Scarcity of potable water is one consequence of climate change that is increasingly impacting countries around the world. As a result, some countries, including the United States, have faced severe water shortages, reduced crop yields, and compromised water quality. In California, we have endured long term droughts, with the longest recorded by the U.S. Drought Monitor lasting 376 weeks, starting in 2011 and ending in 2019. Drought conditions continue to impact California’s availability of potable water, making increased mindfulness about water conservation an ongoing priority.
Water Petal Intent
The Water Petal is intended to bring awareness to building occupants’ water consumption and to minimize waste in the built environment so that water is respected as the precious resource it is.
Sustainability in Action at Hillside Gateway
Hillside Gateway was designed to meet the Water Petal requirements through a variety of strategies, some of which include the incorporation of a bioswale, drought tolerant landscaping, and the use of reclaimed water.
A bioswale is a specialized channel designed to concentrate and convey storm water runoff while removing debris and pollution. In addition to protecting local water ways from storm water pollutants, bioswales help recharge groundwater supplies. Each time it rains, water will collect and be filtered down through this bioswale and will replenish groundwater supplies, which helps to offset the water used in the building and landscaping. Given the infrequency of rain, drought tolerant plants and shrubs were selected for the building’s landscape. Additionally, to conserve fresh (potable water), the irrigation system, as well as toilets, were connected to the City of Long Beach’s “purple pipe” network. Thanks to this connection, reclaimed or recycled water is used for much of the building’s water needs, minimizing the demand for potable water, which is used only in sinks and showers.