Urban Water Soft Path: ‘Back of the Envelope’ Backcasting Framework

Published On: February 1st, 2007

Author: Oliver M Brandes and Tony Maas

Soft path planning employs backcasting—a planning approach that begins by envisioning possible future states, then works backwards to connect a desired future to the present by integrating policies, programs, and technological innovation. This report applies the Urban Water Soft Path “Back of the Envelope” Backcasting Framework (BEBF) to compare various possible scenarios of future water use at the community scale (e.g. municipal, regional). The framework involves the application of an analytical tool to determine the macro impact of different “packages” of micro measures (e.g. policies, programs, technologies) on total water use. The main goal is to illustrate the potential of a comprehensive approach to water conservation and efficiency, with the initial results pointing to recommendations for specific actions in the future.

Urban Water Soft Path: 'Back of the Envelope' Backcasting Framework