As much as the scarcity of oil is getting, close to home (Atlanta for example) water is going to become increasingly precious.  It is imperative, therefore, that as developers we study examples of thoughtful development around the world.  Once such project that is under development is the Wungong Urban Water Project in Armadale, Australia, just outside Perth in Western Australia.  As you may know, Australia is a land challenged in its need for fresh water – they are the world’s driest inhabited continent.  So maintenance of freshwater eco-systems is vital not just to design, but to survival.  The Wungong Project is expected to house 40,000 people upon completion.  It is built around a clever grid of lateral parks where fresh water filters back into the groundwater, a system of separating vehicular roads from those parks and filtration bands where road run-off can be naturally filtered before returning to the streams.  All the houses and structures have rain barrels to catch rain fall.  Rain water is used for irrigation, sanitation and even clothes washing.  (Click here for a PDF that shows the master plan and some cross sections of the water structures.)

Although still in its formative phase, we would do well here in Nashville and in all communities across this country to emulate some of these techniques now in order to avoid problems in the future.