Let’s say your house sits on a one-half acre lot. And let’s say you get a storm that drops 1 inch of rain. You’ve just received 13,577 gallons of water on your yard. A big bath holds about 40 gallons of water, so if you could save that inch of water you could take a daily bath for 339 days!
A great reason to get a rain barrel and collect all that water. Place it underneath your gutters and you’ll have an endless supply of water for your garden. Be a water warrior!
The 2011-12 rainy season — which ran from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 — has come to an end with less than impressive numbers, according to figures compiled by the National Weather Service. None of the six key sights where the weather service records long term precipitation reported above average rainfall.
San Diego – 8.03″ (avg. – 10.34″)
Orange County – 6.32″ (avg. – 13.33″)
Riverside – 5.53″ (avg. – 12.04″)
Los Angeles – 8.69″ (avg. – 14.93″)
The season that starts today could be different. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center says that an El Nino appears to be developing in the eastern equatorial Pacific. If the periodic climate change system continues to strengthen, it could lead to above average rainfall this winter in Southern California.
Placed under a down spout, rain barrels conveniently collect rainwater that can be used to water gardens and lawns, wash cars or even fill birdbaths and ponds. A 1000 square foot roof yields about 600 gallons per inch of rainfall – that’s a lot of water (and money) to be saved. Rain barrels can also be hooked up to a soaker hose for easy and free garden watering.
In coastal areas, additional benefits include diverting of water from municipal storm drain systems and protecting the ocean from storm runoff pollution.
Installation can be very easy, placing the barrel under your gutter’s down spout. Conversion kits also offer a diverter system which eliminates the need for cutting off gutter downspouts or installing over-flow valves, and eliminates potential for mosquito breeding.
Most cities offer rain barrels for sale at a discount. Check out your local city website to see if they offer a similar program.
All across America you can find beautiful front lawns with green grass and sprinklers. Even in places where water is scarce, like Southern California and Arizona. Those areas import water at a great expense and in some cases dry up the source.
In response, many living in these areas have developed new ideas about front lawns. There are many plants that require a fraction of the water that grass does, and can still be as green. Or, in some cases provide a variety of colors, shapes, and designs.
Most of these plants are called drought resistant, meaning they don’t want to be watered. I have a few of them growing in pots and they wilt when I water them. So far, the occasional rain that comes has satisfied their needs.
Here are a few photos of these new types of lawns:
Changes are brewing in the equatorial Pacific, and they could profoundly affect weather across the U.S. and much of the globe next winter and spring.
La Nina, which has held sway since last fall, will be officially declared a goner Thursday, an official at the Climate Prediction Center in Maryland told InsideClimate News. And while nobody is quite certain what will happen next, some long-range forecast models are pointing to the possible emergence of the opposite phenomenon: El Nino.
Climate scientists are still trying to determine what role climate change plays in the La Nina/El Nino cycle. One study by scientists with NASA and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle suggests global warming may already be affecting the intensity and impacts of El Nino.
Regardless of climate change’s role, a shift away from this year’s La Nina could dramatically alter temperature, precipitation and extreme-weather patterns.