Green Visions Series: Water conservation and the revival of local economies

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Due to overbuilding on wetland marshes our hydrological cycle is being distorted.


We can create an ecologically-based way of living in Florida. One that utilizes the best measures of water conservation to create a new way of living. This retrofitting of existing neighborhoods could create new jobs and spark a economic revival. It's about retrofitting our homes to not only be energy efficient, but water conserving. What does this look like on a neighborhood scale?

New Decisions from IDEO on Vimeo.

New Systems from IDEO on Vimeo.

New Tools and Behaviors from IDEO on Vimeo.

These are visions of what people assume could be our future in say 30 years. By envisioning a collective future we can begin work on the process of transitioning. We must transition away from the wastefulness that we have been accustomed to for too long. Only when we collaboratively commit to a sustainable future can we overcome the financial burdens.

Such tools as local currencies and land trust non-profits can help in the endeavor. Revolving loan funds that constantly seek new projects to invest in, creating oppourtuinities for many new projects to grow. What if investors took over a neighborhood and converted it to utilize community resources as well as the best water conservation and energy efficiency devices available? Recyling the water from greywater as well as using some of the recycled water for community agriculture, thus creating living environments for human beings to live within. Further buildings could be thought up of utilization for workshop areas and places to create handcrafted goods. A revival of a local economy that gives many people meaningful work supporting the livelihoods of their neighbors. People could work together to raise food, reduce their water use, and squelch climate change by committing to lower their carbon dioxide emissions.

The return for the investor would be a really cheap place to live, a return on investment from the affordable rent or mortgages sold out to these communities. The value of these places will be instrumental as people are realizing what's most important in their lives right now, such as more family time.

Please share this post and write your thoughts or ideas about green businesses involving reducing water usage. Let's envision this together and make it happen!

Let us assume for one moment that water was a precious commodity, as rare as gold itself. How would we treat it? Would we bathe our infertile landscape with it? Expend perfectly clean water to dispose of our waste? Throw it away after scantly using it in the sink while doing dishes?

Now let us live in reality. Realize that already this resource is such a thing. For we live way above our means at almost 500 gallons a day for the average American. Most human beings on this planet use less than 100 gallons, and by 2025 water will be a scarce resource for nearly three-quarters of the population due to exponential growth of use and depleting glaciers.

In my previous post about South Central Asia, I spoke also about the resource war that could erupt over water. With recent fires in California as well as sandstorms in Australia, more than ever resilience in a water supply will be crucial for our success in the future. We must adapt to a goal of using less water and utilizing it more efficiently.

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