Rain Catchers - Water Conservation
Welcome to Conservation Works Rain Catchers Water Conservation page. Here you will find pictures of our current and past Rain Catchers projects, how-to videos, and resource guides on saving water to help you make every drop count this drought year and beyond. See our Rain Catchers program website http://raincatchers.info/ for more information.
Water in California has been at the forefront of our history since statehood. Water is fundamental to sustainability, and for the past several decades, policymakers in California have grappled with water availability and use. It is a California truism that we do not have enough water to support continued population growth, thriving agriculture and forestry, wildlife needs, and robust fisheries without changing how we manage water use.
In California, water conservation has become a way of life as competing water demands outpace water supply, requiring every water user to be water smart for the future. But how to we become water smart? As individuals, we can make simple lifestyle choices (low flush toilets) and save water. As businesses, we can first perform a water audit and see where our uses lose water through inefficiency such as in toilet/faucet usage in the restroom, landscaping, air conditioning and cooling, cleaning/washing down floors and equipment, and other activities. Once a business knows where the water is going, it can take steps to limit the water use (low flow toilets, automatic faucets, drought tolerant landscaping, cooling tower improvements that often save money as well as water, sweeping-and-vacuuming rather than hosing-down floors, and other measures).
We can also store water as individuals and businesses, saving the stored water from winter rains for use during the dry summer season for irrigation and other uses. Our Rain Catchers (www.raincatchers.info) program is designed to save winter runoff for summer use, and the program can be used by individuals, schools, dairies and other agricultural operators, and more. Rooftop rainwater collection systems capture the water that is falling on impervious surfaces and direct the runoff into holding tanks or basins, small and large, for later use. Our Rain Catchers can be barrel-sized (individual homeowners), medium tanks (schools), or large (farm-scale with large tanks and other off-stream storage basins). The actions that are taken to conserve water benefit people, fish, and wildlife.
Rain Catchers provides:
No-cost educational modules and a rooftop collection and storage system to partnering schools
Partnerships with agricultural operations and Resource Conservation Districts to develop and implement site specific plans for water conservation and habitat restoration
What to do about the drought?
The rains may be starting, but much of California is still under a severe drought and water must be conserved. Did you know that if your water system has been affected by the ongoing drought, U.S. EPA can help. The U.S. EPA is coordinating with federal and state partners, including California, to assist water and wastewater utilities with identifying possible drought mitigation strategies, as well as to help utilities understand the types of funding available. Eligible projects can include the following: aquifer storage and recovery, deeper wells, water reuse, alternative water sources, flood diversion and storage, leak detection projects, and more. To receive assistance, email your utility name, city, state and phone number to DroughtQuestions@epa.gov. U.S. EPA will contact you and guide you through the various sources of assistance.