“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
The Brundtland Commission, 1987
Many people believe the purpose of civil engineering is to reshape land for human use. A visit to Southern California reinforces this impression, revealing endless views of hillsides graded and terraced with rivers encased in pavement; nature engineered into submission.
Here in Northern California our challenge as civil engineers is to reconcile human use with the inherent and unique characteristics of each site. The key element is water: potable water, groundwater, surface water, stormwater, wastewater, reclaimed water for re-use. Engineering for appropriate water management is the central concern of Lescure Engineers' integrated approach.
Engineering for sustainability is evolving in response to the desires of individuals, companies and community groups, willing and economically able to pursue their development goals by sustainable means. Time and again it has been demonstrated that economic viability need not be sacrificed to achieve environmental sensitivity and social equity. Responsible engineering practices, guided by the environmental ethics of the community, can result in reduction of life-cycle costs and mitigate adverse environmental and economic impacts stretching into the future.