The McKinsey Global Institute has published a new report entitled Urban world: Cities and the rise of the consuming class (2012) on increasing global urbanization and meeting the increased demands associated with urban consumption, including municipal water demands. The speed and scale of urbanization today is unprecedented in global history and, significantly, is distributed unevenly, with the majority of urban growth occurring in emerging regions.
In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, this post is focused on environmental sustainability, especially related to water resources. Much is made in the United States and world today of the concept of sustainability. This emphasis is not misplaced, and I would venture to say that almost everyone in the world is interested in assuring that our local, national and global environments, infrastructures and cultures are sustainable. Debates, therefore, normally concern what is meant by the term sustainability, rather than its being a worthy goal.
There has been no drought of studies, articles and blog posts about the connection between water and energy in the past 2-3 years (e.g., see recent Special Report on Water vs. Energy by IEEE Spectrum), but I would like to add a few thoughts to what is still an emerging area. It is perhaps fitting that I am posting this from the Washington Dulles airport, in town for a water policy conference, since it was from right here in the airport last December that I launched the PrivateWaterLaw Blog.