The Complexity of Carbon Reduction in Planning

Warren Karlenzig delves into the unique challenges of reducing carbon in cities, where efforts may be misplaced. Should your city focus on green building, traffic emissions or water treatment?
March 4, 2010, 6am PST | Tim Halbur
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Karlenzig writes, "To help illustrate the complexities of what I'm getting at, water use in California accounts for 20 percent of energy needed to move water supplies from places with water to those largely without; much energy is also used to treat drinking water and wastewater.

Renewable energy sources such as solar thermal generating plants also require great amounts of water, competing for precious water supplies that can be used for drinking water and growing or processing food.

So where do water, oil or grain shortages fit in your city's or region's sustainability plan? There are no easy answers, and metro regions and cities will want to collectively consider their own energy, water and food sources when trying to assess combined carbon reduction goals and resource depletion risk factors."

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Published on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 in Common Current
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