Occasionally when the topic of adding housing in Bend comes up, someone asks: “where will all the water come from for these extra people? We live in a desert!”.
It’s certainly good to keep an eye on our natural resources and avoid squandering them. However, it turns out that cities and housing consume less water than agriculture. A lot less.
And denser, more compact cities consume even less water, which makes sense if you think about it. Ten homes in a three story apartment or condo building are going to need a lot less water than 10 homes spread out on large lots with big lawns.
The chart is from a report that’s a few years out of date, but the point stands: there’s a lot of room to grow “Municipal and Industrial” – especially if we really started to discourage things like wasteful lawns.