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Energy Bill Legislation: A Blow to Alternative Energy.
On December 13th, the US Senate voted on a watered down version of the bill that left renewable energy supporters agast... read more

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New Energy Standards for Automobiles
While the Recent Energy Bill passed by the senate and approved by the president left the renewable energy industry out to dry, the bill did pass improved standards in the auto-industry...
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Conserve Water. Save Our Greatest Resource. Save Money.

San Diego is, for the most part, a semi-arid mediterranean climate with low annual precipitation. We go through months of no rain every year. Currently, San Diego pulls about 80% of its water from out of area sources, such as the Colorado River and the Sierra Nevada range. With current droughts in these 2 areas coupled with an increasing demand, the future of San Diego's access to water is at risk. If recent trends continue, we will have a major shortage of water in a couple years. We can expect water rationing and extremely high prices on water. The sections below provide some solutions to help us conserve water and save money, too.

Quick Tips to Conserve Water Indoor:
1. Lower water pressure by:
    a. Installing a PSI regulator for all incoming water
    b. Install faucet aerators or low-flow showerheads
    c. Lower water pressure manually at every use
2. Use energy efficient appliances (Energy Star website)
3. Install low volume toilets (or stick a brick in your current tank)
4. Compost instead of using the garbage disposal
5. Fix all leaks:
    a. Repair dripping faucets and showerheads
    b. Repair toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank - if color
       appears in the bowl within 30 minutes, there is a leak.
6. Turn off the water when brushing teeth or shaving

Quick Tips to Conserve Water Outdoor:
1. Use drought resistant plants and landscaping
2. Water in early morning or late afternoon to reduce evaporation
3. Mulch around plants to hold water in the soil
4. Use shut-off valves on all hoses

Harvesting Rainwater

San Diego water authority states that the average annual rainfall is about 10 inches/year along the coast and up to 40 inches/year in the inland mountains. This is water that we can harvest and direct to our benefit. A relatively simple system can be constructed to direct rainwater from roof to gutter to storage and then re-dispersed into the landscape to support vegetation (and even grow organic food). There are a myriad of other smaller methods to direct rain runoff towards practical uses irrigating your yard to grow plants/food. Specific applications depend on the space you are occupying. If you need local help, speak with a San Diego water conservation consultant like local specialist Brook Sarson (619.964.4838).

Re-using Grey Water

Greywater is the waste from sinks, bath/showers, dishwashers and washing machines (some people consider kitchen sink water to be unusable black water). Greywater usually accounts for slightly more than half of a household's water consumption. If treated properly, this water can be re-used for such things as irrigating (non-food vegetation), toilets, and even external washing.

For specific info and how-to-do-it-yourself material on such topics, visit: by Brad Lancaster.

Is This Up to Code?

Probably not. San Diego & California governments are behind the curve on setting reasonable regulations that allow and encourage responsible greywater re-use. For the time-being, I encourage you to review the Arizona Greywater Guidelines as your rule of thumb should you proceed with re-using greywater. I hear that California is investigating and hoping to model the Arizona system, so your good deeds may eventually be permittable by the govt! ;)