On the Urban Water Crisis

Dry-runLeave a comment below through the end of Friday, September 3, 2010, to be considered for this random book giveaway.*

Jerry Yudelson is a green building leader, but he’s also a professional engineer with a master’s degree in water resource development.  Relying on this background, Yudelson authored a new book called Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis.  The truth is, as he explains, the global human population is expected to quadruple from 1950 to 2050, placing more and more stress on water resources.  Swift action is necessary to prevent a water crisis, and Dry Run provides a timely set of solutions.

New Society Publishers provided us with a review copy of the book, which focuses on urban water use, as opposed to agriculture or industry use.  Yudelson discusses water crises all over the world (including Australia) and concludes that the general public needs to develop a “culture of conservation.”

Gathering research and information from interviews of industry experts, the author deftly handles a variety of topics, including the difference between water efficiency and conservation, the linkage between energy and water use, and the relationship between various certification systems and water usage.

Yudelson devotes a solid portion of text to what he calls the colors of water: blue water, graywater, brown water, blackwater, green water, zen water, and new water.  After that, Yudelson examines two Texas cities and two California cities — all hit with varying degrees of drought — and how each city successfully managed water issues.

Speaking to activists, citizens, building managers, homeowners, designers, developers, and officials alike, Yudelson concludes with a 10-step program to drastically reduce water consumption and create green jobs at the same time.  It’s an important book for our generation and worth reading, particularly if you’re interested in doing something about water scarcity before it becomes a massive societal problem.

[+] Buy Dry Run by Jerry Yudelson on Amazon.

*To participate in this giveaway contest, leave a comment here by midnight MST on Friday, September 3, 2010.  One comment per person; use a valid email; available only in the United States.  By leaving a comment, you agree to the terms and conditions relating to giveaways on Jetson Green.


  • http://twitter.com/rainharvester Burke Sisco

    This is an especially critical topic for those of us who live in Atlanta, GA. With a mandate to significantly reduce water withdrawals from Lake Lanier by 2012 and a forecasted return to drought conditions by 2011, the time is now to heed the wake-up call sounded by this book. And to take action. There is no shortage of water given, just received. Atlanta receives 45 – 50 inches of rainfall per year. Plenty for everyone if we start working towards net zero water usage through rainwater harvesting and gray water recycling technologies. More at http://www.rainshinetech.com.

  • Nate

    Sounds enlightening. Especially Yudelson’s color coding discussions. Can’t wait to give it a read!

  • http://twitter.com/ScoomerBlog Heather Anne

    I would love to read this! Sounds informative! Cheers!

    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

  • Nicholas Fabrizio

    This book sounds very interesting. I’m curious where Yudelson got the stats on the global human population quadrupling between 1950 and 2050. There is a lot of debate on both sides of the global overpopulation issue. I am also very curious to read about his 10-step program for reduction of water use and creating green jobs.

  • Jennifer

    Sounds interesting!

    jkzych at hotmail dot com

  • Anonymous

    Sounds really interesting. We just watched FLOW the other day.

    I’m actually getting ready to start planning the water system for our home we’re going to start building next spring.

    rick at ourmissourilife dot com

  • Helen Welborn

    Take a look at what the City of Seattle has accomplished as re: lowering water consumption. In the years 1975 to 2005, the water utility’s customer base increased from just under 1 million to nearly 1.23 million, while total water consumption dropped from more than 150 MGD to less than 130 MGD. See section 2, page 15+ of Seattle’s 2007 Water System Plan. Contact Dave Hilmoe, Water director, at Seattle Public Utilities.

  • Guest

    Yudelson is great. I would love to read his new book.

  • http://www.greenexpo365.com Scott D.

    Jerry stopped by GreenExpo365.com for a webinar a couple of weeks back. Very insightful discussion as we talked about how blue is the new green & water will become the next oil as countries will battle over the rights to it. He shared views on how other countries are handling their drought issues and how the US needs to be prepared sooner versus later. Check it out: http://www.greenexpo365.com/auditorium

  • Callie

    Such a large amount of water is used/misused for agriculture that concerns over an impending (existing, actually) water shortage carries over into necessary reforms in agriculture as well.

  • Kat

    This would be a very intelligent book to read, and I’m glad people are interested in these types of reads!

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Kat, congrats, you’re the winner. I’ll email you separately to get information to ship this book.

  • http://www.postgreenhomes.com Chad Ludeman

    Looks like a good book on a topic that is going to become more and more urgent around the world in the next decade.

  • Tim

    Sounds like an interesting read. I am interested to see what Texas cities are profiled in the book. I’m guessing San Antonio is one of them, they have strong conversation programs. I have read “Not a Drop to Drink: America’s Water Crisis (and What You Can Do)”…what other books are educational about the world of water?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EKI3GLHSA4ZWIISA34IK4TJ7TI David Posada

    Very timely- there’s growing awareness for how delicate our water balance is, yet we face significant obstacles from the privitazation of water to the inflexibility of our infrastructure….

  • http://twitter.com/iMeluny Melanie Ensign

    Can’t wait to read this one! Unfortunately, water management attracts precious little public attention until it becomes an issue of scarcity. The complexity of effective water management along with the recent UN Resolution that clean water is a universal human right highlights an existing debate – should we consider water an enterprise or public good?

  • Guest

    I’d like to win a copy of this book.

  • Anonymous

    We’ve been talking about water for awhile now even though we are located in the land of 15,000 lakes. Just the practical issues of the cost of water and infrastructure when so much of the water is wasted or doesn’t actually require treatment for it’s purpose.

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