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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our leaders should be leading


It's great that these leading citizens are cutting back water usage by 50 and 60%. Reducing consumption is an important step in water conservation. But let's take the next step in creating a sustainable solution. Let's ask our leaders to be leading this effort.

People in public positions should be at the forefront of water conservation technology, not catching up. That doesn't mean more high tech gadgetry, and following lagging party lines. It means really paying attention to being part of the solution. Mayor Sanders and Councilmember DeMaio should be demonstrating effective use of greywater and rainwater harvesting. They should be setting an example of how water harvesting is the way that we are going to create a sustainable water source in San Diego.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Write Up on Sheepless.org

Scott Ballum of Sheepless.org came to visit with me at one of my clients houses last week. He wrote a little article about H2OME on his website. It's a great resource.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Screening of Tapped

Just wanted to let you know that SD Coastkeeper, Food & Water Watch, and
Pure Water Technologies are encouraging folks to join us for a free, yes
free, screening of Tapped at Ultra Star Cinema next Wednesday.

Tapped is a documentary about the bottled water industry and examines the
social, economic, and environmental impacts of bottled water. I get to see
a lot of films about water pollution and bottled water, but this is
definitely one of the best films I've seen on the subject.

The screening is next Wednesday, Nov. 18th at 7 pm if you are interested.
Please RSVP by emailing rsvptapped@gmail.com if you plan to attend the
screening. Please see the attached fliers for more info, and feel free to
forward this email to friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Greywater Policy Position from: The Sustainability Alliance of Southern California

Dear Fellow Sustainability Advocates:

During our regular meeting on October 27, the Sustainability Alliance of Southern California adopted the following official policy position regarding graywater use in Southern California:

"It is the policy of the Sustainability Alliance of Southern California to promote maximum implementation of graywater systems in Southern California. We encourage all jurisdictions within Southern California to proactively support regulatory approval for graywater systems and that incentives, including cash rebates, sewage rate reductions, or reduction in water rates, be evaluated."

We are taking this position of support for graywater reuse for a number of reasons:

1) Simplest way to reclaim and reuse a valuable resource without expensive treatment and re-distribution.

2) Provides a readily available water source for irrigation of yards and greenbelts.

3) Conserves our most precious resource—fresh, potable water.

4) Cuts down on the amount of electricity needed to move water to and throughout our region.

5) Reduces the amount of wastewater that needs to be treated at publicly owned treatment works resulting in less effluent disposed of through ocean outfalls.

6) Less water treated translates to a reduction in related treatment costs and chemicals used in the treatment process.

Supporting this policy now makes sense because...

1) California is in a declared State of Emergency due to extended drought conditions and much needed, potable water is used to irrigate residential landscapes.

2) Statewide legislation supporting use of graywater was recently incorporated into existing building codes, 'opting in' every municipality for graywater use. To opt out, a municipality must hold a public hearing and show just cause for restricting or eliminating graywater use.

a) SB 1258 (which was signed into law in September 2008) directed the Housing and Community Development (HCD) agency to propose building standards for the construction, installation, and alteration of graywater systems for residential indoor and outdoor uses to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC). Existing graywater standards contained in the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, California Plumbing Code, Part 5, Appendix G were based on requirements for private sewage disposal. These standards were found to be overly prescriptive and antiquated and not readily usable by people seeking to install graywater systems for the purpose of water conservation and reuse.

b) The emergency graywater regulations, which added Chapter 16A, Part I "Nonpotable Water Reuse Systems,” were approved by the CBSC on July 30, 2009. The emergency regulations were subsequently filed with the Secretary of State on August 4, 2009, effective immediately upon filing.

The two most significant changes in the new regulations:

1) Single Fixture Systems (such as clothes washers) no longer require a permit and

2) Irrigation lines no longer have to be buried 9 inches, but can simply be placed under 2 inches of mulch.