Meteorologist and scientists have been tantalizing the state with promises of an El Niño winter fat with rainstorms.
Most garden lovers, nature lovers and plants can’t wait. Scientists say that thanks to the current four-year drought, California is the driest it’s been in 500 years.
But anyone who’s a Northern California native – or who’s lived in here a while – knows most winters we get plenty of rain.
“A lot of people are coming to realize that we don’t really have a rain shortage issue; we have a rain storage issue,” said Kellen Watson, a program coordinator with Daily Acts. Her nonprofit organization focuses on education programs on how to create home-scale sustainability solutions.
“Our rain only comes six months of the year, and it leaves our landscape very quickly as runoff. It doesn’t stick around. We’re working on ways to slow, spread and sink water on our properties,” Watson explained. “We don’t want flooding, but instead of thinking we need to get all of our rainwater out of here quickly as runoff, we should be thinking about how to encourage it to ‘walk off.’ ”
On Nov. 17, Daily Acts will give a general overview of rainwater conservation, different options homeowners have available to save and use rainwater, and what systems might make the best sense for them individually.
Those include rain gardens, earthworks, swales, rain tanks and rain barrels. “We’ll be talking about things anyone can do at home to implement changes. If we all do a little something, it can really add up to make a big difference.”
In addition to being free and falling from the sky, rain also has other benefits science is just beginning to decipher. “There’s some really interesting research being done now in the microbes contained in rain drops,” Watson said.
Tiny specks of dirt and dust carried by winds “seed” clouds, resulting in rainfall. Certain types of bacteria and microbes carried on some of the dirt and dust specks may be better at encouraging water molecules in the clouds around them, and fall to the earth as rain, she said. The same microbes may also serve to infuse rain with plant-nourishing substances, she added.
The Windsor Garden Club’s monthly meetings are always free and open to the public, and the club, the Town of Windsor and Daily Acts are hoping for a big turnout Nov. 17.
No reservations are required but those interested are asked to register on the Daily Acts website to help the agency anticipate materials needed for the evening. Register at www.dailyacts.org.