How could we adapt to continued and future drought?
Droughts are expected to become hotter and more frequent over longer extended periods. There will be an increase in consecutive dry days without rain. For example, 100-year droughts will be more common by end of the century. To address these challenges, this scenario explores aggressive water conservation targets, centralized stormwater, and water reuse infrastructure. In addition, this future prioritizes long-term water security through banking and recharge.
Iconic changes in this future include gradual increases in residential density combined with larger, centralized water infrastructure to capture and bank water has reduced water use region-wide. By 2060, 90% of residential, commercial, and industrial land uses capture greywater and rainwater for on-site use or future banking.
Regional Land Use and Land Cover 2060
High water prices have encouraged high density residential development in previously suburbanized low density locations. While sprawl has decreased and the light rail has been expanded, people still rely on their personal vehicles. To conserve water, most landscaping throughout the region, except in parks, is xeric or native using low water use plants that are watered by household greywater. Overall there is decreased agriculture in this future, but agricultural areas still exist on the periphery of the city.
Regional Heat 2060
Regional cooling largely occurs on the periphery of the city due to decreases in sprawl. Temperatures in the urban core tend to be warmer due to regulations that limit water intensive landscaping, with the exception of parks.
Thermal Comfort 2060
The base temperature in this rendering is 114.9°. Temperatures vary depending on level of shading and proximity to heat retaining materials (e.g., asphalt). Due to strict conservation restrictions on using water for outdoor landscaping, this future does not offer many options for creating cooler outdoor spaces. Trees and parks are the primary shading and cooling mechanism that create cooler microclimates. Advanced metering, smart leak detection, and other water conservation technologies are required in all new developments. Solar shade panels, which power these technologies, are a form of grey infrastructure that also provide some shade from the sun.
Outdoor Water Use from Alternative Sources & Banked Water for Future Use 2060
In this future, large scale landscape conversions to low water use xeric and native vegetation have drastically reduced outdoor water needs. A high proportion of the water used for any outdoor landscaping comes from alternative sources. For example, new and retrofitted buildings have built-in rainwater capture features that channel collected water to outdoor vegetation and areas that promote groundwater recharge to increase future water supplies. Plumbing supports greywater reuse. A significant portion of these alternative sources are centrally diverted to banking with very little used outdoors. This future has the highest rates of water banking for future use and future water security.