Weather in the Foothills

“Tis rushing now adown the spout, and gushing out below,
  Half frantic in its joyousness, and wild in eager flow.
  The earth is dried and parched with heat,
  And it hath long’d to be released from out the selfish cloud,
  To cool the thirsty tree.”  – Elizabeth Oakes Smith

Early last Friday morning I awoke to the sound of rain, not light drizzle as predicted. As I listened, I pondered (as one does, while the rest of the house sleeps) … most of the rain is running off the roof and into the rain gutters, down the spouts and eventually arriving out onto the street, and continuing on until it reaches the ocean. Not fair… that is our water!

As the hot summer months approach, every drop begins to count. As mentioned in past weeks, 70% of our water comes from local wells during the winter and spring. We have a little more control over our water source than you may imagine. One way takes participation at a community level and the other is more simple, but unique.

I’m sure you have noticed sprinklers and hoses delivering water everywhere except their intended location. Sometimes this is hard to avoid, but with a little forethought runoff can be diverted and not wasted.

First, check your sprinklers often. A gardener may be willing to do this for little or no cost. Several areas in our yard require hand watering. Silly as this may seem, I make a game of this, with some rules. No water can go down a drain or the  driveway. When hosing off the patio, the excess water needs to flow into a planter or onto a lawn. Even Abby shares her old dog water – the bucket is emptied into a flower bed before being filled again. These ideas will help keep CV water where it belongs – here and in our local wells.

An  additional method for capturing water, particularly rainwater, is making a comeback.

Historical records indicate rain water was stored in clay containers 2,000 or more years ago. Collected during rainy seasons and saved for the dry months, it was used for drinking, cooking and irrigation. Nowadays we have access to adequate, but not unlimited, water sources. The answer to conserving this supply can be in our own backyard – a rain barrel. Just ¼ inch of rainfall on 1,000 square feet of roof produces 150 gallons of water, all of which can be collected in a barrel connected to a rain gutter/spout system. There are many styles of rain barrels on the market, including size, construction material and price. Planning ahead for next season’s rainfall, Crescenta Valley Water District is offering, until June 30, a rebate for rain barrels.

Time to shop!

June starts hot – in the 90s – but will cool considerably as fog moves further inland. Into next week, daytime temperatures are expected to exceed 80, with nights in the upper 50s.

Summer is coming!

RAIN TOTALS      Season thus far: 14.06 inches, May: .16 inches

Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at