Harvesting Every Drop

By Diana Reynolds Roome

Water has been called liquid gold – not just because it could be the next big investment opportunity, but because it’s a precious commodity for all of us.  Did you know that every drop of water that falls on to blacktop or concrete in Rogue Valley towns and cities drains into creeks, then to Gold Beach where it flows into the ocean and becomes salt water?  Or that as soon as water falls from the sky on to the ground, it’s the property of the state?  However, if that water falls on your roof, you can catch and keep it for your own use.

This is why homeowners need to become more savvy about saving water for their own use, says Lori Tella, Urban and Community Planner for Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District.  With unpredictable rainfall, even in the notoriously wet state of Oregon, everyone can benefit from catching and saving the free, fresh water that is delivered right to our homes from the sky. It can be kept for watering plants in the dry season or for an emergency supply.  

The class will explore ways to ensure that rainwater soaks into the ground slowly enough to be absorbed. This reduces stormwater runoff, which picks up pollutants as it travels down city streets, parking lots and driveways and takes those pollutants straight to our streams and waterways where they can lead to algae blooms and impact wildlife. It will also teach residents how to build a rain-garden on their property. Even on a small city lot, you can still build a rain garden that is effective, attractive, and will help water quality, Tella said.  At the class, people can sign up for a free site visit from Jackson Soil to assess their property for conservation opportunities.     

The presentation, on April 14, is an overview on rain catchment, with a practical focus on building and using a rain barrel. This presentation is part of the monthly Rogue Climate Talent meeting, 6 p.m. at the new Talent Community Center.  The group welcomes attendance by all interested members of the community. One of their main focuses is energy saving, and saving water is definitely a part of this, says Tella.    

“You might think energy has nothing to do with water, but there’s an overlap, because it takes energy to get water to you. Catching the water that falls on your house for free is a pretty practical way to save on energy as well as water bills.” 

Rogue Climate Talent is working towards transitioning our community to clean energy and greater energy efficiency.  The organization meets the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Community Center.  For information or to get involved, call 541-840-1065 or check out www.rogueclimate.org/talent

Thursday, April 14, 6 – 6:45 p.m. on Rain Catchment for Homeowners, Rogue Climate Talent meeting, Talent Community Center.  Anyone interested in how to save and use rainwater is invited. Class is free and includes hands-on and questions.  

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