by Charlene Burgi
I understand there was rain in Marin last week while I was attending a rainwater harvesting conference in Decatur, Georgia. I wondered how many people had rain shut-off devices on their irrigation systems, or did their systems automatically turn on while it was raining? Do you have a rain shut-off device? And if so, is it on the garage shelf or wired into your controller?
My time at the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association conference this past week was well spent. The conference attendees were people who are taking the leading edge approach to water management. Their creative ideas, new and improved products, willingness to share what works and doesn’t, and ability to think outside the box was overwhelming. I couldn’t take notes fast enough! Some of the ventures were very pricey, while other ideas were simple projects that could be done for little cost to capture the rain.
I learned that the simplest thing we can do in our gardens is to make the ground sponge-like. Are you adding composted material to the ground? Mulching? Sheet mulching? All of these practices capture the water, slow it down, and spread it out, so it doesn’t run from a drain pipe into a storm drain. If you add a rain garden to your garden, it can collect the water from the down spouts coming from your roof. The rainwater can slowly percolate to recharge the ground water while adding a beautiful feature to your garden. There will be pictures and more on creating these gardens next week. If you have already created a rain garden, don’t wait for me. Please click below to post your news.