by Dan Carney
With all the late spring rain this year, did you find yourself wondering when it would stop? Now, at last, sunshine has returned. On the other hand, thanks to all that rain, we are starting this landscape irrigation season with full reservoirs and saturated soil.
Did you know that a 1,000-square-foot garden can soak up over 20,000 gallons of water a year? That is a lot of water, and irrigation systems are the largest single water user in the summer.
So, what can a person do to keep their garden happy and help conserve the water supply? How about creating your own backyard rain garden, or adding some water storage. You never know when a little extra water will come in handy for emergencies, watering your favorite veggies and orchids, or lowering your water bill this summer.
For more ideas and information on rain gardens and water storage, look into the new 10,000 Rain Gardens Project Report now available on MMWD’s website. The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) and MMWD piloted the 10,000 Rain Gardens Project in 2010 to encourage innovative water conservation projects within the district.
The report is full of practical information about various types of rain gardens and cisterns. If you want to see what a rain garden looks like, and get a feel for what’s involved in constructing one, please take a self-guided tour of five projects now open to the public.