I recently attended a Rainwater Symposium put on by the city of San Diego. (check out the recent article) They outlined the rain barrel program in L.A., the pilot program they are doing here, and the technology and politics of Australia's rainwater programs. I'm excited about the rash of recent conversations about water here. However, I'm frustrated that we can't seem to pair up storm water pollution prevention and water supply augmentation. The rain barrel pilot program here is put on by the storm water department to mitigate storm water pollution, however if the county water authority could participate in order to create more local water supply, we wouldn't have 55 gallon barrels at these pilot sites all over the county, we would have thousands of gallons of storage and be making a real difference on both ends.
On the other hand, I attended a Water Summit last week which was put on by Coastkeeper. (check out the article). I was very excited to see some of our state legislators being given real information about opportunities to change our mindset about water. At the meeting it was discussed that there are problems with the different agencies working together and that to implement Low Impact Development strategies such as greywater/rainwater harvesting, green streets, etc we really need to have our different agencies working together. We also need some push here in San Diego to create these changes. Since they aren't driven by profit, it's not well understood who will take up the torch. So, I guess that leaves us grass rooters to continue our work. I applaud Coastkeeper's Bruce Reznik for recognizing the significance of these issues and bringing knowledgeable people together to create a conversation!