Climate in the Boardroom

Kevin: Hello everyone, this is Kevin Klowden, I’m the Managing Director of California Center Milken Institute, this breakout discussion will be focusing on Climate in the Boardroom, how businesses should respond. We have the pleasure of having not one but two different experts who can provide the perspective on how businesses should respond to climate change, issues of drought and what should be done both in a short and long term function. I would like to go ahead and turn the conversation to Matts Eriksson , Director of Climate Change and Water of Stockholm from International Water Institute. First and foremost, will be talking about taking climate change into adapting to drought. What are the key factors that businesses need to understand when they are making that adaptation both not only from a short term perspective but in terms of long terms prospects? Where should they be directing their energies?

Matts: Well, if you are part of a business entity, you often have a pretty strong economical agenda… business agenda that you need to make money on your business and as [00:28:06.00] that energy efficiency and water efficiency goes close to hand in hand then and there are actually money to be saved if you can improve your efficiency, that’s something that should be in the board room and we when discuss..if you use energy for your production system, how is it being used and where can you make improvements? This is something seriously involved with something called Swedish textile industry or initiative, where major Swedish textile companies are looking through their production change, most of them are based in Asia and see how improvements can be made and there’s a lot of money to be saved also, thank you.

Kevin: Next question we’d like to direct to Lindsay Bass whose Manager of Corporate Water Stewardship for World Wildlife Fund. We talked about the boarder room that is something specifically brought up in your presentation is that, how do business leaders think of the water scarcity, I mean how is how is coming to mind having a boardroom discussion? How is it brought up and what kind of reactions do they have?

Lindsay: Well, I think that’s right on head in terms of generally this is brought to their attention when it’s having an impact on the bottomline. And for some period of time that caused water to, you know, be a bit invisible in sustainability agenda because of price in most places in the world. However, what they were saying is water rise up because it’s be getting to become much more visible as water prices increase around the world to better reflect scarcity the different reality and paradigms that we’re dealing with around water right now, which is seeing with the impacts of climate change becoming more evident, more streams in the system, so CEO’s and Senior Leaders at multinational corporations around the world are seeing more of their operations [00:30:34.01] to critical drought which can have severe impacts on getting access to the raw materials needed to make their products as well as the opposite side out which is too much water so flooding impacts can be hugely distraction to business operations. You know, we’ve had recent flooding in the Southwest in Texas, a few years ago in Thailand that can be incredibly harmful to a number of business sectors, our industry was incredibly impact in the Thailand flooding, so with those types of impacts, risk is becoming a more relevant concern which CEOs are beginning to see water. Now the other element of that is this issue of assets, so, you know, companies maybe doing everything right within their operations but if they’re not paying attention to whether or not water is effectively managed, you know, where those operation resided? They can begin to deal with perfection issues, you know, they’re the ones that have water yet, you know, communities around them do not, then they may lose their special license to operate and then lost investments in leading the world could, you know, become stranded in the fact and also being able to secure water allocations for new plant locations, that can also be the challenge, so there’s a number of issues and we know how much riding in the boardroom is increasing and I think that was definitely in the positive year in the World Economic Forum progress report.

Kevin: Understood, one thing that need to be bring up in terms of the issue of the mitigating risk in taking steps to plan in advance. Matts is there anything that the companies could do from the infrastructure planning standpoint to help them hedge against the risks being created by the redistribution of water, water being too little or too much and, you know, what could we be doing right now to start addressing some of those concerns?

Matts: So, If I understand your concern some kind of the infrastructure investments or changes?

Kevin: What could businesses do, do they need to do infrastructure investments, do they need to get a work with a public sector or what could they do to both be socially responsible as well as protect their bottomline?

Matts: Well, I mean let me take one example from the Himalayas, I mean Himalayas is maybe have more hard power potential per capita than any other place on this planet. Their massive rivers with the potential of very, very high energy and very little of this is actually being tapped at the moment because of various difficulties to both political and technical sector but companies here are planning for is to how to… I mean there are a lot of plans in the pipeline that must be realized in the near future if that political setting is right as well, but in the light of climate change there a lot of new risks that these companies still need to take you to count before, one thing is for instance, the reduction of the residual glaziers in the high of the which so believing a lake behind this lake is in front of the glazier behind a very unstable Moraine Ridge and there’s quite a risk that this lake is bursting it’s unstable Moraine Dam and cause a lot of destruction downstream. If you want to put up a hydropower company or downstream, this might be something that is really tricky thing to take into account so that’s maybe an extreme example that you need to know than soft stream of your the new infrastructure putting into place. But even the magnitude of the water discharge which varies a lot more as climate is changing needs to be taken into account and it’s very tricky to make prognosis for how to build a new infrastructure. So this is a tricky problem that is coming to climate change and it’s causing your real problems this case to hydropower sector so there’s a risk here, risk analysis has to be made in, it has to be turned into some real action. I don’t have a clear straight forward answer, this is like a problem called place that can analyze how difficult to move in a new climate.

Kevin: Thank you. To Lindsay, you work as a member of different corporate board, what kind of examples to have in terms of best practices or best efforts that are being taken right now by various corporations around the world?

Lindsay: Well, there’s a lot really great examples and I think projects out there that can serve as inspiration for others that are wanting to get engagement space and having some difficulties taking the initial steps. We do a lot of work with the Coca-Cola Company and certainly there’s a lot of great examples coming out of Coke around water stewardship. Just last week, we were in the Indian Valley up in the Sierra Headquarters in Utah and we’ll looking at some meadow high up high meadow high uphill restoration work that company is investing in conjunction with the forest service and that meadow restoration is an investment in natural capital and protecting and increasing the headwater areas ability to soak up and retain more water that could then be released through the drier months of the year and historically these areas where degraded by overpricing and poor man practices and that holding capacity of those headwaters had decrease significantly and in investing in this areas the company along with government agencies is really building the natural capital of these headwaters which feed the bay area, many things within the bay area. Building that camp the national capital so that the storage capacity is for crater and that’s, you know, not only a benefit to taking advantage of natural forest ecosystems and that storage ecosystems service but it also a really smart climate adaptive strategy because if you store water in a dam you get a tremendous of evaporation on the top, you store it in the landscape and these big alpine meadows that’s one of the stored in the ground and can be fully released, so as we see what climate impacts decreasing our ability to really leverage landscape or things like that can be powerful, so that just one example but I think it’s a really powerful one and something that more and more companies are looking at and wanting to invest in the top of source water protection that can help them secure, you know, their own allocations and also the water allocations of others in that watershed.

Kevin: Great, if you happen to be very heavily involved in the water industry attention in California has to support or mineral water distributors in the country or the level of the world. If your company that is dealing with the possession that you’re moving water around perhaps in places that has… from places that has less water to places with more water. How do you address those kind of issues, it sounds like Coca-Cola is closely taking some significance steps to be involved in watershed protection and restoration, what other steps can you take from a positive perception standpoint to address people’s concern?

Lindsay: Well, I think in these days of, you know, transparency of disclosure is huge, helping communities or the society understand how you are since you are in grade four, so I think it’s job number one and so that means that your first order business is get your own on order and make sure that you are really utilizing every drop and being smart on how you use that water because it’s such a precious resource. The next fact is to, you know, be really engaged and be a positive force in a watershed that are under scarcity and stress and find ways to leverage the power of your business and your voice in that watershed for better water governance, improved water quality, help each protect this important water related areas like the source water areas also wetlands can be incredibly valuable natural fresh water ecosystems to protect. And then, sustainable water balance so it’s an internal action but we, like they say can be a “clean fish in the dirty pond” so you’ve got to pay attention on what your neighbors are doing as well, you have to step outside in that comfort zone and engage with other state holders in the business that you operate and be a positive force there.

Kevin: Great, thank you, now Matts one more question, how does decision making process get particularly affected for mentors and officials, when the context that they are offering keeps on changing, it’s one thing to be dealing with some of the long term issues but how this one make adaptation especially going back to the risk issue and being can do since like you’re doing those deadly thing correctly but you can’t even say in California when there’s a prediction of an El Niño phenomenon bringing scarcity of water but no one how you get people thinking on the right way so to speak and what should we need getting a various [00:42:41.22] and others to be thinking about as the situation keeps on changing?

Mats: Thank you, I think I’m in the decision making process are really spot on, I think it is really getting tricky and the reason I say this is that when it comes to decision making in changing environment you often have a certain agenda that impacts your decision making and that’s the political and economical agenda, almost regardless on this level you’re taking decisions, you’re working in environment where you have, you know, maybe if you’re a Manager of a project or a business entity, you have a budget to comply to, then you have certain range of political rules, and these process are a little bit slower maybe than sometimes the change is taking place, so I’m not [00:43:49.06] in the poll where the reach on a growing a lot of them, the vegetables that is produced to cut new market and they’re facing severe drought for 70 years but the government respond to this was to build flood mitigation infrastructure cause It could also be a flooded area and this was of course kind of completely control productive so the thing is that to adjust the quick chances is not always very easy and I think there’s a need to look into the governance systems on the political side so that it match the more bottom up needs in the bottom up approaches on all kind a changes on how we trying to deal with. So this is what is coming back to the something I mention in my introduction is that the true capacity to adapt to the changes is to be strength and become more flexible so a flexible governance system is very much needed. I keep point hear cities so to top down policy approaches need to be connected to the bottom of needs, thanks.

Kevin: Certainly, now we got a two minutes left so we’re going to ask each of you if you could think of one specific example or further example that you think is particularly relevant that people should look to at going forward and if you were just include in action taking either a government or business side. Lindsay if you could go ahead.

Lindsay: Okay, I’m having a hard time picking one but I’d say that one example that we’re seeing a lot of pick up around in California specifically is business interest and the alliance for water stewardship in an international standard. The first international standard of its kind and to fight level standard that really does allow companies a framework and approach, understand how they can begin to organize their plans around water and plan out a very cohesive, comprehensive approach to water stewardship, you know, it’s been said it by a global community of experts, so interest from major plans and sites in California around that standard and beginning to really test that approach, utilize that approach is getting a lot of attraction and the outcomes that we’re seeing from that, just this greater awareness within the corporate sector around their responsibility and the opportunities that are available to them by engaging the [00:47:00.05] have just been tremendous. So we are really hopeful to see more of up taken of connotation of that standard in a state. And then the other thing that I would like to comment on is part organization that we work hard with series has launched an initial California called Connecting the Drought and what is exciting about this is that, it is a policy platform that brings the corporate place together to move and influence the political realm in California in a way that is also beneficial to the public interest and so I think watching that forum and what they will be able to accomplish by leveraging with the private sector is really going to be exciting and so look to that as well as we move forward in the months to come.

Kevin: Great and Matts.
Matts: So a general comment on a global level I think contribute to build resilient communities regardless where they are and which level I think, if we really need to face the climate change that are taking different shapes, different part of the world is to have resilient communities which can deal with both floods and droughts actually and they can often occurred in the same area at a different times. It’s a long range of the things that can be used to continue to this resilience but I won’t go in to that, thank you.

Panelists closing statements

Brett: Thanks to all the panelists, we assume that all the discussion went smoothly and had some conversations. We have the panelists back in the room here and we are going to get everyone together for some final observations and what they took away from the discussion today but I want to frame that in a way based on what we’ve been talking about. We talked of water as one of the most difficult things to manage because it has so many different characteristics and it’s used in so many different ways by different people. It is an economic good, it is a social good, involves question of political power and social dynamic, so the question I want to post to the panelists as they think what was talked today is: “What sort of incentives needs to change or what is the key stone idea or key change that will be made to help move water management into a better position?” We’ll start with Peter to kind of kick this thing off. Peter do you think there are some incentives for take away particularly for California as the main topic of our discussion that ought to be exchanged for better management to occur?

Peter: Well, thank you, it’s been an interesting conversation and obviously a complicated issue, I do think we need different kind of incentives, we need to think about water differently, we need to broaden in the participation of disadvantage communities in the conversation and ecosystems in the conversation it gets back to the earliest question about power, It was interesting in the discussion that Junaid raised about power, we talked about the political powers cities and agriculture and industry and there was no mentioned of ecosystems and I think that was probably just an oversight but it’s a common oversight and until the incentives are sufficient to bring everybody into the conversation and until the incentives are directed towards using water more efficiently rather than incentives to figure out how to extract ever more water out of the system and until the incentives are directed toward sustainable systems, in other words incentives that don’t encourage overdraft of ground water but then encourage the sustainable long term use of ground water. We’re not going to be able to manage not just droughts but frankly we’re not going to be able to manage our water systems anywhere. One final quick comment on this, a little bit of caution about lessons, I’m a big fan of learning lessons and I push the argument all the time that success stories are really important for understanding what works in different places. But not every lesson can be applied or everywhere, I think there are lessons of California can learn from Australia, from other parts of the world and vice versa but the differences in institutions, the differences in legal structures means that not every success story can be applied everywhere and I think we just ought to be a little careful about that.

Brett: Excellent, thank you Peter. And so part of the question, the same question to Manu Lall from Columbia, what incentives do you see working and not working in your work in Brazil and India and California?

Manu: I think what we see universally is that we have to change some of the rules that are out there and they are different in each place as Peter was pointing out. It’s a little bit hard to answer your question from that point of view, I think the participant create management structure that’s supports, negotiated, allocation of water in a dynamic way, we have seen that work in Brazil and that is something that I think could be brought to California essentially leveraging what was done with the water bank, examples in the past, so that’s a possible. In terms of that, as I said earlier having the ability to predict what’s coming up so right now there’s a prediction of a Godzilla El Niño, great but there is considerable uncertainty as to what that specifically means in terms of water supply, is the drought going to actually stop which reservoirs are likely to get failed or not, maybe this is not something that can be predicted at all. But if there was an effort to actually work on that issue then I think we could facilitate some of the transactions that could result from that. The crops selection aspects, these are very different, in a country like India those are mandated. The crop selection is determined by government policies so essentially the government runs a contract farming operation. In the context of California, that’s not true but what is similar is that there’s opportunity to move from low cash value to high cash value crops and you have to be a bit careful there because the duration of some of these crops is different than others and so, you know, you can play some games with that. Now as Peter was saying also I think if the overall incentive structures were set up properly, that would probably enable moving towards a system which has incentives for conservation which means using relatively inexpensive technologies through radios, water application in the farms and here I’m not thinking of some of the organizations that are working on high casual crops that had already moved to fairly efficient system but to the others, so I think those combinations, are things that we could strive for in the new setting of… it’s fairly evident that the pumping of Central Valley Water over to Southern California is a relatively expensive energy proposition even compared to increasing water reuse. So there are options that are available, that are being tried in another countries as was mentioned earlier that I think are for California as well.

Brett: Alright, thank you Manu. I want to push this question to Lindsay from the corporate and business side. Do you work for some of the biggest companies in the U. S. and in the world on water stewardship? What is necessary for more of that to happen? What else is needed to bring more businesses into this discussion?

Lindsay: Well, I think that from the private sectors standpoint, what’s needed is kind of recognition of the strong performance that we are saying. So in part, this is something that we can look to consumers to do more demanding of stronger water performance by companies in the space. They definitely have a voice and an impact over the behavior of the private sector and if we want to see greater more developed action here than greater activation of consumers would be incredibly helpful. I also think that we want to see from the private sector includes a more deliberate movement to engage in activities that move beyond just compliance. So there’s a lot of great work that is happening by going beyond defense line, by taking a long view, by thinking about how we pursue business differently, how we value natural capital and all of those things are incredibly important to finding an economic balance that can help us sustain critical fresh water ecosystems, so I think if we were able to make movement in those areas, that would be a great step forward.

Brett: Alright, thank you Lindsay. I got to put the same question here to Larry in a different context. So, your building systems and there’s a lot of cities that could benefit from water reuse, perhaps on the coast that are not looking in that direction. So what do you do to get cities to look more towards… putting in this towards of recycling systems that we see has been successful in many places?

Larry: Thank you, show them particularly economics of it when they’re looking for alternative water supplies, there’s been a fair bit of research here recently on water reuses, looking at triple bottom line impacts and how economical in fact water reuse, specifically potable reuse can be when compared to alternate water supplies, for example, desalination is significantly more expensive than potable reuse because the salt content and the ocean is 35,000 milligrams per liter compared to 500 to a thousand milligrams per liter in typical waste water, it is much easier to treat the waste water frankly than it is to desalinate the water. The energy cost are significantly lower so the sustainability of that particular option is much better. It is also a lot cheaper than moving water around, pumping large volumes of water say from Northern California down to Southern California is extremely expensive so water use can be shown to be much more economical than moving large volumes of water because of the power that’s required to do so. So I think sharing somebody economic, success stories or water reuse will really help that discussion along.

Brett: Alright. Thank you Larry, we wrap up here with Matts and Circle of Blue would like to ask the big question: As a climate and water researcher, what are the big questions that you are looking at? What information do we not know that we ought to be thinking about or researching?

Matts: I think there is a great need to improve the prognosis and predictability of the climate change per se. I think that is also where a lot of work is going on but it is going to be more important. Definitely have a real demand for its technology and of course, it’s an end to end process so if you improve your ways and means of predicting droughts for instance in a medium to long term range, it doesn’t help people until we actually get information to those who need it so, to prove the government’s chain of and how to make sure that it reach the end user, it is very important and it goes from national government to local government to private business sector to farmers to individuals in communities, so this chain of using the information that means that information has to be tailor made in a way that it can be usable and accessible. I’d like to put another point also here link to private sector and how water is being used. We talked about a global challenge here, takes different shapes and forms in different parts of the world, in different countries, but the world is getting smaller and smaller, have an increased trade, increased interactions between different regions and I think as consumers we also have a responsibility which we can take on better if we are informed of where the products come from and how they are produced and so on. If I go and buy shirt here in downtown Stockholm, I bet it is being produced in China, Bangladesh or India using the resources over there but if I’m informed on how the shirt is produced and how the resources are used, I will probably become a better buyer and therefore also put pressure on the delivery chain to my clothing store. Thanks.

Brett: I want to thank all of the panelists here, as you can see from our discussions today, water is unbelievably complex but I hope you take away a sense of optimism that there are a lot of people working on solutions and there are ideas out there that can move water management to a better place. So I’m going to pass the mic to Carl here who is going to talk about small group discussion that we’ll have following this.

Carl: We are going to go even deeper for those who can stay on the line. In a moment we’ll put you into smaller breakouts groups to discuss this issues and more and again we hope you stay on the line and join the next round of groups with experts and hosts and your colleagues. So what are the major barriers to building resilient systems around water, food and energy in California and around the world? And you’ve heard from global and California discussion leaders, what are the steps to move toward action? These are just some ideas we hope that you’ll discuss amongst yourselves.

Questions & answers

Craig: I thought Junaid’s comment was one of the most interesting and we actually ended up talking a little bit more about that with Peter Gleick in the breakout group and that is his question of: “Whose hand is on the lever of water power? Who are the political masters of water power? Needing to answer that question before you can really go any further in planning for water security and I thought that was interesting because I don’t know that that question has really been answered for California, I’m inclined to say individual property owners collectively which is a tough way to govern but I’d be interested on how that compares to other places even nearby like Washington State for example.

Aleks: One thing I missed in the conversation was that we would talk of drought as if it is a fact but the reality is that for Southern California is getting between 10 and 15 inches of rain per year even now and a lot of the issues we have from drought both too much water or too little water have to do with the ineffectiveness of soils to absorb that water. Referring to the question that was posted just now, I think the authority does go back to the individual land owner and their capacity to manage their soils in a way that is more resilient, and that’s everybody’s job so we have to deal with issues of how industrialized agricultures compacting soils and things like that because those are the vast extensions that are not helping us right now and go beyond that and look at what can we do in all the areas that does not use agriculture, that are reserved or otherwise idle and look what we can do there. Because the surface is enormous, in 15 or 10 inches of rain on that enormous surface is just heck of lot of water.

Barbara: I would like to follow up on that suggestion that if we’re not going to use water to balance, to fix the water condensed to save water, what are his suggestions for new infrastructure?

Sandra: Hi, It’s Sandra Anderson here, my question is regarding subdivision development and building codes and pluming codes and the ability of using those to decentralize water systems.

Marie Chantel: Yeah, yeah. So, I wanted to pick up on the equation that was asked, I think, about the bank on the tension between developing countries and developed countries. I actually think, if there is one lesson we learned from the global crisis, was that, actually, the drought was quite driven by the developing countries and that would I think can change the way the whole development agenda is being seen.

Then the second part is actually it matters what happened in Mozambique matches to the US because at the end of the day, we are now one global economy to some extent. So I think that actually give us a new framework in the way we engage with our client. So, the way I would frame it is that on one hand you have the developed countries that has an interest to make sure that things I’m holding in the developing countries vice versa because we could see that you need growth to happen on one area to actually keep the economy going and I think those are things that are now based on evidence and that is actually the way we are engaging so in one hand when you are building infrastructure for example in country A whose doing that kind of services some of those people are coming from the developed countries, so you are creating to some extent the job in developed countries and that is how actually the whole frame is coming up and job of infrastructure today is job today but a sustainability tomorrow and that is what you need as global economy. And I think that is the way how this engagement is happening. The second finger will finish by is really the partnership, really building, you will be surprised to hear that we took some examples on how they manage sanitation in cold weather from Alaska to Mongolia, so this is the kind of advantage when you take an experience from the US and you bring it to China or to Mongolia, so this is that kind of relationship in institution like the bank who has the advantage of being global can actually bring together and actually seeing this as tension, you see this as complimentarily and everybody become de facto, a win win for both part.


Catalyst: California August 25: Large Breakout 4 – Larry Schimmoller/ Dave Peters

The Role of Technological Solutions
Larry Schimmoller/ Dave Peters

(started at the middle)

Larry: So those states are eligible for funding, unfortunately the State of Mississipi are not although I know there has been a couple of bills introduced in the Congress recently actually, in this past several weeks that are focused on water reclamation and provide extra funding for water reuse and water reclamation, don’t know a lot of the details on that but a quick google search will give a result on that.

Peter: One thing we haven’t talked about is the notion when it comes to reusing reclaimed potable water, where are we on the notion of public acceptance? Are we passed the ik factor?

Larry: That’s a great question. We can talk about that for hours probably. I would say, no. We’ve come a long way for sure. You know, people get this….the media often…some special interest group will create this stigmatized images of toilet tap and people drinking at the toilet, toilets connected by plumbing right to the faucet and people drinking, these funny cartoons they establish but people get stigmatized images and terminology, like you said the ik factor, in their minds, it’s hard to move away from that. So, there has been a lot of research actually focused on public acceptance recently in the water reuse research foundation at the Center of Virginia has been providing funding for a lot of that…it is looking at, how can we better convince the public that this is indeed is safe bacause a lot of these projects have been implemented in a very safe manner. So, it’s a lot about education, we’ve implemented a lot of visitor centers for instance on our water reuse projects for example the Singapore New Water Project, you may have heard of those. A series of advanced water reclamation plants in Singapore that recycle water for potable purposes and industrial purposes, we have them design a visitor center and that teaches the public, it is a very interactive visitor center that teaches the public about the water cycle and the safety of water reuse and it’s been so popular that in fact the government has created a postage stamp to honor the visitor center. So very successful, actually tourist attraction out there as well. Public education outreach are hugely important and then engaging local experts, the public seems to trust local doctors, health professionals and also college professors, university professors that are locally based. So if you can talk to them about water reuse and have them help communicate the message out to the public. Orange County Water District did this very successfully on the Groundwater Replenishment Project that first case study I was talking about and they did an amazing outreach program that help talk to the public about water reuse, they are very pro active and upfront about what they are doing to educate the public. These are some good examples of how you can be successful with potable reuse but certainly there has been some bad failures too when people have not actively engaged the public with public outreach and education. So it is an excellent question and probably is the most important factor in water reuse projects. It’s hard for me to say that because I’m an engineer, I like the technical and engineering aspects of these projects but the community involvement is frankly the most important factor on these projects, something that shouldn’t be minimized or delayed.

Peter: The big one that I was aware last year here in the US was in Wichitta Falls in Texas and I haven’t heard a lot since then, I don’t know if you are familiar but that project seems to be proceeding I think.

Larry: Well, Wichitta Falls has a temporary permit for potable reuse and they implemented actually a direct potable reuse so it was a pipe to pipe connection from the waste water plants to an advanced water purification plant that included microfiltration, reverse osmosis and UV disinfection and then right into the water distribution system. They had a temporary permit, I think they’ve finished with that temporary permit and they’ve received some rain so I think they are acutally now investigating, implementing and in direct potable reuse project so where the waters are reintroduced in the environment and not directly connected. I think that’s not positive, I think that’s the approach that they are taking down there.

Peter: Interesting. We’ve got a little bit of time left, there’s another question from a participant, I think it is being typed in as we speak but it has to do with egg irrigation and and whether there are any limitations or EPA standards that make that a problem regarding food safety questions.

Larry: Good question. There are no federal regulations related to water reuse, there are only guidelines. Each state is responsible for developing their own water reuse regulations and they vary from state to state significantly and some states in fact do not have water reuse regulations but a lot of them, a lot of research has been done in this topic in California and other locations. California does have some very detailed regulations on the applications for water reuse on agriculture, food products, they have different levels of treatment that are required, different water goals depending on the type of food product. In fact, if it is a product that we eat raw then the regulations are a little bit different than the products that are not eaten raw. So, very safe. A lot of these requirements focus on no passages in the water and advanced levels of treatment including tertiary filtration and high level disinfection being applied to the crops. It has been practiced since the 1960s and even earlier in many locations. A very safe practice provided the following somebody’s regulations that so many states have in place.

Peter: I just got a message here, I guess we have five more minutes going overtime they are telling us so conversations must be going well, that’s good. Again, for participants, this is a breakout session with Larry Schimmoller of CH2M, we’re talking about Technology, Water Reuse, Water Reclamation, I guess one question I have is just to get back to the theme of the day here, Lessons from California, who should be learning from whom here, is California ahead of the game or the Singapore is at the world way out infront?

Larry: I think, California is ahead of the game. They have done a lot of great things in California, a lot of great research and some of their projects are amazing and that they have implemented in California frankly. I think one of the things that could be learned from other locations that California could learn is to look at alternative treatment technologies. Right now for safe potable reuse, they require reverse osmosis treatment. So there is an opportunity, there are some difficulties in using reverse osmosis treatment when you move in the inland location. So you move away in the coast, it becomes much harder to implement reverse osmosis because you are generating RO brine, the waste that RO generates are extremely dispose of. This applies to many locations as you move in in Arizona and Colorado, Minessotta, wherever you are at an inland location and you don’t have an ocean nearby can be very challenging to dispose of this high solidity concentrate waste. So that’s something…even California they moved far away from the coast in developing this project, they can learn from other locations accross the states, accross the world on different apporoaches that are non RO based that may focus more on granule activated carbon type treatment that I mention as an example. There are other examples, a direct potable use project that I think someone mentioned earlier on the talk, down in Namibia, South Africa has been operating since 1960s. There are certainly different ways that can approach the issue that ca be investigated

Peter: Here is a question from one of the participants: “Do bio remediation and other living system approaches have barriers to market considering the process culture of waste and agricultural water treatment?

Larry: Not quite sure what we’re getting at. Yeah, not following that entirely, I’m sorry. Maybe if the participant wants to kind of expand on that a little bit, maybe that would be helpful. I was struck by something you said when you started about potable use as opposed to non- potable use, that surprise me, that that’s the direction people are going in.

Peter: Yeah, it surprised a lot of the community in fact the water reuse industry. The issue is for non potable demands are often seasonal, so irrigation of parks, golf courses and so forth, often times you are only irrigating in the warmer summer months and you have to build all these infrastructure, you build your advance treatment plant, you build your pipelines, your pump stations, your storage tanks and you can only use them for potentially half the year so you invest a lot of money and don’t get the full realization of your investment so your water, so your water yield, the amount ouf water that you can provide to your system goes down. The potable reuse, you build all that infrastructure to a higher degree of treatment, you can use that year round because you’re just introducing that to the water supply, to the drinking water system. It provides much higher yields and you don’t need to build a distribution system because the distribution system is already in place. So you can imagine California, highly urbanized, highly developed trying to build a separate distribution system network in a highly urbanized environment is extremely expensive and very disruptive to the public. So you can imagine in certain scenarios the trend towards potable reuse makes a lot of sense. That’s not to say that non potable reuse does not make sense in certain scenarios I mentioned cooling water application power plants. If you have a cooling water or a power plant that requires significant cooling water, that makes a lot of sense if somewhat located near the waste water treatment plant.

Peter: Okay, thank you. Thank you Larry. So, on your last comment, we are not going to be seeing purple pipes all over the country apparently.

Larry: That’s right, we might see some but not everywhere.

Peter: Well, thank you very much Larry Schimmoller, I’m going to turn it back to… Ben is calling people back. Thanks to all who participated in this breakout session. Here you go, Ben.

End [00:12:19.09]

Catalyst: California August 25: Large Breakout 1 – California Report Card

Assessing the State’s Response
Peter Gleick and Craig Miller

Craig: Okay, so let me start taking some of the questions that are coming in and one relates to another one that I had, the question is, how do you motivate those with political influence over water to change for social and ecosystem benefits especially when the status quo benefits traditional users and uses and detailed with that was my question, I’d like you to try to answer to Junaid’s point which is: “Who are the political masters of water in California?” I think the participants question and that one are very closely related. I guess you have to answer the second one first.

Peter: You know, that was an interesting comment from Junaid I thought, certainly, any time you want to change the system, it’s important to know who has the power? In California like many others, it’s complicated for water. Water is considered a public good, the state owns of the water and water rights are allocated to people based on the various factors but primarily hundred year old decisions about priority views whoever was there first has a first priority to use water and we allocate water rights. Water rights are allocated in very large quantity by some estimates we’ve given away five times the amount of water in water rights than Mother Nature actually provides us. Now of course everybody knows that I won’t get all the water that I have so called rights too, but the possession if you will of these water rights defines some of these question about power the people who are using water and have the priority rights to use water, get most of the water they want even during droughts in the lower priority water rights holders, the junior water right holders get shorted during short holes, they don’t get all of the water they want. But the cities also have a lot of power and increasingly, there are regulatory systems, laws, restrictions at the state or the federal or the local level that are providing some protections for that legal system and so, there is some political power if you will to natural ecosystems that at least protect a little bit of water for ecosystems and balancing these rights; the old historical water rights, the regulatory systems that guarantee water for ecosystems, the economic power to some degree businesses in cities, that is the part of the problem, we aren’t really going to change the system until we figure out how to balance all of those competing political and economic aspects of the confusions in California.

Craig: Okay, and a disclaimer for other participants say, you may notice, I don’t know if everyone can see the questions, I’m not taking them in order. I am trying to kind of pick the one’s that relate most closely to the theme of today’s call but I will absolutely to get as many of them as we can. And this was an interesting one that kind of relates to what kind of where we’re going on this thread which is, “do you think this state is putting too much burden on municipalities to solve the problem right now?”

Peter: Well no, not really. This actually is interesting, it is related to the last question about political power. I think that question probably comes up because when the governor need his emergency drought declaration and when the governor laid out some of the strategies that he was proposing the state and individuals as well focus on in terms of drought response. He focus really on the municipalities and he called on the cities of California to cut water use by 25% from the water levels used a couple of years ago. And there were some complaints, they say, look 80% of the water use by agriculture why aren’t you asking agriculture to cut water and in partly answer to that is that agriculture has experienced very significant cuts in water, deliveries of water to agriculture come from states system, they come from federal systems and when there’s not enough surface water as in a drought, deliveries to agricultural users are cut and many agricultural users have seen very significant cuts. Some of them down to zero of their traditional surface water rights and so agriculture is also bearing a significant burden. The idea that state could have a little more influence on what cities do, I think was partly behind the governor’s declarations. But the burden is being shared pretty wisely, now, that’s not to say that the burdens being shared evenly against the senior water right holders, they are getting almost the whole of the water they want and junior water holders sometimes are getting nothing. Some cities are having to cut back a lot because they’ve not done much in terms of conversation up until now. While some cities have a smaller allocation cut back that they’re required to meet. So there is some effort to sort of balance based on economics based on effort, based on water rights priorities to balance of little bit of shortages that California is experiencing. The only thing that I would add to that quickly is that ecosystems always seem to get the short end of the stick and rarely are protected to the degree that I think ecosystems ought to be protected during [Inaudible 00:07:00.08].

Craig: Yeah, with that reason report here projecting 18 species of fish that could face distinction with another year or two of this drought. So, you know, more than a year ago, I went to your offices to research a story of drought lessons from Australia, what could California possibly learn from the Australian experience on the big dry. I’m curious with that sometime to digest this now is California applying any lessons from Australia that you’ve been able to observe and related to that a question that’s come in here, what do you think of the California water action plan? Does that incorporate any of those things and what could we do to help these become a transformative piece of governance, that’s the question?

Peter: Okay, these are all complicated questions and of course I’m sure everybody knows. One of the funny lessons from Australia or not so funny necessarily is that, it takes a long time, it takes a long intensive drought for people to really start to change what they traditionally do. Australia went through a drought and it was a one year drought, then it was a two year drought, and then it was a three year drought and they did sort of what California has done for the first few years of drought that is they modeled through, but that drought continued and by the end of that nine or ten year extreme drought what they called the Millennium drought, in Australia they were really doing things differently. I think we’re in the fourth year of a drought now, just checking, can everybody still hear me?

Craig: Yeah, I think we just got a prompt that we’ve got ten minutes left.

Peter: Okay, we are learning lessons from the drought, Obviously California and Australia are different kinds of systems but one of the lessons that I think we’re learning is that there is a role for markets and modifications to water rights there is a role to address some of those challenges, we’re just at the beginning however of rethinking and a having a conversation about how to reallocate and manage water rights and I think that maybe a lasting lesson for California, we’re going to have to do something different about water rights, they bought water in Australia for natural ecosystems and I think that helps protect to some degree, natural ecosystems they’re restructuring agriculture and I think California is restructuring agriculture and I think those are all common lessons that we’re going to have to pursue.

Craig: This is a bit maybe tangential to the general theme of today’s call but since we have multiple questions on it and not a lot of time left, can you quickly summarize your position on the Bay Area conservation plan and the plans who build tunnels by passing California’s delta this is I know, maybe I’m not sure that everybody on the call even knows what we’re talking about here but of course it’s a big topic of conversation in California right now.

Peter: Well, let me address this in a more general sense. The question really is, I think, what is the role of begin for structure like Aqueduct’s tunnel diversion systems stands reservoirs in addressing the kinds of problems that California or any region may have and the institute does not have any specific position on the tunnels themselves, but we do have the following position about water strategies and that is that we should do the smartest, most economically appropriate, most environmentally appropriate things first and if you ask the question that way, then before one would build a lot more expensive infrastructure in California, one would put more time and effort and money into water conservation and efficiency and basically taking the water that we already spend a lot of money collecting and treating and distributing and using it more efficiently in agriculture and in urban settings. We could grow more food with less water, we can meet our urban demands with less water and those kinds of strategies reduce the pressure on the system itself rather than figuring out how to become more efficient in taking more water out of the system, let’s become more efficient on how we use water. Similarly, the institute also argue that there are new supplies strategies like the water reuse that Larry talked about a new introduction. California reuses some of its waste water and could reuse the substantial amount more of its waste water and that would also reduce the pressure on taking more water out of the natural system.

Craig: Okay, back on your responses, is it time a whole sale overhaul is sort of [Inaudible 00:12:17.20] is so do speak to more generalized water security planning.

Peter: I would say yes, it’s time to overhaul the system. Now, that doesn’t need throwing out the existing system, I don’t think we can afford to do that, I don’t think we can politically do that. But I do think there are ways of modifying the system to approve it. To prove the efficiency of use, to extend more localized reuse, to move to a more decentralized kinds of systems, to protect naturally the systems, I think those are strategies we’re going to have to pursue with California but frankly I think that’s the strategy where going to have to pursue pretty much everywhere.

Technical Issues: [00:13:26.12] to [00:14:07.24] (Craig and Peter discussing about the line noise, other voices and interference)

Peter: Success in 2016 would be in agricultural sector that continuous to have very high revenue as they’re actually had during drought. But with less demand on addressing ground water. Success in 2016 would be not having our species that are endangered and threatened.

Technical Issues: [00:14:31.23] – [00:14:59.12] (Craig and Peter discussing about the line noise, other voices and interference)

Peter: Success in 2016 is a healthy economy, a healthy eco system and reduction in overuse of ground water, we’ve had a very strong agricultural economy even with the drought but it’s been on the back of over dressing ground water and I think that’s going to have to change. Success in the longer run is going to require fundamental changes in our institutions and our infrastructure I think and ultimately probably to get back to this initial question that we talked about, a change in who controls water and where the power over water lies in California.

Craig: Let’s keep going here. How realistic is a decentralization of water distribution in California, I always thought of it as…well as you know, California’s hooked up to an enormous state wide pluming system right now, more localized reuse the question or asks the smaller facilities, in other words, could you apply the sort of distributed generation model of renewable energy to water?

Peter: I think you can partly, I think without a doubt, California’s water future’s going to include more localized reuse, smaller facilities, I think we’re already seeing more local treatment of waste water and local reuse of waste water, cities are looking to improve their ability to reduce demands from outside of their own system, Los Angeles is expanding its internal storage capacity and its ability to provide more and more of its water locally, even though they will always be to some degree dependent on outside resources. So, I think we always have a big centralized integrated system but I do think there will also be more and more local reuse of water and local resilience. I think that’s a good thing.

Craig: Okay, I think we’ve got about a minute left. We’ve entered the Gyro Gearloose, what I call the Gyro Gearloose space of the California drought we’re people are looking for, you know, all sorts of innovative technological sometimes wacky solutions, questions are asked, when are you going to shade balls, that these plastic balls that they’ve put in the reservoirs of Southern California to try to limit evaporation PR’s, stunt or actual solution?

Peter: Yes, so I like the shade balls for those of you don’t know the City of Los Angeles, dump millions of millions of black plastic balls into some of its reservoirs over the last of couple of weeks. And it was a fantastic visual event, go Google shade balls, the ideas to cut evaporation from some of their reservoirs and to protect water quality in some of their reservoirs, I think it’s a bit of a PR stunt, I think it’ll probably be effective for the things they want for a small local impact, as I see the question, are there any help implications from leaching, apparently not, apparently the ball, the shade balls are made out of plastic that is food safe but I’m a little… I think it’s unlikely to be a major part of the solution but it is an example of the kind of thinking that people are pursuing in trying to find new solutions to the drought.

Craig: Yeah, some other places have tried non toxic codings as well, they put on surface reservoirs, I’m not sure how bigger problem evaporation is in reservoirs but with the record heat that we’ve been having, I would imagine that it’s more of a problem than usual.

Peter: Well actually, since we have so little time let me make one quick comment about that. There is increasingly in the scientific humidity a very clear understanding that the current drought has been influenced by climate chance, that higher temperatures alone have affected California’s drought and made it worst by increasing evaporation, by increasing the demand for water by crops and Craig knows there is a very interesting scientific discussion going on right now about the links between climate change and drought and I think we can expect droughts in the future to be increasingly severe under certain circumstances and one of the impacts of that is going to be more evaporation, we’re going to lose more of the water that we are already have because of higher temperatures and because of climate change. Oh, I see we have five more minutes, and so that I think is part of our future so we’re going to have to deal with not just the kind of extreme events that California have in the past, the droughts and I would note floods, but we’re going to have to deal with them on the context of a changing climate, that climate that’s changing because of human activities and that’s going to add a complication for water management.

Craig: Yes, absolutely. Since we have a little more time, let me come back to question that I skipped over initially only because it seemed kind of similar to one you’d answer but how do we desilo water management and water planning in California, you might have actually seen these question on the board yourself between water agencies, federal agencies, state agencies, policy makers or working in their individual silos, is anything being done about that?

Peter: Well, California is a big place and it’s a complicated place, we have 38 million people it’s the biggest economy in the United States of all of the States and it is siloed, we have federal agencies that and their 20 different federal agencies that have responsibility for water, from the science to the management side of things, we have state and local agencies, we have local utilities. Water management use it to some degree siloed but it is also integrated and I think we’re going to have to figure out how to breakdown a silo and how to work in a little more integrated fashion and I think part of the silo question also we’re going to have to get away from the fights that we have, you know, we often think about fights between the agricultural sector and the urban sector between agriculture and the environmentalists, between urban sector and the environmentalists but in fact Northern California farmers don’t agree with Southern California farmers and farmers on the East side of the San Joaquin Valley with senior water rights don’t agree with farmers on the West side of San Joaquin Valley with junior water rights there were lots of silos but unless we can manage water in a more integrated fashion, we’re not going to manage water sustainably, I think it’s a great question and it does get impart to the heart of the challenges we face in managing water in a place like California or frankly anywhere.

Craig: Let me flip the Australia question around, because now we are probably, they are probably going to pull a flag here shortly and this will be a good way to end it. Name one thing, well two if you can think of them but at least one thing that California is doing right now that could be an example for other places facing the same situation.

Peter: So, I think that the most remarkable success we’ve had in California in the last decade or so is the effort and the success we’ve seen in improving the efficiency of water use. Our agricultural economy is very strong still and we’re using a lot less water to grow more food and produce more revenue for farmers per capital water use is dropping and has been dropping for decades in California as we need our urban needs with less water and yet a potential to do even more with less if you will is enormous we could continue to reduce our water use and maintain our economic health and grow our population and if there’s any lesson that I think we ought to take and share is that only focusing a new supplies not the right way to think about water anymore, we have to think about the demands side of the equation and when we do the potential for improving water use efficiency is a enormous.

Craig: Okay, we’re still going here, thoughts on the Godzilla El Niño or the potential battle of the blobs or any of this other weird interactions in the North Pacific with all of the warm waters that’s out there right now. What’s your precipitation outlook? Is a drought over this winter and can we like forget about all this and let’s talk about this until the next drought?

Peter: I think we better assume that the drought will continue until the reservoirs are full and ground water is no longer over drafted and farmers and cities aren’t fighting any longer. We better act as though there’s not enough water to do everything we want because even in wet years, there’s none enough water to do everything that we want and if we where to think about managing our water in regular years the way we manage it during a drought, I think we’d be better off. Now it’s possible the El Niño will produce more water, El Niño’s are little ambiguous for California especially in Northern California where really matters, some are wet and some are dry but we won’t know until next year whether the El Niño has bailed us out partly about the drought but the truth is even if we get a full year of rain, we’re years behind, we’re going to have to assume that water is going to be short for the future.

Craig: And that is the gong…thanks everybody.

Peter: Thank you for the questions, thanks Craig.

Catalyst California August 25th: Introduction of Guests

Carl: So to help make sense to the bigger water questions in this time is serious disruptions globally, we’ve disassembled the unprecedented roster of experts and journalists across timezones to help to find a better water future. So today we’re joined by Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Director of the Water Global Practice at the World Bank Group. Lindsay Bass, Manager of Corporate Water Stewardship at World Wildlife Fund. Mats Eriksson, Director of Climate Change at the Stockholm International Water Institute. Peter Gleick, Co-Founder and President of The Pacific Institute. Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute. Our host here today and also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water. And Upmanu Lall is here, Director of The Columbia Water Center at Columbia University, also we’re joined by Ben Braga, President of the World Water Council.

You can find more details on ongoing coverage online at and to share your questions and comments via Twitter use the #knowwater.

Now we have Torgny Holmgren, he’s the Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute and, you know, first… thanks for hosting us during the incredible week of 25th Anniversary, so big year for Stockholm and I’m hoping you can start us of with an overview last week we heard more about climate impacts tide water scarcity and water security. And you’ve just come two minutes ago from a session on water and climate change and focusing on the upcoming climate talks in Paris. So starting with California, can you give us more of an overall prespective, what are you thinking about when it comes to water and climate news big issues?

Torgny: Thanks a lot Carl and welcome to Stockholm Sweden Downtown Stockholm, where we celebrate the 25th World Water Week and then let me give you some international perspective on the California context, looking back, 25 years ago very few outside the water and development communities spoke about water crisis both of us not on the agenda in the early days of climate change discussion. Today, water crisis is all to speak about at all constant presence in the daily news from California to San Paolo, China, Sahel, everywhere you go, different continents water crisis is around the corner. So we can longer talk about water supply taken that for granted on and that’s we see it from our side that many local because these are local water crisis together combined to several water situations on the global scale and that is what we’re here to discuss during the World Water Week in Stockholm. To give you some example about what we’re discussing, to make this finance resource of water more available for the future 9 billion people that we will have or in the mid center, if you indicate from now, we need to improve on the way we use water, we cannot overuse water the way we do today and that is for every country and every local situation in the world. So whereas, both efficiency is a driving force, I would like water efficiency to be become as common a concept as energy efficiency has been for quite sometime. And to make that happen we need incentives or cost bond in center because it’s the drought itself but they’re also need to have economic instruments that tries us to make more improved in the future. Another thing, different economic instruments like pricing will pay you more critical role in the future to the benefit not only of drought stricken area but also areas all over the world, so that is bond driving force.

We have terrific opportunity this fall with the decision on SDGs the Sustainable Development Goals coming up in New York end of September and the COP21 the Conference of the Parties climate change in Paris in early December. Of course those are very important events but those are events based on action oriented in the sense if you don’t take action and action is taken on the local level so my firm believe is that to make the climate change negotiations to happen on the ground, you’ll need to include and also activate the local communities, be the cities, the mayors of the world, local municipalities and also see very encouraging news from our progress, from our corporations in the world, the business sector has come to realize that work is not granted for the supply chain and also production. So I think the combination of businesses, local municipalities, cities, national legislators and civil side, that is the four fronts that will drive us to use water more efficient in the future.

Carl: Well, thank you, thank you so much Torgny and these are the conversations we’ve been hearing here. And also sitting right next to Torgny is Ben Braga, President of the World Water Council and Ben you just came from the same press briefing and I want you just to follow on that, you’re kind of a special guest popping in here today and if you could add, you know, the perspectives you just hosted the World Water Forum in Korea, how have you seen these conversations change over the last few years, even though last 25 years?

Ben: Well, thank you very much Carl for inviting me here, impromptu and it was very challenging but, I think that this issue of droughts is one that is motivating the political class more and more. We tend to think that the Global International Agreement will provide the solution for the water management problems but as Torgny rightly pointed out, water is a local issue and the solution to the water problems are local and regional. These international agreements like the SDG, like the Cop21 are very important in motivating the global community but the World Water Council through the World Water Forums and through our network, we are working towards motivating mayors, national legislators for the importance of having the right water management in place. Not only that, but we are also looking at financing. I think financing is a critical issue because in order to face the climate variability and change in the future and now of course, it is necessarily to have the infrastructure and to have the institutions, to have the innovative capacity in government. So, all of these components are extremely important but how can we have them implemented, we need to have the right financial arrangements so that local governments can really implement these necessary options to cope with climate change.

Carl: Well, thank you Ben Braga, President of the World Water Council, thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate that. In a moment we’ll be joining by Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton who will introduce our other guests.

Brett: Thanks Carl, this is the 3rd event that we’ve posted in the Catalyst series. Each event is taken a water and water frame, looking at this issue of droughts in water scarcity. So earlier this month we explore California’s responses and the phase of emergency with farmers, state officials and others are doing right now to respond. Though we heard stories and transitions last week what various cities and agencies are doing to prepare for a 21st century, will water condition of a massively different than they are today. So in today, in Stockholm, a thousands of experts and advocates and leaders gathered, a major part of the conversation is how responses to California’s drought to inform other places in the world that are going through similar crisis. The world’s eyes is certainly on California, so the questions are, How can the state innovate? What lessons could be drawn from California and applied to other regions in the world? So we have a terrific panel or guest here today. We’re going to start off with opening statements from each of them. I’ll introduce each guest individually and then let them give their opening statement, this would be brief introductions to some of the ideas that they will expand on in the large group discussions which will follow.

Our first guest is Peter Gleick, he’s the Co-Founder and President of The Pacific Institute at the Research Organization based in Oakland, California that gives solutions to the world water challenges. So Peter, what is not worthy about California’s response to this drought emergency?

Peter: Well, hello everyone, I’m also calling in from California. I’m sorry not to be at Stockholm this year and see many of my friends so, hello to everybody there. But there’s been a major 2 day meeting here yesterday and today in Sacramento in the state capital to talk about climate change issues facing California including the drought and there is the One Water Leadership Meeting later this week and so I just couldn’t manage to get on another airplane. Basically the quick message that I would like to give in the introduction is we’ve been thinking about climate change and water issues in California for a long time, that effort has really been intensified by the recent drought, where in the 4th year now of a very severe drought and in fact eleven of the last 15 years in California have been at normally drought. We’re trying to understand what the impacts of the droughts are, impacts to ecosystem’s, impacts to local communities especially some of the poor communities in the Central Valley of California, impacts towards energy system, we know that we’ve lost substantial amounts of hydropower generation because of the loss of surface water supplies and we had to make up for that by burning more natural gas ironically enough worsening our green house gas emission problem. Impacts on agriculture of course the vast majority of water used in the state goes to agriculture and California is a fantastic place to grow food but we’re facing challenges in meeting all of the demands in the agricultural sector and in the other sectors for water and of course impacts on cities on our urban landscapes we’re having an interesting conversation all about green lawns in California which perhaps we should never have had but we have extensive areas of landscaping that require water and of course the water require to meet our industrial, commercial and residential needs. But at the same time we’re using the drought as an opportunity to try and figure out what to do about water in general not just have a respond to the severe impacts of the drought but how to deal with our water problems in general because in fact even in the normal wet year we don’t really have enough water to go around anymore and we have water institutional problems, we have technical problems, we have ecosystem challenges and so we’re exploring water efficiency in the urban agricultural sector and agricultural reform we’re exploring waste water reuse and expanding our use of treated waste water, we’re exploring storm water capture and reuse, we’re exploring the way the business community deals with water issues. We do at the Pacific Institute have a very substantial group in Stockholm right now working with the U.N. CEO on mandate and on broader issues of corporate sustainability and perhaps some of you attended some of those efforts. But those are some of the challenges, understanding the impacts, understanding the solutions and understanding the increasing clear links to climate change and those are all issues that I hope we can explore in more detail today. Thank you.

Brett: Excellent, thank you Peter. Our next guest is Mats Eriksson he’s the Program Director for Climate Chance and Water Adaptation at the Stockholm International Water Institute, he studies how societies particular the local level respond to the big changes in water supply. So Mats, how do you leaders make decisions in the phase of rising seas, shrinking snowpack and intense storms?

Mats: Yeah, hello thanks for inviting me. I’m happy to be part of this group and although I visited California a couple of times maybe my main field of expertise but I’ve spent quite sometime working in Iniesta Southern Africa and I spent number of years based in Himalayas working in a clear monsoon climate regime and I can see a lot of similarities in the challenges that people facing California with other parts of the world including Australia where I also happen to spend a number of years in the drought condition. I think my first message is that drought is nothing new, we’ve had to face challenges linked to climate variations since time immemorial but of course society is changing that population on the span, it is growing intensely so we use a lot of plant in a different way compared to what we use before and many ways and means to deal with the drought is not functional anymore. Lost part of Africa for instance, people used to rely, still rely on both agriculture and pastoral for survival and in the past it was easy to move over large region. Now overtime, national boundaries and other constraints have made that impossible. So many people are now more vulnerable. So that’s one aspect that’s why in addition to drought being slightly to be more common and more severe there’s also an increased risk because the way we the society. So that means our adaptation means a test to adapt in a similar way. Just a few bullet points on what we need to look into, I think, I mean one thing is if we deal the agriculture in a drought prone area we need to check, are we really putting the water on the right crops and I’m quite sure that it is not always the case. In many cases we are growing something that we use to grow for a long time and maybe it’s not the best alternatives so there’s a need to look into the top selection of crops that is being grown as well as looking into new varieties etc. Second point, which I think is extremely important when you were working in a drought prone area, with what stress that to make sure there are good policies and regulations which are enforced in a proper way. In many cases the revelations are quite weak and that means when it comes to water that we use, water not in a wise way for instance, the price of water is of course a topic that is being debated over and over again but it remains a fact that water is often to cheap particularly in the agricultural sector. In many cases, very expensive water is not paid for and used to grow a fairly cheap crop. So this is something that used to be looked into. Here, I think California could gain from increased interaction with experience made in Australia where they went through a very, very tough phase of prolonged drought affecting a lot of farmers and in the society. And third point I think, technological innovations, there are range of things that needs to be put into place, we mentioned water fish into irrigation so cheap irrigation pipes avoid open channels etc., reuse of waste water, a topic which I’m sure my colleague Larry will go into later on. In many parts of the world, for instance Namibia a country in a very, very dry area in the Southwest Africa has come a very long way in using waste water and treating it and putting it back into the drinking water channels. So the point link to technological innovations I think is very important in California as well as in many other places, that’s to improve water storage has no is getting less and less in partial of California Sierra Nevadas for instance, we lose very important water storage same happens in Himalayas and the Hindakush where farmers don’t have the ability to rely on all melting snow so here there’s a quite open space for innovative ideas to actually capture rain water, harvest it and store it preferably as ground water, in order to reduce at operation. Then I’d like to highlight the importance to look into a river basin approach for water management, I think in many cases we have a two local focus and we don’t see the options of actually diverting the water to the right course and right part of the basins so we end up might using expensive water in the dry part of the basin while we better maybe divert it downstream or use it for the upstream depending on how the climate looks like in a basin or region and grow the crops we need to grow up in such an area. So at least as in to the virtual water discussion and it’s more efficient and economically wise to transport the goods produced by the water than actually moving the water itself. Finally, I think we need to put a lot of effort in building institutional capacity to act on drought warnings. When we look in the mirror how we dealt with severe droughts in other parts of the world like the horn of Africa, the warnings came up quite early from a number of institutes around the world that where going to a change in phase of drought but the institutions and institutional capacity will actually take action and, you know, in an early stage make sure that communities were prepared for what was coming and did not happened so here’s another very big and important field of where we can improve our way of handling droughts. Thank you very much.

Brett: Thank you, thank you Mats. So next we have Junaid Ahmad, he leads the World Bank Groups, Global Water Practice which supports government to build a water secure world for all. So Junaid, how do you sell water as an issue that government should pay attention to?

Junaid: Thank you for your question but allow me to make a slightly different comment. As I listen to the experts I find that the experts are spot on in terms of indicating where the challenge is in terms of managing droughts, it could be technology, it could be institutions, it could river rangements, but the one thing that I have learned in working on water for the last 20 years is we often don’t ask the question: “Who holds the political power over water?” Because I think the ability to deal with droughts or floods and I’m from Bangladesh always depends on who are really the political masters of water. And that makes water one of the most difficult commodities to manage because unlike most goods you can’t exactly say whether water is a public good, a private good, a political good or a social good and for me what that confusion really means is that property rights over water are not clear. And the moment property rights are not clear you’re not going to get an easy resolution of droughts and floods, so it’s a very important question to ask and particularly to ask in the context of California because the solution to the droughts or the adaptation to the drought whether it’s an optimal one or not depends on whether the power lies with farmers, cities, the energy producers because that’s where the allocation of water has to go between the different constituencies. Coming back to your question, how does one, one sell water? Well, given that I said water is often see is not clear whether it’s a private good or public good, let’s assume it’s a private good, then one wants to talk about market and say, “How do you sell water to the businesses that use water?” Well, today we see that companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle and others and in particular a garment producers are extremely worried that they are not getting access to water or what they’re getting is access to poor quality water. I know that in my own country in Bangladesh, garment producers have been talking with government basically saying that, “Look our future investment in the country is at risk because we’re not getting access to clean water,” yet ironically part of the pollution in water is caused by the garment industry themselves. But if you want to sell water, the private sector or the sector that absorbs water and needs it for their business, you’ve got to clearly begin to have them speak about the cost of a poor management of water. Selling water to government becomes interesting and I think that they’re different constituencies, the deal with government that would look at the concept of selling water. First let’s look at water to households, water to communities, one of the biggest sources of health problems is really poor quality water. Unfortunately, in countries like India, you have stunting in children because of very poor water insanitation, that’s stunting not only affects the economic productivity of citizens but it’s actually an intergenerational passing of poverty. You deal with water insanitation, you change the lives of people, you change the lives of future generation. Second is, that today, the lack of water or the flooding of water is causing huge economic consequences. Why? Because we’ve reached the stage that we’re today in the world where we’re facing thirsty energy, thirsty cities and thirsty agriculture, so the real issue of trade off between food security, energy security and sustaining urbanization, particularly in a time that the world is urbanizing. Well, if you can have such competing needs, you’re going to have to figure out, how to trade water. How to ensure water is delivered across the sectors but at the same time you have to deal with ensuring that agriculture, energy and cities grow in a different way, that they demand on water changes. If you don’t attack the water problem from the users side you have huge problems. So selling water to government that is dealing with economic growth or that has the responsibility to its citizens is really coming at it from the point of view of the economics and point of view of dealing with poverty. But I really come back as a conclusion to the question that I put in to all of you, who in the political economy holds the liver of water? If you can figure that out, you’ll get a sense of a how nation will manage its water.

Brett: Thank you Junaid, we’ll certainly go into more depth on those issues later. Our next guest is one of those people who work with businesses to try and ensure water sustainability. So we have Lindsay Bass, she is the Manager of Corporate Water Stewardship at the the World Wildlife Fund where she works with variety of partners including the Coca Cola Company, Starbucks and Levis on issues ranging from water risk assessments to collective solutions in river basins around the world. So Lindsay, how should business leaders think about drought?

Lindsay: Hi, it’s a pleasure to be with you all this afternoon and good morning to those of you in California. Many are surprised generally when they learned that a big international, environmental, non-profit like World Wildlife Fund works with the private sector on issues like fresh water conservation but I think it’s worth understanding that, you know, a few decades ago, we were working primarily with governments and communities around fresh water conservation issues yet we weren’t moving a needle on really securing sustainable water supply is and fresh water eco system in our priority areas that are real hotspots of university and when we take a look at that why that was, we realize that one of the main drivers of threats in the places that we care about was private sector investment and so it really made us sit back and reevaluate our approach and recognize that we needed to engage the private sector and get them involved in these issues and begin to frame our conversation in a way that would resonate with business. That work is work that we’ve been doing since early 2000 and we’ve really tried to be a thought leader in the space and it’s been pretty impressive just in the last five years where I’ve been working with World Wildlife Fund to really escalate and galvanize the US private sector in these conversations to see how quickly this concept of water stewardship has risen on the corporate agenda. So where it was predominantly a corporate social responsibility topic several years ago, it is now seen by many business leaders around the world and some of our guests here have talked about this but other material business risk. So businesses have seen its impact hit their bottomlines and just earlier this year though, World Economic Forum released their global risk report and water was among the top risk that we’re facing, so it’s a real recognition that I think by the world’s business leaders that in addition to being absolutely critical to securing the well being of the world’s core, water is central to some of the largest economies in the world as well, so we’re really in a position where we can take advantage of that interest really galvanize innovation, expertise and ability of the private sector to help us need this needle but what we need them to do is really moved beyond defense line of their operations so water stewardship and water efficiency just within their plans and operations really isn’t enough. We need them to be looking at how water issues flow through their supply chains, their broader business, how they impact water in water sheds and how those water sheds can impact their businesses as well. So really, we focus with them around securing in basin sustainable water balance, better water quality, improved water governance and the protection of important water related areas and so those four key outcomes are the things that we push forward and we do so through kind of a coordinated approach where we look at the impact of water on the business and then encourage internal action where we can have the greatest business value and rescued action but then utilize and engage with the private sector and collective action efforts as well as policy dialogue in a way that serves the public interest. It is really when we get to those upper echelon issues where we can see a great degree of impact coming from this type of engagement and approach for the private sector. So, when we look at how the private sector is engaging in California and looking to address some of these issues both in California and then more Bradley, I think we’re saying really really great innovation, what we need to do is really understand and articulate those business case studies and escalate that. It needs to grow, it needs to scale, the urgency of the issue really demands that the private sector amplify its action and take more meaningful steps beyond the fence line. That’s all.

Brett: Excellent, thank you Lindsay, I’m sure will get into some pretty interesting case studies on how a business should be looking at the big picture later in the large breakout groups. So next, we’ve heard quite a bit in mention from our panelists about water reuse so our next panelist makes that his career. We have Larry Schimmoller, he is the Global Technology Leader for Water Reuse at CH2M, an engineering firm. He helps plan and design water treatment and water recycling projects. So Larry, what is the role of technology impacting to drought? What are some barriers and the benefits?

Larry: So thank you and thanks for inviting me to this webcast, I’m very happy to be here and participate in this discussion. To answer your questions, I first would like to talk about the background of water reuse. At this stage, everybody is on the same level playing field, first for a water reuse, definition is recycling of treated waste water for beneficial use, we’ve been practicing, our Mother Nature has been practicing water reuse for billions of years, the same water that was here billions of years ago, used by dinosaurs are still used today, so Mother Nature does a very good job of safely recycling the water, so what we are doing is water reuse so just speeding up that process within engineer treatment. There are two main categories of water reuse, non potable reuse or reuse the water for irrigation, industrial, commercial uses and then there’s potable reuse where we’re actually taking the water, recycling it to various areas such as drinking water reservoirs, ground water and even direct potable reuse when you introduce it in today’s water distribution system directly. Those types of applications, both non potable and potable reuse require fair bid of advanced water treatment and the questions about is what technologies are we focusing on with that. I am going to focus on the potable reuse because the trend in the industry is really heading towards potable reuse for seeing a more economic approach in a higher yield for your water supply when you implement potable reuse because you can actually reuse that water year-round. Non potable has some limitations seasonally, so potable reuse actually can be more economical and lead to higher yields for your water supplies. So the types of treatment technology his done, they are varied across the world but most of all you want to use multiple barriers for the removal of organics, trace organic matter in the water and also pathogens, those are the critical ones. You have multiple barriers in place, multiple barriers remove different types of compounds and multiple barriers in place in case one of those processes fails. The types of technology includes membranes or common application, low pressure membranes, such as micro filtration, ultra filtration, typically, hollow fiber construction, they are designed to remove particular matter specially pathogens so that is usually one of the first barriers in potable reuse applications, high pressure membranes are also common and includes membranes such as filtration, reverse osmosis, commonly used in desalination applications for those who are really targeting removal of salt in trace organics. There are some limitations in reverse osmosis eventhough it is used in a lot of occasions and if you are away from the coast generates an arrow concentrates brine which can be very difficult and challenging to dispose of. It is not the [01:46:56.00] for reuse so alternative approach should be investigated there. Advance oxidations commonly use usually with the UV light in combination with some chemicals to create a very highly powerful oxidant to oxidize your trace organics. [01:47:15.09] is the least expensive option if you’re local geologist, hydro geology supports it, we actually percolate the water down to the ground. It provides a phenomenal level of treatment for pathogens as well as the organic matter. And then there’s older technology that is actually becoming more popular again because of the sustainability of it that does not includes biologically active carbon filtration and grain or activated carbonate absorption that target a lot of the organics in the water. Now, when you put all these process together, these technologies, just a couple of these full scale plan I’d like to review real quickly, that have been around for years, that are pretty well known in the industry, the first is the ground water….

Brett: Because of the technical problems, we are running a few minutes behind, you might as well want to save those details on the particular case studies and particular plans for the large breakout groups.

Larry: Sure, no problem, I’d be happy to.

Brett: Alright, so we’ll go to more details in some of the examples of water reuse around the world later as we go into large discussions. Our last panelist here, Manu Lall, is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at Columbia University and the Director of the Columbia Water Center, his more than 30 years of experience in water resource planning and risk analysis. Manu, you worked with Water Managers, officials and farmers around the world. How does drought adaptation differ as you move between countries, continents and regions?

Manu: Thanks Brett, I want to actually start this by saying that the best way to
think about this issue is to look at two major drivers that we face. The first is climate of course, because that determines the supply of water and the second is the demand side and that is determined to a great extent by the policies and practices that are in place and the intersection between these two is what determines the impact of drought. So first, targeting these two California for example, if we look at the current drought that is going on and by our analysis is the worst in 500 years so that seems pretty bad. However if you look at drought as marginally less severe than this, they also have only 50 year drought. So, the difference between the 50 year drought and the 500 year drought is actually not that much and this is something we have to keep in mind as we approach these issues. The second aspect of this appear working on adaptation across the world in our center ranging from Brazil to India or to Utopia or back to the United States is that often as Max said, the agriculture use dominates water use in a particular place and the selection of crops and how they are grown seems to be an issue with this. Now as we have dug in to that particular issue, it seems that that should be a market driven free will process but often it is a process which is actually dictated to a great degree by the policies that the government puts in place through subsidies and other incentives and whether it is in India or in other place, we found that there has to be a level that has to be addressed first because you cannot induce increased efficiency at the farm level unless the economics and the policy structures are consistent with that. Now, coming back to California, the big issue there is the water rate structure as well. There is a water right structure but it is not one that is conducive to creating all other things even though those mechanisms were introduced in California in previous droughts. So strangely, they’ve gone away from those. Now, one last comment and then I think we’ll hold the details for later as you suggested, and that is what is interesting in terms of working with these drivers is that we need the ability usually to change the paradigm, we need the ability on the one hand to increase the predictability of new term climate to give drought warnings to give indications on when you like to come out of drought so that the practices that people are planning in their next agricultural season or other practices that will be operative in the near future can then be properly adjusted and they are not disrupted. This is important to bring up because much of the effort of the research side seems to go towards long term climate change and not towards increasing near term predictability which I think is very important to bring up. The second comment associated with adaptation here is that I think if we can induce predictability or if we have some measure of predictability then facilitating transactions between different users so that higher value used accepts from lower value uses and give them appropriate compensation. Those can be stimulated and that has been already experienced in Brazil and I can get into the details when we go to the breakout groups.

Brett: Excellent! Thank you very much Manu. Those are our panelists, we have a wide range of expertise and knowledge that we will hear more in depth here in the breakout groups.