The most vital resource to the survival and success of any city is contingent upon easy access to clean water. Clean water allows people to live in compact areas and still enjoy high levels of health and sanitation.
Where there are clean water shortages, turmoil, strife, and disease will follow. It is important, then, for governments to have a reliable and sustainable system of water distribution for all people living in their municipality. This is the most fundamental service that government can provide, and yet, governments everywhere seem to be lacking at fulfilling these needs.
Whereas developing cities in Asia have severe problems with delivering adequate supplies water to meet their citizens’ daily needs, American cities typically have problems creating sustainable methods of water consumption. There is no arguing that America is a wasteful society, and our rabid consumption of water is no exception. While much of water conservation lies within each individual’s own will to implement, architects and urban planners are coming up with new methods of assisting cities become the sustainable areas for water usage:
- Israel currently has 80% of its sewage treated and reused for irrigation water for agriculture. This is done through a process called Attached Growth Airlift Reactor, which is an affordable biological way of treating wastewater;
- Architects that designed the Bank of America Tower in New York had water-conserving techniques on their mind. Bank of America Tower captures rainwater that hits the building and treats it to a standard suitable to flush toilets and supply the building’s cooling tower. All of these sustainable designs and many more have made it the first skyscraper to get a LEED Platinum certificate;
- The outline developed by Aspen Institute entitled Sustainable Water Systems provides urban planners with urban design techniques that are sustainable, practical, and affordable, such as regulatory optimization and stewardship responsibilities.
The future of achieving sustainable water consumption in the U.S. is bright;
initiatives are being developed so that we may be responsible stewards to our environment and the water we are blessed with.
What are sustainable water ideas you would like to see implemented around the U.S.?