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My normal service range is from Santa Monica to San Diego but I have installed copper gutters and rainwater harvesting systems in California, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Rwanda.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Crisis Culture

We in America live in a land of unimaginable wealth, compared to the vast majority of the world. If you have change in your pocket, you are richer than 85% of the worlds people. In Africa, the average man is lucky if he makes the equal of two dollars per day.
One of the things about us, in America, is that we tend to not be proactive about change. We only change when we are forced to.
The following quote is taken from here.
" With its naturally arid landscape, Southern California has always relied on water piped in from other locations in order to meets its demand. However, a growing population and dwindling supplies are creating a huge water deficiency. Traditional methods of tapping into new surface or groundwater sources have proven to be very detrimental to the environment, leading engineers to search for new sources freshwater. Desalination is a popular option, but it too comes with its own environmental impact. To truly create a sustainable future for Southern California, new conservation technologies and practices must be designed by engineers and adopted by the general public."

I often hear people ask about a rainwater harvest system; " what is the payback, or R.O.I ?"

R.O.I. means return of investment.

Water in San Diego where I live is cheaper than it should be, yet more expensive than almost any where else in America. I have a client in Del Mar who lives in a respectable sized house, yet far from an estate. His water and trash bill is six hundred dollars per month. That is as much as a small apartment in a state like Nevada. Or, not much more than a farmer in Rwanda makes in a year.
Yet, a rain harvest system is still a hard sell. It makes sense to him, but still seems more of a luxury to his wife, and so they have not made the purchase yet.
This 620 gallon Bushman slimline tank captures water from a one thousand square foot roof and will fill to over-flow with one inch of rain.
The major Shakeout Scenario Report states that running water may not be a part of life for many for as long as 6 months! But, because we haven't yet had that violent crisis wake up call the reaction of the average person is a large and extended "yawn." We are a crisis orientated society, and by that I mean we will not en masse make a major change in the way we think about water until there is a major crisis. At the point of crisis, rain barrels will be hard to come by or be very expensive.
Southern California may face even more extreme hardships when a large Earthquake strikes the central valleys were levies built in the 1850's keep the sea at bay. Some estimates say we may face three years without these waters if those levies fail. In such a crisis, water will be more expensive than gas. 
You can't drink gas.
What we need is a complete mental reset, but alas, such a profound change in the way we think about and manage our most precious resource will not come without a major crisis.

With this post I would like to introduce a new product. It is the same filtration system we provide to the Rwandans as part of The Clean Water Initiative with No Thirsty Child. This filter can eliminate bacteria and never goes bad as long as it is maintained. It requires no power and works from gravity. The Sawyer is available through me as a kit with two five gallon buckets for $85.00. It should be a part of every families emergency water storage plan. Large rain water harvest tanks can be used in a major disaster such as The Big One to provide water for you and your loved ones.
  Also, please watch and share this video;

The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water from Surfrider Foundation on Vimeo.


  1. The earth's surface is covered by 70% of water and only 3 % of that is fresh and the rest is saltwater. Introducing rainwater storage is one of the best projects. This is a good step on how to conserve water out of rain. People need not worry about the water quality because it has a filter that will help eliminate the bacteria that can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and many more. This is a great idea to lessen the crisis in water shortage that we are facing right now.