Sign and Share the Emergency Greywater Policy Reform & Jobs Program Petition!

by Daniel Brodell-Lake

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By now, we have all heard of the drought in CA. We are in a state of uncertainty, and inaction. To reduce household consumption really only has an effect on 10% of the water usage, because industry and agriculture use the rest. Driving along the Salinas and Central valleys, it is clear that overhead spraying irrigation is a continued practice during sunny and windy days, which causes the most evaporation and water loss of any other irrigation technique.

Needless to say, we address issues that have no true solution yet infringe on our personal morality just as we did with grocery bags a few years ago. It seems as though we will entertain any idea that avoids pointing a finger at the lion’s share of usage, whether it be the military spending on the national budget, or the industrial agriculture water usage in regions that have a shortage of water.

Gov. Jerry Brown did indeed speak of emergency drought legislation, however, this legislation did not touch upon Greywater, which comprises a practical solution to recharge aquifers, reuse household water on site, reduce loads on municipal water treatment plants, and create local green jobs. Laundry-to-Landscape, gravity fed branch drains from showers, routing downspouts to planter beds and other affordable and ecological techniques are ready to be installed, yet still semi-illegal. Many cities and counties have costly permits to install such systems, which is discouraging.

I propose an “Emergency Greywater Policy Reform & Jobs Program” to address jobs, drought, recharging groundwater, reducing loads on municipal systems and training a modern workforce all at once. Rain Gardens, Mulch Basins, Laundry to Landscape systems and other low cost and low tech strategies must be outlined in detail so that landscaping contractors, plumbers and other contractors in the field may offer these services to clients. City, County and State rebates and incentives must be made available for homeowners who choose to become part of the solution, just as we now have rebates for irrigated lawn removal. By making these lawn removal rebates available, we have addressed part of the problem, but neglected to address the solutions. What I propose is to effectively address the solutions in the form of a statewide emergency legislation.

Sign and Share the Emergency Greywater Policy Reform & Jobs Program Petition!

Daniel Brodell-Lake
MSc Integrative Ecosocial Design

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