Sustainability in Civil Engineering

In the Civil Engineering profession sustainability has become a buzz word that at times can carry a negative or positive connotation. But sustainable design will become a major part of our future as the world around us continues to grow and develop. One area of sustainable design that can have a major impact on our immediate environment relates to our water resources. Civil Engineers must think creatively and “outside of the box” when designing and planning our precious water resources. Sustainable water resource design should include emphasis on water conservation, grey water applications, utilizing secondary irrigation sources in lieu of culinary sources, eliminating water waste, aquifer recovery and storage, public outreach efforts, etc.

As engineers we need to be anticipating the future while designing in the present. All of us can have an impact, whether we are employed with public agencies, municipalities or as private consultants. The Utah Division of Water Resources has vast amounts of resources and information for design professionals and the general public pertaining to sustainable water resource design and conservation. I would welcome any ideas or friendly banter concerning the topic of sustainable design, because, “There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.” (Charles F. Kettering)