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Behind True Green
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Behind True Green

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WaterShapes LogotypeEric Herman

I wasn’t surprised when Jim McCloskey suggested that it was high time for us to produce a Green Issue of WaterShapes: I’ve known him for more than 20 years and have long admired his dedication to environmentalism, recycling and keeping the planet healthy for his children and everyone else’s children as well – beliefs I wholeheartedly share.

I was, however, caught a bit off guard by his marching orders: “Look at this,” he said, “as though we were launching a new magazine.”

“That’s more than a special issue,” I replied, to which he said, “Absolutely. This needs to be a real, earnest, honest approach rather than the sort of lip service we’ve seen when other magazines have done these issues. Our readers expect more from us, and if we can’t deliver, I’d rather not do it.”

I’ve also always appreciated Jim’s desire to push our boundaries editorially, so I dutifully set out in search of coverage that drove familiar-seeming topics in fresh directions. Accordingly, what you hold in your hands is our best effort at producing “True Green.”

The columns and features in this issue, starting from Brian Van Bower’s “Aqua Culture” (click here) and marching through to Mike Farley’s “Book Notes” (click here), deal with a vast range of green-related subjects and processes. At every turn, the approaches are practical rather than theoretical, grounded rather than speculative and realistic rather than overblown.

As Brian puts it so elegantly in his column, consumers have declared their support for the Green Revolution, and it’s up to watershapers to become versed in the issues and informed about solutions – or risk being swept aside by the tidal forces that seem to be reshaping the marketplace. Those consumers may be green by convenience (after all, efficient systems save them money in the long run), but there’s no doubt that this is more than a fad or a short-lived trend.

Our first True Green Issue (and there may indeed be many more as events unfold) aims to open the conversation in ways we haven’t seen before. We’ve sought out voices and selected topics in an effort to be as useful, supportive and sensible as possible – with everything directed at giving you ideas and a vocabulary for addressing your clients’ interest in environmental responsibility, protection of water resources, energy conservation and much more.

Some of what you’ll find in these pages may even surprise you. For starters, there’s Mark Holden’s bluntly critical (yet still optimistic) look at swimming pools and the environment (click here); then there’s Jamison Ori’s evaluation of the current state of the art and his insights on using what’s currently available to green up his watershapes in ways that make his clients feel good about owning them (click here).

There’s also an article from Timothy Rumph about working in the vicinity of protected wetland, dune and waterfront areas and the kind of regulatory awareness and environmental sensitivity the work requires (click here). In addition, Aviram Müller addresses the basic concepts of water collection, conservation and usage in contexts in which he also manages to preserve the decorative qualities inherent in various flows of water (click here).

The thought behind all of this is to be honest and realistic about the challenges watershapers face in this emerging business climate – and highlight opportunities facing those who design and build watershapes to carve out fresh niches in the marketplace of green ideas, ideals and the industry’s future.

As we at WaterShapes see it, we have everything to gain by going and staying green.

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