A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Life Through Greywater-Colored Glasses

My Water Resources Management in the US class had their final exams where part of the *exam* was critiquing briefing notes prepared by other participants in the class. A sociology student with true grit stepped outside their comfort zone for their degree coursework and interviewed local greywater *gurus* and the public about greywater reuse for their briefing note.

Her briefing note titled Looking at Water Conservation through Greywater-colored Glasses. The analysis was so well done it warranted being awarded one of the last Hughie sinks the friendly folks in Australia sent me!

Forgetting that blogger does not permit uploading documents, the following are highlights from her briefing note:

First, a cool word cloud summarizing the entire note!

Next, in her interviews she discovered nearly everyone seemed to believe that a water price increase would in some way be effective. However, a member of the general public had a very good question
about the price increase idea. “ Where’s the money going to go if you increase the price of water? What’s the justification? Is it just to poke people into being environmentally conscious?... Does [the money] go to education?”

Other highlights - "We can encourage greywater reuse as much as we like, greywater professionals and the general public alike, but are we practicing what we preach, so to speak? I posed a question to all of my interviewees about personal greywater reuse, and I was pleasantly surprised by the responses this generated. Out of the 7 people I interviewed, 5 people said that they do have greywater reuse in their water conservation practice."

The takeaway message from the briefing note - "I thought education in schools is key because the kids learning how to conserve could potentially influence the parents."

Fair enough. And a message carried forth in the latest entry in the Living Building world. Introducing the Brock Environmental Center, an educational building project for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as described in this article in Architect Magazine. "The Living Building Challenge’s requirements is documentation that the project produces at least 105 percent of the energy it consumes through renewable energy sources on-site, supplies all potable water needs through captured precipitation or other natural, closed-loop water systems, and manages and treats all stormwater, graywater, and blackwater." 

It is also the first commercial building in the continental U.S. that is approved to treat harvested rainwater, to federal standards, for human consumption and other potable uses. 

* * * 
Oh well, a touch of grey
Kind of suits you anyway
That was all I had to say
It's all right
~ Touch of Grey, Grateful Dead

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