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Melissa Dowland, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

WaterBuild to kick off Greenbuild with urgency, resilience

Oct. 30, 2017
Extreme recent weather events suggest the time is now to think more urgently about water resilience and water risk mitigation. How are you and your community incorporating water sustainability into planning and design?

By JOANNE RODRIGUEZ, owner, GreenStructure, Ltd., Bolingbrook IL

At WaterBuild, engage in discussion of how water resilience intersects with equity, technology and infrastructure.

With the extreme weather events of the past few months—hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires—it may indeed be time to more urgently think about water resilience and water risk mitigation. How are you and your community incorporating water resilience and water sustainability in planning and design? When water quality hangs in the balance, and we have too much or too little water, what is the downstream effect?

Join us at Greenbuild Boston, as we dive deep into water resilience at the second annual WaterBuild Summit. On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Industry experts are convening for a full day of programs and discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here are just a few considerations at the nexus of water and resilience that we’ll be exploring at WaterBuild.

Water resilience and technology

We know that our communications and energy infrastructure can be crippled by a severe storm, but how can technology help us predict and model our design shortcomings? Technology can help us track performance of our infrastructure, including rainwater quantity and quality, potable water quality, wastewater processing and water access. We can use an emerging set of tools to adapt to the "new normal” of our severe weather cycles. At this year’s WaterBuild Summit, we will be talking about and applying some of the emerging technologies, as well as revisiting some of the existing technologies that might help us plan better and adapt better in the long term.

Water resilience and equity

Many residents displaced by flood events do not have the available resources to rebuild new homes, restore their old homes or return to live in recovering communities. When the water rises or spoils, it does so indiscriminately. Its impacts are rarely felt equally. How we plan for those often predictable impacts, and how we provide support services doesn’t have to be indiscriminate; it can be done with intention. This year’s WaterBuild program will build on the 2016 summit and deepen discussion on this important topic, giving consideration to how water can negatively impact a community and how to design with greater equity in mind.

Water resilience and grey/green infrastructure

We have developed amazing feats of engineering to manage and mitigate risks to water quantity and quality. When deployed effectively, these can complement nature’s many tools in its toolbox. Engaging communities and design teams in dialogue about how to apply both grey and green infrastructure to have the greatest impact on adaptation is essential to developing solutions that will last. There are many dimensions to infrastructure development. Considering the greatest multiple outcomes of a solution set will set the standard of gaining the greatest return on investment. 

Join us at WaterBuild, to discuss all these important aspects of water resilience.

To read about last year's first-ever WaterBuild, go to