Engineers without water

Folsom Lake
Lake Folsom in Sacramento, showing the effects of the California drought. Image used through a Creative Commons license by Amber Tsuchida.

The governor of California has ordered a 25% cut in water consumption after four years of drought to compel people to reduce water consumption. This has finally brought media attention to infrastructure challenges that, for the most part, don’t get much coverage from the mainstream media. The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics requires that engineers hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. The Code of Ethics also encourages engineers to adhere to the principles of sustainable development to protect the environment for future generations. For decades, engineers have worked with developers to bring to reality projects that, especially in hindsight, were not sustainable. Using the tools that their education and experience gives them, engineers should now start playing an active role in helping their clients bring to life projects that reduce overall water consumption.

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