regenerative design

How we can overcome the looming water crisis in our cities with “the Godfather of Green”Jerry Yudelson


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Welcome back to the second episode in this series on waterway regeneration. In this series we’ll be looking into the often overlooked role of the water cycle and its effects on the climate crisis. I’ll be speaking with experts and innovators about how repairing the hydrological cycle and the health of our waterways can lead to the restoration of all sorts of ecological services and the health of entire ecosystems as a result. 

In this week’s episode I got to chat with Jerry Yudelson, the author of 13 full-length professional and trade books on green buildings, integrated design, green homes, water conservation, building performance and sustainable development. Dubbed ‘The Godfather of Green’ by Wired Magazine, Jerry’s passion for optimizing the built environment is reflected by his many years of professional experience in the green building and certification fields, serving as an elected LEED Fellow and as president of the Green Building Initiative. He also served on the national board of the USGBC and chaired the Steering Committee for the largest green building show, Greenbuild, from 2004 through 2009. 

Despite being best known for ecological building design and policy, in this interview we’re going to focus on his book Dry Run, which unpacks some of the best ways to manage scarce water resources and handle upcoming urban water crises. The book explains the most pressing water issues that urban zones face, and examines the vital linkages between water, energy use, urban development and climate change. Dry Run also demonstrates best practices for achieving “net zero” water use in the built environment through, water conservation strategies for buildings, factories, cities and homes, rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and water reclamation systems, water efficiency retrofits, onsite sewage treatment, and new water reuse and supply technologies.

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In this interview we specifically address the urgent changes that cities need to make to ensure longer term water security. Jerry explains his classifications of the colors of water that help to categorize the different sources and uses for water in cities that require different management systems, and gives a few case studies of municipalities that have started to make improvements in their aquatic infrastructure.

If you’re interested in reading the episode as a full transcript. Click here.


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