6 April 2011 – US Green building and water conservation consultant Jerry Yudelson claims he knows the best way to deal with urban water crises which are a growing concern in the US.
A graphic reference tool of critical new opportunities in water conservation, efficiency and new supply, “The Pyramid of New Water Sources,” based on research for his 2010 book, “Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis”, organises opportunities for extending urban water supplies, going into a hotter and drier future.This tool shows future water supply sources in the form of a pyramid diagram with 10 steps, each of which increases in cost and complexity. The pyramid ranks the following measures:
- Changing behaviour, with such measures as public education, effective water pricing, water audits and web-based information
- Low-cost/no-cost measures, such as fixing leaks and retrofitting lower water-using fixtures
- Irrigation measures, including native plantings and drip irrigation, along with smart irrigation controllers
- Hygiene, such as water-free urinals and high-efficiency toilets
- Appliances, such as water-conserving dishwashers, water softeners and clothes washers
- Extreme makeovers that include composting (no water) toilets, hardscape (unplanted) landscaping and onsite blackwater treatment and reuse.
- Water heating, one of the biggest energy users in the water cycle, including hot water recirculation loops, efficient water heaters, and solar water heaters
- Onsite reuse, including rainwater and graywater collection and reuse for irrigation
- Offsite reuse, using reclaimed water from “purple pipe” systems and even “sewer mining” (treating sewage already flowing in pipes)
- Desalination of seawater and brackish water; new water sources, such as creating potable water with reverse osmosis treatment of reclaimed sewage.
Mr Yudelson hopes that tool will become an essential visualisation and teaching aid and expects it to be adapted for specific localities as well as educational environments.
To download the pyramid see https://www.greenbuildconsult.com/blog/pyramid-of-new-water-sources/.