In Florida, one cares about hurricanes. In tornado alley, one cares about severe weather events. If in California, one cares about earthquakes and fires. In Hawaii, one cares about volcanos. If in the arid Southwest, one better care about water!

Without a reliable source of water, our way of life will cease to be viable. History is littered with past civilizations that did not plan for severe droughts. It is THE issue that we really need to care about and plan for today.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyles, we all have too much on our plates, and too little spare time. But we need to make the time to care about water, even if it is invisible to a vast majority of us.

There are many professionals looking after our water and water supplies, and the Southwest has some of the best water-management practices in the country. The examples abound:

• Southern California: aggressive programs to prevent stormwater runoff

• Albuquerque: creating and implementing a 100-year water plan

• Tucson: implementing mandatory graywater use in all new construction

• Santa Fe: creating mandatory water ratings on all new residential construction

• Las Vegas, Nev.: an aggressive turf-replacement program that has ripped out millions of acres of high-water-use turf

• Santa Fe County: mandatory requirement for rainwater systems in most new residential homes

• New Mexico and Texas residents have the ability to use treated blackwater for subsurface irrigation

The Next Generation Water Summit that is held in Santa Fe every year for the past few years provides you an opportunity to both learn about what other communities are doing and enable you to provide input to our local water policy makers and professionals.

This is the one water event you should not miss. If you are someone whose livelihood depends on water (for example irrigators, landscapers, architects, builders, water-reuse professionals) the professional portion of the summit on June 12 and 13 allows you to stay current on the latest policies, products and trends in the market that could impact your business. If you are a resident of Northern New Mexico, the FREE New Mexico day on June 14 provides you the opportunity to learn about what is expected to happen to our water supplies over the coming decades, what you can personally do to reduce your water bill, and provide feedback to those that are managing our precious water supplies. Plus you might win a free rain barrel from The Firebird.

Find out more about this event at www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com

The Next Generation Water Summit is an investment you should make for you, your family, and for family’s generations to come.

Doug Pushard, founder of the website www.HarvestH2o.com, has designed and installed residential rainwater systems for over a decade. He is a member of the Santa Fe Water Conservation Committee, a lifetime member of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, and an EPA WaterSense Partner. He can be reached at doug@HarvestH2o.com.

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