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Water seems low on Counselors of Real Estate's Top 10 list of issues affecting real estate in U.S.

Hugh F. Kelly, Ph.D., Counselors of Real Estate chairman, presented water as No. 6 on the list.
by Richard Mize Published: June 14, 2014

Hugh F. Kelly, Ph.D., buried the lede in his Top 10 Issues Affecting Real Estate. That’s old-dog journalism meaning he started out with matters of secondary importance.

Granted, his top five are important: Energy, jobs, the influence of the millennial generation, health care and globalization.

Important, indeed. But that relegated water, or, rather, the shortage and lack of it, to No. 6.

Water, the very elixir of life, without which nothing else matters. No. 6.

Granted, the list, compiled by The Counselors of Real Estate, for which Kelly is 2014 chairman, was meant to outline the issues that will have the most significant impact on real estate “both near- and long-term.”

Kelly presented the list this week at the annual meeting of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Maybe water is down on the list for the near term. But it shouldn’t be.

Putting it at the top now, and trumpeting it, might cause some impact now and in the near term – add to the chorus calling for strategic decision-making — to minimize the looming crisis later in the long term.

But I guess that would be unnecessarily alarmist, huh?

After all, we’ve still got 10 or 15 years or so before the dust starts hitting the fan.

This is no knock on Kelly; the list reflects the thinking of the organization as a whole, with 1,100 members representing 50 specialties.

Here are the mind-numbing numbers on water from Kelly, clinical professor of real estate at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

It’s difficult to process it solely through the lens of commercial property — but hey, real estate was the purpose of the meeting.

Groundwater depletion from 2000 to 2008 was three times greater than the average rate for the preceding 100 years, from 1908 to 2008, according to a report last year by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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