A couple weeks ago, Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency for the state of California. The images here show the impact of the drought on our lakes and reservoirs and on the Sierra snow pack. The image of the Sierras was taken from the edge of space (100,000 miles away) and provides a stark glimpse of how little snow has accumulated.
Gov. Brown is asking residents to decrease their water use by 20%. A great way to reduce water usage is by recycling greywater for landscape irrigation. Most households can divert over 300 gallons per week from shower and laundry. This represents a monthly water savings of 1,240 gallons! Laundry alone systems are the least expensive greywater systems and do not require a permit. Even with a water-efficient washer, most households produce 30 gallons of greywater per week from their laundry. This amount of water can grow an orange tree or apple tree for the family!
When we are in a drought, collecting every drop of rainwater becomes even more important. We now have rebates available from both the city and the county. The city of San Diego rebate is up to $400 per household, which will cover the cost of a 500 gallon rain tank.
For City Rain Barrel Rebates, go to:
For County Rain Barrel Rebates, go to:
As our population grows, our water resources become even more stretched. It is time for us to save and collect water on a local level: household, business, and neighborhood!
About the Author
Rosalind Haselbeck is a landscape contractor, an ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association) accredited professional and green roof accredited professional with a PhD in Biology from the University of California, Irvine. She is also a Level 2 installer with Greywater Action, and a Certified GreenPoint Rater. Rosalind focuses on materials and design for Building Green Futures, bringing her extensive knowledge of native plants and ecosystems, as well as landscape and sustainable design.