WATER IS ESSENTIAL. We all need water to survive.
WATER IS A PRECIOUS RESOURCE.
99.7% of all the water on earth is not suitable for human consumption. Of the remaining 0.3%, much is inaccessible.
UTILITY WATER IS ENERGY-EXPENSIVE TO DELIVER.
Energy is required to PUMP FROM aquifers, PUMP THROUGH canals and pipes, CONTROL FLOW, and DESALINATE. In all cases, potable water requires TREATMENT (before and after use).
GLOBALLY, DELIVERING WATER EXPENDS MORE THAN 26 QUADRILLION BTUS – 7% OF TOTAL WORLD ENERGY CONSUMPTION
IN CALIFORNIA, THE LARGEST SINGLE USER OF ENERGY IS THE STATE WATER PROJECT, WHICH PUMPS WATER UP 2000 FEET OVER THE TEHACHAPI MOUNTAINS. THIS SINGLE ACTIVITY EXPENDS 5 BILLION KILO-WATT-HOURS PER YEAR – 3% OF ALL ELECTRICITY CONSUMED IN THE STATE.
UTILITY WATER IS BUREAUCRATICALLY EXPENSIVE:
Tremendous energy use… but what about all the regulatory effort applied to the delivery of potable water? Public Health, Public Utilities, Water Management Districts, and the like... These activities cost the taxpayers money.
And what do we do?
WE WASTE IT:
With all that energy and effort required to deliver potable water, what do we do? We flush it down the toilet… use it in machine shops… wash our dirty laundry… spray it on our garden – expensive potable water going to non-potable uses.
WE LET IT SLIP AWAY:
Traditionally, municipalities managed stormwater by channeling it away from developed land and urban centers as quickly as possible. This approach reduces the amount of freshwater available for groundwater recharge, and it creates tremendous pollution problems with stormwater discharges to rivers, lakes, and ocean waters.
GREENWISE WATER & LANDSCAPES
WE FOCUS ON WATER CONSERVATION SYSTEMS AND LANDSCAPES
RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEMS – From 500-Gallon residential systems to 750,000-Gallon commercial systems, we capture water that falls on the roof, store it in tanks, and distribute it to landscape irrigation systems, laundry systems, and toilets.
GREYWATER REUSE SYSTEMS – Our systems capture greywater from the home (which is any water not associated with food or feces,) and distribute it to landscape irrigation systems. Again – residential or commercial.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS – We build bioswales to retain stormwater on property so that it may percolate to the aquifer. This is becoming a requirement with many municipalities as codes are beginning to be rewritten for sustainability.
EFFICIENT IRRIGATION SYSTEMS – Technologies in irrigation have improved dramatically. We need plants. Plants need irrigation. Greenwise delivers it efficiently.
The Monterey Peninsula Airport Management District has a sustainability plan. That plan calls for a 50% reduction in water use by 2030. I studied their problem, and it took me about 15 minutes to figure out how they could meet 80% of their goal by next week.
Their three largest consumers comprise about 45% of the total water use for the Airport District. One of these consumers has three aircraft hangars totaling 3.5 acres of roof space. The rainwater available from these hangars is 1.8 million gallons per year – which is the amount of treated, potable water the three top consumers use each year. One of the consumers is a car rental facility. Most of their water use goes toward washing cars.
One 650,000 gallon tank and some pipes and MPAD is 20% away from meeting their water sustainability goals – 14 years early.
Who are you going to call?
You’re a company or a homeowner, and you want to start conserving water. Either you’re looking for an improved public image the includes "Sustainable", or you’re truly an environmentalist. Perhaps you just want to save money on your water bill. To whom do you turn?
GREENWISE WATER & LANDSCAPES
Let Greenwise do it for you! Provide us with a few simple pieces of information and we'll run the calculations for you! You can get started right now, by completing a no-obligation New Client Survey.
What you'll get from Greenwise is a cost estimate for your new rainwater catchment system and how long it will take to pay for itself! Imagine... after the payoff period... you'll be maintaining your lush (not brown) gardens for free! Nature does provide.
The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD)http://www.mpwmd.net has recently expanded its class offerings in Water Conservation: for both Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater Re-use. In order to make classes more accessible, they have added an afternoon class on each day.
In addition, they have moved the location of this training from MPWMD to Cal-Am. Cal-Am is located at 511 Forest Lodge Road, in Pacific Grove.
Registration will go live in the next week. Check the MPWMD Calendar for registration links.
The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) has added two days of training to its 2016 Water Conservation Education Schedule. Greenwise Water & Landscapes and Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply partner with MPWMD to deliver this information freely to the public.
On May 14, 2016, a seminar on Rainwater Harvesting will be held from 10-11:30am, at the MPWMD Office in Ryan Ranch (5 Harris Court, Building G). The class will cover:
On May 21, 2016, a seminar on Greywater Re-Use Systems will be offered. Same time, same place. The class will cover:
If you have any questions regarding these courses, or you'd like to register for one or both classes, please contact Stephanie Kister at MPWMD.
1. Is this El Niño going to solve our drought?
Short answer: Probably not. Experts say we’d need 120% of normal precipitation in our key watersheds. It’s not going that way so far in the winter of 2015-16. For example, January precipitation for Monterey was just average, and February (so far) has been relatively dry. Check out the Association of California Water Agencies Fact Sheet on El Niño.
2. So what can we do about it?
Short answer: Conserve water. There are many ways to do that, but they all fall into three broad categories: You can change your habits, install water conserving fixtures/systems, or re-landscape your yard (or a combination of all three).
3. What are some examples of habit changes?
Of course, reducing your landscape irrigation goes without saying.
4. What about water-saving fixtures?
Fixtures are the best bang for the buck. Low-flow toilets, laundry machines, and shower heads will pay you back the fastest.
5. What about systems? What kind of systems are we talking about?
Rainwater, Greywater, Stormwater, and Irrigation Systems
6. Tell me about Rainwater Systems.
Well, here’s an idea that is - in many regions of the world - common place. Basically, you store the runoff from your roof in a tank, and you use it later for a variety of applications.
7. What can we do with stored rainwater?
You can irrigate your yard during the dry season and, with proper filtration, you can flush your toilets or do your laundry with it. Ask yourself this: Why are we using potable water for these things? Potable water is expensive and requires an enormous amount of energy to deliver to our homes. Rainwater is free. In Monterey, a 2,000 square foot home will capture 20,000 gallons of water with an average year of precipitation.
8. What about a Greywater System?
A Greywater system is a way to take non-food-related waste water from your home (that’s anything but kitchen sinks, dishwashers, and toilets,) and re-use it to irrigate your landscape.
9. You mean I can pump it through my sprinkler system?
No, grey water has to be released below grade and under cover. So, what we do is create mulch basins in your yard near your plantings, and greywater is delivered though the force of gravity (or with a pump when that isn’t possible). You can’t store greywater, so it’s released into your yard immediately.
10. What about Stormwater systems? Why are they important?
Nature’s design is that water falls on the Earth, soaks into the ground, and replenishes underground aquifers. Man interrupts this system when he builds houses, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. Water runs off these surfaces and is largely diverted to streets and, ultimately, to the ocean… bypassing our aquifers. The goal is to retain your stormwater on-site. We can do this with French Drain systems and Bioswales.
11. Are there some showcase examples of water efficient homes or businesses that I can see?
There are many, but the best one is yet to be built. When Pacific Grove approves Measure X and Project Bella (a LEED Platinum hotel,) it will establish itself as a National leader in sustainability.
12. Who are the some of the players in the local water chain?
The best resource for the public is MPWMD. Stephanie Kister is their Conservation Officer, and she administers a variety of financial incentives for water conservation in your home or business. Also, she conducts semi-annual seminars on both rainwater and greywater. In fact, Greenwise partners with MPWMD to provide this education. Our next seminars are May 14 and May 21. The seminars are held in the MPWMD Conference Room in the Ryan Ranch office.
CalAm is another one. In fact, CalAm is the financial source of the Water District incentives. Joe Dimaggio is their Conservation Officer.
Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply (just off Del Monte, near The Monterey Fish House,) has most everything you need in supplies, if you’re a DIY’r. Ewing also partners with us for the Water District seminar series.
Also, Check out Ecology Action. Next month, Ecology Action will offer $500 rebates for projects that lead to a Monterey Bay Friendly Landscape certification. This is in addition to Water District rebates. You’ll find more info on www.green-gardener.org/rebates.
13. So, tell me about Greenwise Water & Landscapes. What do you do?
Greenwise is a local company that specializes in the design and installation of Rainwater Systems, Greywater Systems, Stormwater Management Systems, Efficient Irrigation Systems, and Xeriscaping. We also install Hardscapes and Landscape Features. Additionally, we are actively engaged with local governments, agencies, non-profits, and suppliers. We do our best to move legislation and education toward a water conservation-friendly state.
This Wednesday, February 17, 2016, GREENWISE Water & Landscapes will be with the Good Folks of "Pub Talk". Pub Talk is broadcast live from Peter B's Brew Pub in the iconic Portola Plaza... in Downtown Monterey!
Scott McKenzie will be offering valuable information on the State of the California Drought, plus "Things to Know" about Rainwater Harvesting, Greywater Re-Use, Stormwater Management, Xeriscaping, and Efficient Irrigation Systems.
Join us from 5-6:00 PM at 102.1 FM or 1410 AM... LIVE!
In the January 28 edition of the Monterey County Weekly, you'll find an article about how GREENWISE is trying to get local municipalities to ease the permitting cost and setback requirements for water conservation systems (at least for a period of time). The foundation of our argument is that we are in the middle of a water crisis here in California, and we need significant stimuli, not barriers to water conservation.
For example, in the City of Monterey, rainwater tanks are treated as "accessory structures," and are therefore subject to a 5' minimum setback from the property line. This regulation effectively bars many homeowners from collecting rainwater on their property. It's a shame that government regulation does this, given that rainwater collection is an effective way to reduce potable water usage and manage stormwater runoff, both of which can help California solve its drought problem.
This morning at the Casa Munros Hotel, David Stoldt, General Manager for the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD), along with Stephanie Locke, the District's Water Demand Manager, presented its revised plan for Water Conservation and Standby Rationing to Commercial Businesses. This is in response to the Cease-and-Desist Order on California American Water Company (CalAm).
The revised plan reduces the previous plan from 7 to 4 Stages. It replaces landscape budget requirements with a "call to action" in Stage 2, which is voluntary conservation. It also includes "conservation rates" for water in Stage 3 for commercial entities (which kick in at Stage 4 for households). It also focuses on eliminating non-essential uses before implementing water rationing.
There will be a presentation this afternoon at the Monterey Public Library for residential water users.
Take a look at the PowerPoint Presentation of the Proposal for Revised Water Conservation and Rationing Plan
Read the Draft Monterey Peninsula Water Conservation and Rationing Plan
MPWMD will be conducting public outreach through February 2016:
This morning, from 10-12;00pm at the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) offices in Ryan Ranch, Greenwise Water & Landscapes provided a presentation on Greywater Systems, including Laundry-to-Landscape Systems. Here, attendees learned how to design and install their own Laundry-to-Landscape System, along with the ins-and-outs of Greywater Systems.
With today's drought conditions in California, one would be hard-pressed to find a more effective way to re-use water. Greywater System owners enjoy financial savings, lusher gardens, and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping the environment by reducing the energy used to deliver drinking water and process household effluent.
Local government and CalAm are making it easy to people to "go green" with greywater. There are no permits required for installing a Laundry-to-Landscape system. Permits for full Greywater Systems are delivered over-the-counter at a reduced rate. In addition, CalAm and MPWMD have coordinated to offer rebates for these systems. To top it off, MPWMD provides free Laundry-to-Landscape kits ($100 value) to anyone who wants one!
If you are interested in joining the ever-growing number of concerned citizens in the effort to "Go Green with Greywater," give Greenwise Water & Landscapes a call. We're in the business of helping people save money, water, and the planet!