Will builders and developers in the American West ever demand strict building codes for water collection, reuse and conservation to ensure the survival of the industry?
It’s an open question and at the heart of the Next Generation Annual Water Summit since the event’s inception in 2017.
The Santa Fe conference focuses primarily on the states that survive in the Colorado and Rio Grande river basins. These states, located in two countries, are Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas.
With the exception of New Mexico, they are growing rapidly and all face dwindling water supplies, both above and below ground.
When the summit was first designed, it purported to be the first of its kind to bring builders, architects and developers together into one group – mixing them with experts in waste recovery and reuse. water as any other, and with water policy professionals as third.
Each group has their own conferences and professional organizations that present new ideas to their peers, but no one ever thought of bringing them all together to see if the built environment could lead the way in maximum conservation practices. water.
Manufacturers could explain “how to do it” to policy makers “why we have to do it”.
Now in its fourth year (2020 has been missed), it’s a fully virtual format that starts Wednesday and ends Friday. Better yet, the $ 99 fee is waived for all Santa Fe County zip code registrations. It’s free for locals, with sessions from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.
The themes for this year’s summit are drought, growth and social inequalities, which may need to be the themes from here on out. Indeed, the word “drought” implies something that ends someday, and that thing that we are in is unlikely to end in our lives.
Speakers and topics for the three days will match the themes of the summit, with Social Inequality Day on Friday devoted to issues specific to Santa Fe – including a panel discussion with city staff on water, growth and equity.
The summit has been a success since its inception, with one notable exception. Designed by four key entities – the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association; Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce; Coalition of Green Builders; and Doug Pushard, the nationally recognized guru of water collection and reuse in Santa Fe – the event worked well with two of the three intended target audiences.
To my regret, its importance to home builders appears to be quite limited. Make it pathetically limited.
Yeah, yeah, everyone is overwhelmed with business, and no one likes to face new rules and restrictions, but it comes to you whether you’re ready or not. Take the time to complete a registration at nextgenerationwatersummit.com and at least check out the topics and the biographies of the speakers.
Many national experts may not be names you know, but they are widely known and respected among water buffs around the world. The keynote speaker for the 9 a.m. Wednesday kick-off is Professor Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University, an in-demand national speaker known for mixing up the urgency of climate change from a fundamentalist Christian perspective.
Many Santa Claus locals may not fully understand how thoughtful our current water policies have been or how focused city staff members are on planning for a declining future, but the efforts did not go unnoticed by water and construction professionals in the West.
That’s why when Santa Fe decides to host a water conference, it gets the attention and participation of the best.
Santa Fe will grow up. Modestly, we hope so. The faster growing states around us face dire consequences. They come to Santa Fe to teach us how to prepare for the worst.
Kim Shanahan was a
Santa Fe green builder since 1986 and sustainability consultant since 2019. Contact him at [email protected]