Insights · March 18th, 2008

Water is vital to the health of our future. We cannot begin to address the way we structure our communities for long term well-being and productivity, without devoting serious attention to the role that water plays.

Focus is often given to the populations in the world for whom water is already a scarce resource, and to those geographical areas where we see increasing desertification. But even in places like the Pacific Northwest—notoriously rain soaked—we are seeing a trend toward rethinking and redesigning how we use water.

Cites like New York, Chicago and Seattle have already put important projects on the map. The Hearst Building in New York captures rainfall from the roof to support the indoor landscaping, and humidify the air. In Chicago, a Green Roofs Initiative helps abate the urban heat island effect, as well as capturing rainfall before it becomes storm run-off. Similarly, the Seattle High Point Neighborhood has developed a large scale natural drainage system which, when completed, will process water the way a forest meadow does.

There are many other innovations being implemented in communities around the country. Our growing realization of the need to channel water wisely will be instrumental in moving us toward a healthy future.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet TV show host and founder of To arrange for a speech contact

Environment & Energy
Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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