Water Security & Drought Strategies

Rainwater HarvestingRainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond. a set of books and also a website by Brad Lancaster with loads of practical information on just that – how to harvest, store and utilize rainfall and redesign landscapes to maximize the efficient use of water; including calculators for gauging rainfall, sizing tanks and systems, diagrams, links to materials etc.

Greywater Utilization - Any waste water that goes down your drain aside from your toilet is greywater, and can be used again to irrigate your landscape.  Oasis Design has a series of books on greywater utilization, laundry to landscape, and water capture and storage.  Their book “Create an Oasis with Greywater” is one of the best on the topic.

Laundry to Landscape is when you re-route your washing machine to irrigate your landscape, saving thousands of gallons of water.  This webpage does a great job of breaking the process into five steps, with photos and instructions.  Here's a downloadable PDF from Oasis with lots of good details and diagrams, and this link provides a nice schematic that allows you an overview of an entire system.  

Drought Gardening - A drought doesn't mean you have to stop growing food.  It does mean you have to farm & garden differently.  The Thrivalists Guide to Drought Gardening by Kyle Keegan is a comprehensive manual on soil management, variety selection, no till, swales, Hugelkultur, biochar and more, for producing food in drought.   

Drip Irrigation uses up to 80% less water and saves time and money.  Harmony Farm Supply has a great webpage with design and installation instructions.  Dripworks is another great local company with prompt service to our area, as well an an online drip irrigation manual.  

The Water Institute, In 2004 the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) established the WATER Institute (Watershed Advocacy, Training, Education, & Research) to promote understanding of the importance of healthy watersheds to healthy communities. Building upon OAEC’s many years of work to protect Coastal California’s watersheds, the WATER Institute concentrates on four interrelated and equally strong program components: advocacy and policy development; training and support; education and demonstration; and research.

Check Your Water Efficiency - This pamphlet by the Salmon Creek Water Conservation Program walks through a residential water audit, showing how to gauge your own water use, detect leaks and optimize your water management.  

Resilience in a Time of Drought: A Transferable Model for Collective Action in North Coast
Watersheds is a practical 'how-to' guide for community members, restoration practitioners, nonprofits, and other stakeholders wishing to establish a voluntary water conservation program in their watershed. This guide was developed based on the methods and findings of a collaborative technology transfer project that was initiated in Humboldt County, California in 2013 by Sanctuary Forest and Salmonid Restoration Federation in collaboration with Sara Schremmer, a graduate student in the sociology program at Humboldt State University.

Watershed Best Management Practices for Cannabis Growers and Rural Gardeners is an excellent reference produced by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, with practical information and links on water conservation from point diversion to discharge.  Written for cannabis production but extremely useful for any rural household or homestead