Welcome to the Home Page of Rain Catchers -- water conservation using rooftop collection and storage of rain water! Water conservation is key to community sustainability, especially at times of drought. Athough the rains of winter 2015-2016 were nearly normal, we are still in a statewide Drought Emergency, as it will take more than one season to recover from this long-term drought. Fish and wildlife dependent on in-stream flows have been seriously affected by low water flows in rivers and tributary streams, with the Russian River and other streams flowing the lowest on record during this drought period.
Why is it important to conserve water, and can one person's water conservation efforts make any difference? Did you know that just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save over 1 gallon of water (and high flow faucetts make the savings even bigger--almost 8 gallons saved by turning off the tap). That may not sound like much, but one gallon can supply the daily drinking water needs for two people (eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the recommended amount we should each drink in a day). Even if you only save 1 gallon of water a day by turning the tap off while brushing your teeth, if every one else in your community did the same thing--think what that would mean: for a small town like Cloverdale in Sonoma County with just under 9,000 residents, that is at least 9,000 gallons a day, and 3,285,000 gallons a year! That amount of water is enough to supply ALL of the annual water needs of 250 people if following the UC-Berkeley suggested sustainable guidance of 35 gallons per person per day! So, remember that every drop counts, and small changes can make a big difference.
Conserving water use during drier months is critically important to people, fish, and wildlife in the region. Harvesting rainwater for later dry season use is a conservation activity our Council has encouraged for several years in our “Rain Catchers” program. Our “Rain Catchers in Your Schools” program partners with a school and provides funding and design support for collecting rainwater runoff from rooftops during winter peak flow times, storing the collected water in large tanks, and using the stored water during the dry season for irrigation in lieu of traditional water supplies that rely on reservoir storage, stream flow, or groundwater. More water in the summer is important for all of us--including fish and wildlife equally dependent on our scarce water supplies.
The Council is a major supporter of environmental education programs because by informing people of how they can make a small difference in their daily lives, people can cumulatively make big differences in the daily lives of everyone. We are helping buld a better future for Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties.