March 22, World Water Day, shines the spotlight on growing global issue.
World Water Day finds organizations around the globe offering new solutions for the pressing problem of water. For many of these organizations, the focus is squarely on the importance of water conservation and efficiency in the built environment.
According to Mike Collignon, executive director of the Green Builder Coalition, it’s a simple math problem: “In one hand, you have a finite amount of fresh water on the planet, and in the other, living things that need water. Since human population is constantly growing, and no one wants to talk about the controversial topic of population control, the focus has to come back to water. Specifically, water efficiency and how we can stretch our fresh water supply to meet the needs of all.”
The Green Builder Coalition recently rolled out a water modeling software that generates a Water Efficiency Rating Score, or WERS. The premise is that verified measurement and incentives will increase participation in water conservation efforts.
The International Code Council is hosting and participating in several events surrounding 2016 World Water Day on March 22 to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and efficiency.
"Scientists are now reporting that two-thirds of the world’s population faces severe water shortages," explains Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. "Recent events in the U.S. such as the Flint, Mich., water contamination and drought in western states are shining the spotlight on a growing global issue."
The Code Council is supporting the White House Water Summit on March 22 to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions in the U.S., and to catalyze ideas and actions to help build a sustainable and secure water future through innovative science and technology. The summit will be livestreamed.
On the evening of March 22, the Code Council and Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) will host a reception at ICC’s office in Washington, D.C., for representatives from industry, federal agencies and other private sector organizations to commemorate World Water Day.
Before the White House Water Summit, ICC’s Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) meeting was held at the National Institute of Building Sciences in Washington, D.C. With a diverse membership representing designers, planners, manufacturers, contractors and others in the industry, the IAC promotes public health, safety and welfare in the built environment by serving as a national forum for the building community to interface with the Code Council.
In response to a call from industry and in a deal nearly two years in the making, ICC and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers last year signed a final agreement that outlined each organization’s role in the future development and maintenance of the International Green Construction Code.
On March 23, the Water Efficiency Working Group of the Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC) 189.1 will be meeting at the American Gas Association in Washington, D.C., to discuss matters of water efficiency and conservation. Included will be Claudia Copeland, a Specialist in Resources and Environmental Policy for the Congressional Research Service, who will be the guest speaker and discuss congressional interest in water conservation issues.
"Although 70 percent of our planet is covered with water, less than one percent is drinkable," said ICC Board of Directors President Alex Olszowy, III, with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government in Lexington, Ky. "All of us are connected through the use of water, and the Code Council and other organizations are doing our part to ensure the building safety industry is contributing to resolving this growing crisis."
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