Bringing Water Back into the Discussion
Water shortage is becoming a reality in many areas of the United States—a result of growing populations, shifting precipitation patterns due to global warming, long-term precipitation patterns that may not have anything to do with climate change (there is some evidence that for the past several hundred years the West has been in a period of higher-than-normal precipitation), and unsustainable water-management practices. As a hint at what might be coming, friends of mine recently relocated from New Mexico to New Hampshire due to projected water shortages—deciding that they had to get out before their property value plummeted.
Water is also on the minds of the editors at
EBN. We are concerned that most Americans treat freshwater as if it were limitless and free. But we are also encouraged that there are many cost-effective ways to reduce that consumption.
Our feature article this month begins a major focus on water during 2008. We last provided a comprehensive look at water conservation in the 1997 article “Water: Conserving This Precious Resource” (
In this issue we address water-efficient products and technologies. Additional articles this year will cover alternative water supplies (for example, graywater, rainwater, and cooling tower blowdown) and how to achieve savings in potable water use through incentives, regulations, policies, and education. Through such coverage, we hope to bring the discussion of water more actively into the green building movement.
Published February 3, 2008