19 Jul '12, 12pm

How sprawl worsens the impacts of drought and how smart growth can help

How sprawl worsens the impacts of drought and how smart growth can help

Now, I’m not naïve enough to claim that the way we have built suburbs and cities over the last several decades is a proximate cause of drought, but sprawling land use can exacerbate some of its impacts, in at least two ways. First, the large-lot residential development characteristic of sprawl uses significantly more water than do neighborhoods built to a more walkable scale, contributing to water shortages. According to EPA research , for example, in Utah 60 percent of residential water use is for watering lawns and landscaping; households on 0.2-acre lots use only half as much water as those on 0.5-acre lots. In Seattle during peak season, households on 0.15-acre lots use 60 percent less water than those on 0.37-acre lots.

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/how_sprawl_ag...

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