Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Water We Use - and Could Re-use

We took the train across the country a few years ago; I had an ASCAP Board meeting in Los Angeles, and Patti had some people to meet in San Francisco. The train is a great way to see the country, relax for a few days and avoid the heavy environmental impact of jet travel. On the trip we met a fellow with an amazing story about water.

This was during the severe water crisis in California, and he told us he had recently been "turned in" by his neighbors in San Diego because his lawn was lush and green, while everyone else's was turning shades of brown. Strict water conservation measures were in place, and watering your lawn was strictly forbidden.

Turns out this guy was an engineer, and had rigged up his own sophisticated "grey water" system to re-use the water from his washing machine, shower and other relatively "safe" water sources. He had a large storage tank in his basement, a set of filters and a small pump to feed his outdoor hose, which he used to water his garden and his lawn.

As we were building our latest Grassroots project How Green Is My Town?, we added a question about whether or not your town offers permits for greywater systems. It's something any town can do, and it saves incredible amounts of water!

On this international water day, we're reminded of our clever friend in California, and we're mindful of the ways we all squander this most precious resource without thinking. If you want to see how smart and serious people around the country are addressing some of our most vexing environmental problems with ingenuity and style, check out How Green Is My Town?

And please fix that drip in your sink :-)


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