I was going to spend the Labor Day weekend up at Mount Shasta but things took a different turn when I arrived on Friday. Unfortunately, 2 fires broke out within the span of hours and we had to leave the area. The Mill and Mountain fires have taken a heavy toll on Weed and the surrounding areas. My thoughts go out to all the residents and firefighters who are dealing with this devastating situation.
As we drove to safety, I looked around and was struck by the contrast a drought can have to a landscape. Many trees along I5 above Redding are dying from lack of water and disease, the grasslands are brown, Mount Shasta has NO SNOW on it's tip and all the small lakes and rivers that I've seen before are all dried up. It's really sad!
Roughly 90 million Americans are living under drought conditions. Water scarcity is emerging as a threat that could heighten business disruptions, crimp profits, jeopardize growth and change our mountains, rivers and wildlife. We each need to do our part to conserve water and find better ways to catch and store this very precious resource.
So what can we do?
Roofs account for a large surface area, and when it rains or there's heavy fog, this water is typically routed through a system of gutters and pipes and dumped unceremoniously into your yard. Install roof catchment systems that collect water by routing it through a system of gutters and pipes into a rain barrel, usually located on the ground level. It can then be used to water your yard
Plant drought resistant plants and use mulch to help prevent evaporation
Regularly monitor your irrigation system to insure you have no leaks or broken sprinkler heads
Consider rock and pebble gardens and plant with hardy succulents. They need minimal water and grow well with limited soil
When you are running water to heat it up, place a bucket under the faucet and water the garden with the extra water
Keep your shower time to 5 minutes or less
Turn off water when brushing your teeth or shaving
Wash full loads of clothing and dishes