Friday, June 29, 2007

Watering & Technology

New technology offers some great ideas to reduce and stop water runoff from everyday watering needs of homeowners, Good stuff!

Saving precious drops; A demonstration project seeks to show how homeowners waste water -- and highlights new ways to stop it
By PAT BRENNAN; The Orange County Register
June 18, 2007

IRVINE The houses are quintessential Orange County, huddled together behind broad sidewalks and well-cut curbs -- complete with manicured lawns, neatly trimmed landscaping, driveways, garages, porch lights, the works.

On closer examination, however, things begin to look a little odd. First, the houses are much too small. They are isolated on a broad expanse of dirt. And nobody lives there.

Part experiment, part demonstration project, the three houses are designed to reveal how Orange County homeowners create torrents of contaminated water runoff -- and to showcase state-of-the-art technology for controlling it.

"They're designed so people could see what they could implement to improve water quality," said Darren Haver, a water quality adviser with the University of California Cooperative Extension. "What are a few things I could do around my home?"

The project, dreamed up by Haver three years ago and recently completed, has become a minor sensation among the landscapers, developers, consultants and master gardener groups who receive firsthand training on the site.