Pacific Institute launches Water and Climate Equity


Oakland, Calif., July 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oakland, California — July 11, 2022 — The Pacific Institute, a global, nonpartisan water think tank working to catalyze transformation towards water resilience by 2030, today launched its new water equity strategy. water and climate. Through research and awareness, this long-term strategy will address the impacts of climate change on water security for frontline communities, including rural communities, low-income communities and communities of color. , across the United States.

The work will provide rigorous evidence-based research and climate-resilient strategies for frontline communities. The research will focus on the violation of the human right to water across the United States. More than 2.2 billion people in the world do not have access to safely managed drinking water. While the human right to water is officially recognized by the United Nations and the State of California, the United States has not formalized water as a human right at the federal level.

“Millions of people in the United States still do not have access to safe drinking water, lack basic plumbing, or depend on unsafe water systems. Frontline communities often bear the worst of this water insecurity, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities, communities of color, Indigenous communities and rural areas,” said Dr. Shannon McNeeley, Principal Investigator and Head of Equity in and Climate Change for the Pacific Institute.” Working collaboratively, this work will focus attention on how to ensure that the human right to water is achieved equitably and by all across the country, with an emphasis particularly on how climate change will affect water security for the most marginalized and overburdened communities.”

To implement the strategy, the Pacific Institute is already working closely with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) and DigDeep.

“Our hope is to shine a light on the stories of rural communities and the experiences of their water supply systems with climate change,” said Bobby Cochran, director of strategy and knowledge for RCAP. “Through this work, we really want to understand all of the challenges rural communities and water systems face, what they do every day to overcome those challenges, and their successes.”

“Low-income, Indigenous or communities of color already suffer disproportionately from lack of access to safe, reliable and affordable water and sewage systems,” said Betsy Taylor, executive director of LiKEN. “The escalation of climate change threatens to dramatically increase these inequalities.”

“We now know that more than 2.2 million people in the United States still do not have faucets or toilets in their homes, but with the climate crisis intensifying, there are more questions to be answered. respond,” said George McGraw, Founder and CEO of DigDeep. . “How will climate change affect our water supply and wastewater treatment systems? Which communities are most at risk of falling into the “water access deficit” in the future? Perhaps more importantly, what can we do to help vulnerable communities adapt? Our partnership with the Pacific Institute will help us answer these and other important questions.

Co-designed research conducted in collaboration with communities and partner organizations will analyze how climate change, as a risk multiplier, will intensify water-related risks for marginalized communities; the impacts of climate change in particular on small and medium water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems; the distributional effects and equity of related environmental policy; and preparing for water-related climate change.

The plan builds on the Pacific Institute’s long-standing work in establishing the human right to water and researching water equity issues. The Pacific Institute focuses its water research in three areas: nature-based solutions, water efficiency and reuse, and water and climate equity.

The Water and Climate Equity Strategy could be expanded beyond the United States in the coming years, building on the Pacific Institute’s global water research and partnerships. For more information, visit the Pacific Institute’s Water and Climate Equity page here.

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Founded in 1987, the Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active advocacy to influence local, national and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. water. Its mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. Whether working with Fortune 500 companies or disadvantaged communities, the Pacific Institute leads local, national and international efforts to develop sustainable water policies and achieve meaningful results. To learn more about the Institute of the Pacific, visit www.pacinst.orgTwitter at @PacificInstitut, or LinkedIn or Facebook at @Pacific Institute.

RCAP is a national, nonprofit network providing opportunities, assistance, and practical guidance to small communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and tribal lands to ensure access to clean water, sanitary wastewater disposal and economic prosperity for all of rural America. RCAP works with rural communities and partners across the country to elevate rural voices and build local capacity to improve quality of life, starting at the tap. To learn more about RCAP, visit

LiKEN is a reservoir of linkages, linking local knowledge with specialized expertise to build capacity to develop good livelihoods based on local assets, monitor community health and wealth to avoid booming economies and to collapse, and to take evidence-based action for future well-being based on a deep understanding of the past. The goals of LiKEN’s water work are to help communities document their own assets and conduct evidence-based planning; establish collaborations between communities and the academic, expert, governmental and not-for-profit sectors; and to develop educational materials on water issues that are useful to communities. To learn more about LiKEN, visit

DigDeep is a nonprofit human rights organization that works to ensure that every American has access to running water and sanitation. DigDeep’s community infrastructure projects have brought clean running water to hundreds of families through the award-winning Navajo Water Project (Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah), Appalachia Water Project (West Virginia), and Colonias Water Project (Texas). DigDeep is a leading voice in research, workforce development, and policy advocacy regarding water access in the United States. In November 2019, DigDeep and the US Water Alliance co-authored the groundbreaking report “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan”, which found that more than 2.2 million Americans are living without faucet or toilet at home. In June 2022, DigDeep released a follow-up report, “Drainage: The Economic Impact of the Hidden U.S. Water Crisis,” showing that lack of access to water is costing the U.S. economy $8.65 billion per year. For more information, visit


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