California’s unprecedented drought continues to grow worse as time wears on, to the point that water may become the pivotal issue of the next century. Considering that the Golden State — which has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs according to an L.A. Times op-ed — and is the largest agricultural producer in the U.S., the drought has the capacity to affect everyone in the nation.

Finding viable solutions to alleviate arid environmental conditions is no easy task, needless to say. However, the global architecture community is equipped with a broad range of skills and tools to respond to this complex issue in an inventive way.

Bustler and our sister site Archinect are thrilled to launch DRY FUTURES, an open ideas competition that seeks future-focused design responses to California’s drought. We’re looking for ideas that are imaginative, pragmatic, idealist, or even dystopic. So, we want to know: How wouldyou address California’s drought?

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Several experts assert that the drought is tied to unsustainable human practices as well as the larger product of unsustainable human activity: climate change. With current responses greatly amounting to “too little, too late,” the clock is ticking for California.

The competition will be divided into two categories: one for speculative projects and the other for pragmatic responses:

A. Speculative ie. proposals that involve technologies that are not yet available and/or imagine alternative realities or futures

B. Pragmatic ie. proposals that exist within the realm of possibility and could be actually implemented within current economic and technological conditions

Proposals need not be explicitly architectural, and submissions from non-architects are welcome!

Paul Petrunia, Archinect’s founder/director, says: “Today, architecture is more about imagining how the built environment can improve and thrive in the new millennium. The architect is uniquely suited to understand and respond to this historic drought’s impact on our cities.”

Submissions to Dry Futures will be reviewed by a diverse panel of professionals, suited to the multi­valent issues that the drought provokes in the built environment. The jury includes:

  • Allison Arieff​ (Editorial Director of SPUR)
  • Charles Anderson​ (Founder/Principal of WERK)
  • Geoff Manaugh (Founder of BLDGBLOG)
  • Hadley and Peter Arnold​ (Co-Founders/Directors of the Arid Lands Institute)
  • Jay Famiglietti​ (Senior Water Cycle Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Peter Zellner​ (Principal and Design Lead at AECOM, Los Angeles)
  • Colleen Tuite and Ian Quate (Co-Founders of GRNASFCK)

The winners of each category will receive a cash prize, and a curated selection of disaster­-preparedness supplies. All submissions are due by Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 10 p.m. Pacific Time. Results will be announced on September 14.

For more competition info, click here.