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Press Release: Community Clean Water Institute Selected to Present Climate Solutions to International Water Experts at the World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan

For Immediate Release: February 10, 2003

Contact: Lynn Hamilton (707) 874-3803
Mike Sandler (707) 874-3803

The Community Clean Water Institute is proud to announce that Michael Sandler, CCWI's Program Coordinator, has been selected as a finalist in the World Water Action Contest. As a finalist, Sandler will travel to the World Water Forum, to be held in Kyoto, Japan the week of March 16-23, 2003 and give a presentation to a panel of international water experts on CCWI's Water and Climate Project, which addresses the impacts of water use and wastewater treatment in Sonoma County on climate change. The World Water Forum is run by the World Water Council, an international policy think tank with members including the International Water Resources Association, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank.

Mike Sandler

As a finalist, Sandler is one of about 100 presenters from non-profit organizations from around the world, which are working on grassroots solutions to global water problems. "I hope to share Sonoma County's perspective in linking water issues with climate change, and to bring back many new ideas in solving global water problems through innovative local initiatives," said Sandler.

In addition to his work at the Community Clean Water Institute in Occidental, Sandler also is an Associate with the Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign, based in Graton, which is coordinating greenhouse gas emissions inventories for 9 cities and the County of Sonoma. His presentation in Kyoto will focus on ways to work with cities to reduce thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions through water use reduction and efficiency. If selected by an international panel of water experts, Sandler will receive a Grand Prix of $50,000.

About the Water and Climate Project: Global climate change is one of the greatest threats to water resources and ecosystems over the next century. Climate change is expected to impact U.S. water resources and water availability in the western United States, including the following: decreased snowfall and snowmelt, a major source of drinking water for much of California; rising sea levels threatening coastal aquifers and water supplies; increases in lake and stream temperatures threatening fish, water species, and critical habitats such as wetlands.

Although the U.S. population represents approximately 5 percent of the world's total, it accounts for over 25 percent of the emissions that cause global climate change.

CCWI's Water and Climate Project provides education and outreach on how climate will affect California water supply, along with easy ways to reduce ghg emissions focused on water use, and efficiency. CCWI has partnered with the Sonoma County Climate Protection Program to promote smart water policies to elected officials, schools, businesses, and others. Over the next few months, CCWI will be encouraging water treatment plants to incorporate energy efficiency into their operations.

Background on Sonoma County Climate Protection Efforts:

Local governments in Sonoma County set a national precedent in 2002 when Sonoma County and all nine of its cities pledged by resolution to quantify and reduce the ghg emissions resulting from their operations. The County adopted a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from the year 2000 to 2010, (the target set by the Kyoto Protocol, which has not been ratified by the U.S. government, is to reduce emissions by 7 percent from 1990 levels).

According to the City of Santa Rosa's GHG emissions inventory, emissions have increased by 11 percent over the past nine years. When emissions from the Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant are added in, the increase jumps to 40 percent. Energy use around water was described by City Councilmember Jane Bender as the City's largest user of energy. The City is installing new efficient air blowers at the plant, estimated to use 50 percent less energy than the current blowers, reduce over 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, and save more than $400,000 per year.

About CCWI: CCWI's mission is to protect water resources and public health by identifying sources of pollution through water testing programs, public outreach, and education programs. CCWI works with watershed and community groups to support citizen monitoring of rivers and streams. For more information about CCWI, check the CCWI website at www.ccwi.org or call (707) 874-3803.

 

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