Water and Water Infrastructure
I hope you all will read the just released Infrastructure 2010 report I authored for the Urban Land Institute. Here is the link. We focus this year on water and water infrastructure, and how the availability of water supplies and our dealing with water runoff will impact land use decisions in coming decades. The bottom line is that water will become an increasingly critical issue facing developers and government planners in every U.S. region whether areas which receive ample rainfall or places in the parched desert Southwest.
Here's a synopsis of some key points in the report, excerpted from an article I wrote for the upcoming May/June issue of Urban Land magazine:
Itīs pretty simple--if you donīt have water, you canīt develop.
But when has water ever been a major hurdle for regional planners and builders in the United States? Even in arid areas, we just pump in supplies over far flung aqueduct systems or access deep underground aquifers. In America, when we turn on the tap, a stream of clean, cheap water flows out.
Maybe so, but we can no longer afford complacency about water.
In fact, no other infrastructure category presents the United States with greater challenges to future growth and regional prosperity than water, and no major metropolitan region in the U.S. can claim insulation from water related problems and costs. In coming years, budget busting system breakdowns may slam older cities in the Northeast and the Midwest, while burgeoning Western urban centers deal with how to protect threatened supplies and meet demands from growing populations. In the Southeast, rapid development and poor management compromise resources as states, counties, agribusiness interests, and power companies wrestle over available supplies. In most places, wastewater treatment plants are either too old or reach their capacity, and contamination from storm water runoff and non-point source pollution becomes a major issue just about everywhere.
For more... much more read the report... and read Urban Land.