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Water Op Eds:

Climate Change Greenest Roof
Water - Why Care

 


Op Ed Articles

Tap to Toilet Versus Tap to Toilet - Same Words, Totally Different Solutions

Much is being written about 'Tap to Toilet' these days as a new water source for municipal water providers. This type of tap water is your old toilet water cleaned and sent back to the tap. As you can imagine these are big, costly water infrastructure projects.

Outside In and Inside Out

Harvested rainwater is used predominantly for irrigation and occasionally, with treatment, for drinking water. There are other uses, too, but most of the time, this pure and precious resource is allowed to just run down the street. We need to rethink how we use this limited resource by exploring ways to use and reuse outside water inside the house and inside water outside the house.

Water – The Way Forward Part I

Santa Fe is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in recorded history and city officials have announced that they're considering new water conservation measures. The above-normal precipitation we experienced in recent decades does not seem likely to return any time soon. So where do we go from here? Santa Fe water officials and folks living here have already done a splendid job reducing the gallons used per capita per day (GPCD). This number when we first started recording it back in 1998 was 168 and it is now around 109, a stunning decrease of over 35 percent.

Water – Another View

Pumping more water or increasing water transfer from other areas is not going to solve this problem. Increased pumping and transferring water from further locations increases the need for more power generation and this directly translates into more power plants. For those of us who love our amazing vistas and crystal clear blue skies, the solution to our water needs can’t involve polluting our skies. Clearly, we must look to other solutions to solve our water needs. >> more

Water: Why Care?

I get a lot of blank stares when I start talking about water conservation and rainwater harvesting. Not among the folks who already do it here in Northern New Mexico, but from those who don’t. The typical response is “Why should I care? Water is cheap, and all I have to do is turn on the tap and it flows.” >> more

The “Greenest” Roof is White and Metallic

Among the goals of what are called “Green” roofs, vegetated roofs or roof-top gardens are reduced building energy costs and reduced urban-heat islanding. For both goals, white metals roofs are superior, particularly in the “sun belt” where cooling is a year-round task. If needed, the insulating properties of a vegetated roof can generally be provided underneath the roofing layer with radiant barriers or other insulation. >> more

Water is Local

Water is easy access and this has created an ideal for communities and local agriculture. In Santa Fe, where I live, on Garcia Street and the surrounding areas used to be farms not long ago. You can still see the sign for the old Gormley's trading goods store on Canyon Road, where local farmers would drop off their produce for folks from all around the area to buy. >> more

Drought, What Drought

For those of us paying attention to the weather in Santa Fe, a question increasingly coming up these days is when are we going to see watering restrictions? Especially since this is the driest it has been in a long time. Average precipitation for Santa Fe this time of year is normally 4.81 inches, and so far we have only received 0.67 inches, or 13.9% of average. >> more

The Tale of Two Cities – Billions Conserved

Albuquerque and Santa Fe have had water conservation programs for well over a decade, and both have been very successful. Yet their approaches to saving this precious resource in the arid Southwest are different. Since 1995, Albuquerque has reduced per capita use by 36%, Santa Fe by 42%. Santa Fe’s water use is now substantially less than the US average, while Albuquerque is likely to fall below the US average soon. >> more

Water Conscious Holiday Gifts

Saving water is a gift that rewards everyone. Hotter and drier weather are the new normal. Giving gifts that can save water and save money may be more appreciated than ever this holiday season. Although there are endless ways to engage in a water-conscious lifestyle, these five gift ideas can be a great start for making a positive contribution to using our water wisely. >> more

Ten Strategies to Promote Rainwater Harvesting

In the 1980s and early 90s, most people, especially in urban areas were unaware of what rainwater harvesting (RWH) meant and why there would be a need to collect rainwater. It took an enormous amount of effort working with and speaking to local communities, organizations and state agencies to publicize the need for and benefits of RWH. >> more

Extreme Swings in Climate Cycles Could Jeopardize the Socioeconomic Stability in the Northern Great Plains Region by Joseph Littbarski
Recently completed studies reconstructing the historical climatic trends for the last 2000 years in the northern Great Plains show that frequent alternating climatic cycles of drought and wet periods are typical for this area. The results of this study suggest that this region is likely to experience a significant drought within the next few decades.more>>

Links:

Related Webpage: US Drought Monitor
Related Article: List of State and City Programs and Vendors
Related Article: Additional Pictures
Related Article: List of State and City Programs and Vendors
Related Article: Additional Pictures

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