California residents have been forced to use less water with each passing year, but as drought becomes the new norm, they aren’t just conserving, they’re revolutionizing the way the state manages its water.
For Carrie Wassenaar, a modest single-story house for sale a half a mile from the Burbank-Bob Hope Airport had the landscaping she was looking for in a home: tidy green lawns front and back, and trees, including an iconic orange tree. The greenery virtually sealed the deal for the Wisconsin native before she ever stepped through the front door.
Today, the animation producer’s front yard is a part of the California water revolution.
Instead of a lawn, it now sports a thick layer of mulch dotted with newly planted, drought-tolerant shrubs and tall grasses, watered by a buried drip-irrigation system. A large, shallow depression in the yard acts as a micro reservoir where water can pool and seep into the sandy soil below, eventually to reach a vast aquifer beneath the San Fernando Valley. That water comes from a computer-controlled, above-ground cistern, which stores rainfall her roof sheds during a storm.–by Pete Spotts in the Christian Science Monitor.