Water Conservation

Water conservation is not a huge issue in our area, but we’re hearing about it more and more on a national level.  California Governer Scharzeneggar declared a goal of a 20 percent reduction in water use state-wide by 2012.  California currently purchases water from Arizona, but with the continual development expansion in Arizona, particularly in arid areas such as Pheonix, the need for fresh water is a growing issue in the Southwest.  How does that affect us in Northern Indiana?

Even though fresh water is fairly plentiful in our area of Indiana, the cost of obtaining potable water continues to rise.  In the landscape, you can save water without drastic measures such as the complete removal of turf. Often it’s a matter of selecting the correct grass species and embarqing on an efficient watering and feeding schedule.  Landscape professionals can be a big help in improving efficient use of water in the landscape.  Installing drip irrigation and water monitoring valves that shut off the water in case of a leak are just a couple of suggestions to pursue with your landscape professional.

For water saving ideas inside your home, you might want to visit http://www.us.kohler.com/savewater/home.htm, a site launched by Kohler.  You can learn about their products as well as other water conservation measures.  Kohler regularly donates to Habitat for Humanity.  Take their survey and it triggers an additional $1 donation of Kohler products to Habitat for Humanity on top of their standing pledge of $500k.  See the SaveWaterAmerica.com link on their home page.  (If you are interested in helping Habitat for Humanity in our area, the contact information for the Marshall County Affiliate is included below.)

Another issue that can be addressed to improve and preserve water quality in our area is storm water control.  Plymouth has a good storm water control program that includes erosion control and detention. That portion of it is well thought out and practical.  They have an additional provision that includes storm water retention.  Their ordinance requires the retention of a 10 year storm event with volume for detention of the 100 year storm on top of the retention volume.  Their goals of recharging the local aquifer is laudable, but is probably unrealistic for our area.  In my opinion, they are addressing an issue that is not there and they are creating problems with the standing water such as mosquito breeding areas, undesirable habitats for wildlife and an attractive nuisances for children.  Culver has storm water control language in their ordinance, but unfortunately it is too vague and it is difficult to administer.  I am currently working on revisions that may help with this.  I hope to try some innovative solutions on the Sand Hill Farm project.

Do your research before you decide to explore water conservation in and around your home.  This is another area where Greenwashing is a problem.  Make sure you are investing in solutions that are workable and real.


Habitat for Humanity of Marshall County
P.O. Box 524
Plymouth, IN  46563
Phone:  (574) 935-4214
Fax:  (574) 936-8038
Email:  marshallcountyhabitat@embarqmail.com

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