Program launched in Santa Clara County to help people adopt conservation lifestyle

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- With the recent rainfall, most people are probably not thinking about the drought. But water officials are still urging residents to adopt a conservation lifestyle. To that end, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has launched a new component to its rebate program to help with those efforts.

San Jose resident Paul Boeme took advantage of the program by installing a new rain barrel on his family's property earlier this week.

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"It took me a few days, and I won't tell you that it was completely all fun, but it was a good challenge," said Boeme. "It was a boost, and an incentive to go out and do it soon, as opposed to putting it off."

Rain barrels, rain gardens, and cisterns, which can all be used to keep rainwater onsite for reuse within the landscape, are now available for a rebate.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to provide supplemental irrigation," said Justin Burks of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. "It's a locally controlled water supply, either directly right off your roof, or from the clouds above us."

In this case, Boeme received a $35 rebate for installing a 50-gallon rain barrel. He paid just over $100 on the materials and installation and hopes to recoup the cost in water savings within the next couple of years.

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"You may not see a huge benefit to the environment... I might not see it, but by using less water, we have actually more water for wildlife, for fish in the rivers and streams," said Boeme. "Spring water works miracles in the garden, so I'm glad to be recycling the water that was part of that miracle."

The district expects to have enough funding to cover every customer who qualifies for the program.

As with all water district rebates, you have to apply and first get approval before buying any equipment or starting any work. Go here for more information.

Below you can find links to each county's suggestion on how to harvest rainwater:

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