by Dan Carney
On a cold windy morning, thirty hearty souls gathered around an electronic “robot” to learn how weather influences how much water plants need. This educational encounter was part of MMWD’s most recent Conservation Action Committee meeting, held January 15.
Participants asked questions about relative humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed as Conservation Specialist Greg Van Trump introduced them to Marin’s newest CIMIS (California Irrigation Management Information System) weather station—a sophisticated meteorological device that automatically relays weather data to MMWD through a statewide computer system. The data is used to calculate the amount of water typical landscapes need on a daily basis, helping MMWD customers manage their irrigation schedules and conserve water outdoors. (You can sign up to receive the free Weekly Watering Schedule via email by clicking here.)
Next, the group was treated to a tour of MMWD’s San Geronimo Treatment Plant to see how our drinking water is cleaned and filtered as it travels from our reservoirs to our taps.
To top off the morning, the group visited nearby Lagunitas School to see a unique 30,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system. Paola Bouley, Conservation Program Director for SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network), explained how redirecting rainwater from rooftops and parking lots into cisterns conserves valuable water resources and reduces the harmful impacts of runoff on sensitive aquatic species such as Coho salmon.
The Conservation Action Committee (CAC) meets quarterly at various locations throughout Marin and is open to everyone interested in learning about water conservation. The next meeting dates are March 19, June 18 and September 17. Stay tuned for details as the dates approach, and please send your suggestions for water conservation projects that CAC participants can visit in our community.