to water availability.