By Charly SHELTON
The statewide drought is crippling for gardens and lawns, with mandatory water conservation rules in effect to limit outdoor watering. During the summer months, this can be a death sentence for certain plants and grasses.
On Sunday, Descanso Gardens in La Cañada, in conjunction with many local water departments, held a “Drought-Tolerant and Rain Barrel Event” to educate the public on these issues and offer solutions. Representatives from water departments in Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, Crescenta Valley and other cities were in attendance to inform residents of all the benefits and rebates available to those who take extra measures to save water.
“California is in an historic drought and has seen historic regulations for water conservation,” said Christy Scott with Crescenta Valley Water District. “And it falls to the individual person to try and achieve their water conservation goals, which for La Crescenta is 24% [reduction from the 2013 usage levels].”
While a 24% cut in usage seems like a heavy toll (that’s 107 million gallons of water), Crescenta Valley residents have risen to the challenge, said Scott. As of August, 137 million gallons have been conserved, putting Crescenta Valley 30 million gallons ahead of the target, and there are still six months left on the conservation effort.
“Crescenta Valley residents have gone the extra mile,” said Scott. “They’re doing a fabulous job with conservation. At this point they have already met the conservation goal for the state mandated requirement. [But although we have already met the goal, residents should] continue their vigilant efforts.”
The current drought is a temporary issue that can be resolved and, through conservation, the situation is improving slightly. That being said, the wasting of water that occurred pre-drought may be a thing of the past.
“I think what’s going to happen forever is there will be a significant paradigm shift in the way of life in California,” Scott said. “We need to make the paradigm shift from these great green lawns to something that’s more drought-tolerant.”
In addition to the water departments’ exhibitions and lectures in the meeting hall at the Descanso event, residents who pre-ordered a rain barrel were able to pick it up on-site from Rain Barrels International at their truckload sale. Rain barrels can be used to collect rain and store the water for later use for outdoor watering and other such recycled water activities. And with an El Niño coming this year, the time is right to get a rain barrel. The cost is $85 per barrel, but buyers would then qualify for a SoCal Water Smart rebate starting at $75 per barrel. Visit rainbarrelsintl.com for more info on how to get a barrel.