To encourage water conservation as drought conditions persist, North County water district offer discounted rain barrels to area residents. Photo: Solana Center

Water Districts Offer Discounted Rain Barrels

Due to the persistence of California’s unprecedented megadrought, capturing rainfall when it occurs is a conservation priority. Several water districts in North San Diego County are offering discounted rain barrels.

To encourage water conservation as drought conditions persist, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Carlsbad Municipal Water District, San Dieguito Water District, and Santa Fe Irrigation District, are offering discounted rain barrels to area residents.

Collecting rainwater for future use saves both potable water and consumer costs. Capturing rainwater also reduces irrigation runoff that can carry pollutants into local waterways and beaches. This is especially true in the “first flush” of the rain season currently underway.

Capture the rain

Fifty-gallon barrels are on sale for $97, with a final cost of $62 after a $35 rebate from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Rebates on rain barrels and other water-saving measures are available at

Rain barrels ordered through November 30 will be available for pick up at the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation at 137 North El Camino Real in Encinitas. Visit the Solana Center’s website for more information and to place your order.

Rain barrels conserve water for Watersmart landscape maintenance

Although San Diego County’s average rainfall in normal seasons is just under ten inches annually, even light rain can provide enough water for later use. A roof with a 2,000-square-foot surface area can capture 300 gallons from only a quarter inch of rain.

Rain Barrels-Drought-Water Conservation

Stored water can be released gradually into Watersmart landscaping between winter rainstorms, building up the soil sponge and ensuring that native plants get adequate water during the winter months when they need it most. If you need additional water in the summer and capture enough of it during the winter, you may be able to use your stored water for supplemental irrigation.

Rain barrels are inexpensive to purchase and easy to install. Practice pest management and use screens to prevent mosquito breeding. With minimum maintenance and common sense, the water can be kept safe.

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District, City of Carlsbad, San Dieguito Water District, and Santa Fe Irrigation District, are four of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

State Puts $100M Toward Water Conservation

More money is coming down the pipeline for Nevada’s efforts to conserve water amid a historic megadrought that has put the pinch on supplies in the Southwest.

New Lawn Removal Rebate Saves Money and Water

Homeowners and businesses in San Diego County can receive between $2 and $4 per square foot for removing grass and replacing it with low water-use plants that are better suited to withstand the hot and dry conditions that continue to hammer the West.

Sonoma County Bans Drilling of New Water Wells for 6 Months Amid California Drought

In a move that activists hope could shift how water regulators statewide manage dwindling groundwater basins, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors this week banned the drilling of all new wells for six months countywide while they draft a set of longer-lasting rules on using groundwater.

Upper Basin Officials See California Proposal to Conserve Colorado River Water as a Positive Sign — Even if It’s Not Enough

California water agencies that use Colorado River water indicated Wednesday they’d be willing to cut 400,000 acre-feet of water use annually starting next year and running through 2025 — a move a top Upper Basin water official cast as a promising development in the negotiations over the future of the river.

California Agencies Float Colorado River Water Cuts Proposal

California water agencies that rely on the parched Colorado River said Wednesday they can reduce their use by one-tenth starting in 2023 in response to calls for cuts from the federal government.

Find the Right Native Plants for Your Water-Saving Landscape Online

If you’re looking to upgrade your landscape or just love gardens, it can be challenging to choose the right plants that will thrive in a water-saving landscape with your specific conditions.

The online plant finder WaterSmart Landscaping in San Diego County can assist you through a comprehensive database of choices well suited to this region’s Mediterranean climate.

‘The American Lawn Feels Irresponsible’: the LA Homes Ditching Grass for Drought-Friendly Gardens

A lush green lawn has long been a symbol of the perfect American home. But as a prolonged drought reshapes life in California, many residents are rethinking what a beautiful yard should look like.

In Los Angeles, which imposed sweeping restrictions on outdoor water use this year, thirsty lawns are out – and California native plants are in.

Conservation and Storage: Batteries, the Future of California Power

The hottest days this summer pushed California’s power grid to its limit. People were asked multiple days to conserve energy to avoid rolling blackouts.

South Lake Tahoe Leads the Way as City Council Approves Water Bottle Ban

In 2016, the City of San Francisco was the first American municipality to ban the sales of water that comes in plastic bottles. At the time it was called a bold move that was building on a global movement to reduce the huge amount of waste from the billion-dollar plastic bottle industry.

South Lake Tahoe was an early adopter of the single-use plastic bag ban, as well as bans of single-use plastic, styrene, and straws.