The business case for green buildings

The business case for green buildings

It is simpler to incorporate sustainability into a building’s design, construction and operations before its development, rather than retrofitting existing features. FILE PHOTO

The adoption of energy and water reducing initiatives translates into cost savings.

GREEN buildings. Efficient in the use of energy, water and materials – all while providing quality air supply. Sounds very Al Gore, right? Green buildings, are, in fact, becoming more and more commonplace in commercial … [more…]

Mapping your water supply

Cross-section graphic: Mapping your water supply

Excerpt of the ‘Ecological Design Dimension’ of Gaia Education’s online course in ‘Design for Sustainability’

Water is used by agriculture, industry and municipalities. Unsustainable extraction from aquifers lowers the groundwater level.

Within a bioregion it is good to assess the water budget — inflows and outflows. Sustainable communities can then ensure they are using water from sustainable sources and conserving wherever possible (see picture Conceptual Water Budget).

Do you know [more…]

California Groundwater Law Means Big Changes Above Ground, Too

photo: housing construction in the Central Valley. California Groundwater Law Means Big Changes Above Ground, Too

The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is likely to result in fallowing thousands of acres of farmland. Local governments are just waking up to the big opportunities, and risks, in how that land gets reused.

New housing construction in California’s San Joaquin Valley poses a threat to some of the best groundwater recharge lands.

California’s new groundwater management law is not a sports car. It moves more like a wagon … [more…]

Nature is teaching … are we learning?

photo: landscape. Nature is teaching … are we learning?

The three major challenges in the water sector can be summed up as too little, too much or too dirty.

Water use over the last century has been growing by more than twice the rate of population increase. A central challenge for sustainable development is how to balance the competing uses of water; ensure that the needs of all are met – especially the poor and marginalised – and that … [more…]

Strengthening policy innovation for water use in agriculture

Strengthening policy innovation for water use in agriculture

Experts from high-income countries and client countries came together last week during a joint World Bank-OECD workshop to discuss the shared goal of improving policy design and implementation for water use in agriculture.

Although efficient use of water is becoming a central aim of agricultural practices, much work is yet to be done to meet steep water demands and curtail pollution from agricultural production.

“Facilitating Policy Change Towards Sustainable Water … [more…]