A Deeper Focus


Water Conservation Project Tour: A recap from the Bioneers Conference 2011

This tour visited sites on the Los Padres- California Conservation Corps (CCC), residential Center that has integrated techniques to conserve water through rainwater harvesting and greywater re-use. These projects have been implemented by the CCC’s Fisheries Program and partners in our community.

We began the walking tour with a dynamic presentation/conversation by/with Regina Hirsch, Sierra Watershed Progressive about “Planting Water,” why we should care about water conservation and described a few different techniques of harvesting or planting water. From there we took a walking tour to the site of the CCC Native Plant Propagation Nursery where the CCC has installed a 47,000 gallon tank that stores water captured off the roof top of the storage tank and the 4000 sf rooftop of the CCC Warehouse. This water is distributed to the greenhouse, compost bin and outside plants via a solar pump and is expected to take care of the water needs for the propagation nursery year round.

The Greywater Project was our next stop where Americorps Watershed Stewards Project member, Wendy Laumer demonstrated the Greywater reuse project located at the CCC laundry facility. Greywater from five industrial washing machines, that service 80 residential corpsmembers, is filtered through an Aqua2use filtration system, then pumped to a 550 gallon tank that expels its contents twice within a 24 hour period to an irrigation system that waters ten apple trees and the rest of the Greywater is meant to infiltrate into the 10,000 square feet of land to make its way through the soil to recharge the groundwater table.

In addition, we talked about the future Low Impact Development (LID) project due to be implemented in Spring 2012 on one of the CCC Crew Dorms. This project will passively capture rainwater in the earth by modifying the topography and planting appropriate native plants around the building by constructing infiltration basins to encourage the water to soak into the ground. This technique of “planting water” will discourage accumulating rain to runoff the landscape during storm events and discharging into our creeks at a faster than normal rate which will contribute to a skewed hydrograph that can lead to incision and erosion in our creeks and reduce the amount of rainfall sinking into the ground to recharge our groundwater.

We look forward with great anticipation to the 2012 Bioneers Conference.Keep up the good work!!

—Meredith Hardy

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