Last year I experimented with using grey water for irrigation (see 10 gallons of grey water). The drought is continuing, so I’m starting much sooner and also planning to track my water savings and sources during 2009. You can follow along at Saving water, 2009.

It’s important to note that using grey water for irrigation is not new. Government agencies have been using it for years to water landscaping, especially along highways, and golf courses have also been using it for some time. This latter may not be the highest and best use of grey water, but it’s better than using clean water.

It’s also important to note that this practice may need to become a way of life. One of the global warming predictions a few years back for northern California was that we would have wetter but warmer winters. The upshot of this is that less snowpack is expected. Because we have learned to use snowpack as a reservoir, this will pose problems because less water will be stored and available later in the season. Last week I heard someone comment on this year’s snowpack, saying that while the snowpack was low, precipitation was actually up for the year. This provides some evidence that those predictions of a few years ago may be correct. The end result is that we probably will have to use our water resources more efficiently, including grey water, in coming years.

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