Habitat for Humanity housing project: a case study emphasizing water conservation design for a semi-arid land site
Henry, Jane U
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The objective of this thesis is to make clear the extent and urgency of the crisis in the water situation for the twenty one counties in the Texas Panhandle known as the Llano Estacado, and to suggest ways in which all citizens can take practical and affordable steps to be a part of the solution to that crisis. The water from the Ogallala Aquifer, primary freshwater supply for this region, is being drawn down at a rate that far exceeds its recharge. Therefore, beginning with a summation of the facts, the project reviews the problems of the semi-arid region, created by nature and exacerbated by the actions of mankind, and looks at the choices being made about using the limited water supply. A discussion of the natural forces that impact water use explains how these same forces can be garnered to help solve the problem of water shortage. A review of historic precedents from semi-arid climates around the world gives suggestions for water conservation methods that can be adapted today in areas of limited water supply. Suggestions then are made for specific solutions citizens of the region can adapt to have a positive impact on problem of water shortage. The solutions are applied specifically to site of Habitat for Humanity in Lubbock as a microcosm of the problem and a case study for changes that can conserve water in the region. The solutions focus quite specifically on site design based on needs of the Habitat community, harvesting and storing rain water, recycling greywater, holding water on the land to be absorbed into the soil, landscaping with native plants and building with local materials.