TUSCON, ARIZ. -- Warnings and what can be done about the potential for future urban water crisis was the keynote focus of green building expert and sustainability consultant Jerry Yudelson at the 11th Annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) on April 26th. MGBCE's Southern California’s leading green building conference and expo, to be held at the Southern California Gas Energy Resource Center in Downey, California. This year’s conference drew more than 500 people for the all-day event.
“As Mark Twain once said, ‘whiskey’s for drinking and water’s for fighting.’ We must deal proactively with our vital but overstressed water resources, both in the US and in other countries. We going to see conflicts in the 21st century increasingly based on access to water.” Yudelson’s presentation at the MGBCE event dealt specifically with strategies for public officials and public agencies to take to head off future water scarcities caused by droughts, climate change and population growth.
The green building and sustainability consultant said, “If we are serious about cutting our carbon emissions, we have to deal with water conservation. Most people don’t know that California uses nearly 20 percent of its electricity for moving and treating water and that nearly one-third of natural gas is used for heating water. Because of this connection, we have found that water conservation is the cheapest form of energy conservation.”
The conference is a jointly sponsored event of the Los Angeles and Orange County chapters of the US Green Building Council. Los Angeles Chapter Executive Director Dr. Jorge Partida said, “We chose Jerry Yudelson to keynote this year’s conference because of his leading role as an author and advocate in promoting efforts to prevent future urban water crises. We believe that public officials need to focus more attention on water, as it’s on the cusp of a major technological revolution and offers major green jobs potential.”
Yudelson is the author of the seminal book presenting design and planning options for increasing water abundance, Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis. While he advocates for technological solutions, Yudelson also claims, “We must change our approach to treating water as a free good and instead recognize it as a vital resource for our entire economy.”
A professional engineer and experienced sustainability and green building consultant, Yudelson trained at Caltech and Harvard in environmental engineering and water resources management. He believes that water will be the focus for much conflict in the next few decades and that water technology advances, along with creative policy measures, can provide the public sector with solutions to increasingly strained water resources.