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Are we reaching "Peak Water"?


WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 18, 2011 — According to Dr. Peter Gleick and his colleagues in the newest volume of the most important assessment of global water challenges and solutions, more and more regions of the world, including the United States, may be reaching the point of "peak water." To conserve this critical resource without harming the economy or public health, businesses, communities, governments, and individuals are looking for new techniques to move to sustainable water management.

The World's Water, Vol. 7 offers discussion and analysis for developing those reforms. For more than a decade, this biennial report has provided key data and expert insights into freshwater issues. In the seventh volume in the series, Gleick and his colleagues at the Pacific Institute address such issues as increased conflicts over water resources, "fracking" natural gas contamination, corporate risks and responsibilities around water, and the growing risks of climate change. They specifically explore:

· Reform of U.S. water policy, including implementation of economic approaches, decentralized decision-making, and greater stakeholder participation;

· Risks for businesses that do not manage their water resources responsibly;

· Impacts of climate change on transboundary water resources and agreements;

· The effects of fossil fuel production on water quality;

· Regional and worldwide impacts of China's policy on dam building;

· The lessons of Australia's prolonged and severe drought; and

· Newly updated data on international water quality.

"Our goal in doing The World's Water series is to help improve global understanding of water challenges and the availability of solutions," said Peter Gleick, "and the growing evidence of climate change impacts poses new challenges for freshwater management as a result of changes in water quantity, water quality, water-system operations, and more."

Volume 7 of The World's Water also features concise water briefs on topics including bottled water and energy, The Great Lakes Water Agreements, water and security, and a fun section on water in the movies. Check out your water movie knowledge and more on the Pacific Institute's website – including selected chapters and data tables from the new volume on water supply and access, top environmental concerns, and bottled water consumption.

Dr. Peter Gleick, a MacArthur Fellow and one of the world's leading authorities on water, is president of the Pacific Institute and coauthor and editor of the biennial series The World's Water, available from Island Press at

For additional information and downloadable reports on a wide range of water issues, visit the Pacific Institute websites at and Based in Oakland, California, the Pacific Institute is a nonpartisan research institute that works to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. Through interdisciplinary research and partnering with stakeholders, the Institute produces solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally.

The World's Water Volume 7

by Peter Gleick et al

Island Press Hardcover / Paperback

392 pages Price: $70.00 / $35.00 | ISBN: 978-1-59726-998-8 / 978-1-59726-999-5

Publication Date: October 18, 2011

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