On average, Los Angeles gets only a quarter of an inch of rainfall in May. And yet… This year—a very dry one at that—we got a full inch of rain with the last storm. That bit of rainfall not only helped squelch the wildfires (which had an earlier than usual start this year), but it took this season from being the 4th driest to the 7th driest winter on record.
And while that may still seem pretty dire, here’s some hope: That rain was harvested at TreePeople’s headquarters, and is now stored in our cistern to use as supplemental landscape irrigation this summer. That mere inch of rainfall equals roughly 6 inches in the cistern—approximately 13,500 gallons captured.
Our cistern is a large-scale demonstration of solutions you can implement at home and in your community. Check our Web site to find out more about rainwater and runoff capture at home and join our next free rainwater harvesting workshop on October 5.
While we’re not used to storm events in the late spring, this rain is better late than never! So, we’ll take our showers in May, along with the flowers, and we’ll harvest the rain to make sure that every drop counts.
Read more about TreePeople’s 216,000 gallon cistern
Concerned that California wildfires are off to an early start? Help us with our work in the Santa Monica Mountains, where we clear brush and invasive plants to reduce the chance of fires. Text TREE and your e-mail address to 51555 to volunteer. Or text TREE to 80888 to make a $10 donation in support of our fire restoration projects.
Above: TreePeople’s Director of Park Operations, Jim Hardie, hoists a sample of water collected in the hilltop’s 216,000 gallon cistern. Photo: Juan Villegas