Mark Marcoplos's blog

Potential Jordan Lake intake for OWASA, Durham, & Chatham

OWASA, Durham, & Chatham County have agreed to jointly explore the possibility of installing a water intake on the west shore of Jordan Lake where OWASA owns property. Our local Orange County governments have some misgivings about the project and these were discussed at the Orange County Assembly of Governments meeting last night, which was also attended by Durham Mayor Bill Bell and Chatham County Commission Chair George Lucier. The following is a statement that I prepared for presentation at that meeting. (I actually ended up talking off the cuff to avoid repeating points that others had previously made.)

UNC Gets a "C" in Sustainability

There has been a lot of good news coming from UNC on the sustainability front, including energy and water conservation efforts, partnering with OWASA on a water re-use system, stormwater collection projects, and staff dedicated to sustainability.

So why does UNC only rate a "C" in the report called the Sustainability Report Card issued by the Sustainable Endowment Institute?

As the name indicates, this organization has a primary focus on how endowment money is handled and what the ramifications of a university's investments are on overall sustainability issues. It's an interesting and important angle that I have not heard addressed locally, probably because UNC's commitment to this side of the sustainability equation apparently does not match their accomplishments in other areas.

UNC's grades are explained on page 90 of the report which can be accessed from the Institute's home page. What do you think? Should there be more accountability from UNC on this aspect of their environmental impact?

Going For the Green

Sustainable North Carolina will be giving out its annual Sustainability Awards on Monday, October 30. Formerly known as Save Our State, the organization's goal is to promote "sustainability" in business and government sectors. Heavy hitters such as Weyerhauser, Progress Energy, IBM, and Dupont as well as Advanced Energy Corporation, Burt's Bee's , and the Environmental Defense Fund are involved with this organization.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce sponsors the "Foundation for a Sustainable Community" and it is a finalist for this year's Sustainability Award from Sustainable North Carolina (I'm beginning to feel sustainable myself after repeatedly typing this powerful word...).

Serious sustainability at OWASA

Sustainability - it's the buzzword that gets used and abused but somehow a useful replacement word is never found. It gets bandied about constantly as corporations, governments, and other agencies seek to position themselves for a future of inevitable resource scarcity, increasing energy costs, and pollution blowback. It gets hard to tell the greenwashers from those authentically committed to adaptation and innovation.

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) recently published its first Sustainability Report (download PDF). It reports on many aspects of providing water and sewer services in an environmentally sound manner such as strategies for maintaining high water quality, a commitment to water conservation, the partnership with UNC for the utilization of wastewater for non-potable uses, energy efficiency, green design features at the new Operations Center, hiring a Sustainability Administrator, and recycling – to name a few.



Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.