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The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) recently relaxed drought restrictions, citing 93% reservoir capacity and 26% reductions in consumer use. Although the rainy season this year was a welcome relief, the drought may not be over yet. Paleoclimatology research (the study of long term climate patterns) indicates that California regularly experiences multi-year droughts, some lasting up to decades or even a century.
Rainwater is one of the cleanest and most abundant sources of water. A 1,000 square foot rooftop can potentially capture up to 13,000 gallons in an average water year in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Rainwater is ideal for watering vegetables and can even serve as an emergency water supply.
Drought Smart designer Aysha Massell is featured in this brief video, talking about a creek restoration project she began as an engineering student and then finished as a staff member at UC Berkeley. For more information about this project go to the Strawberry Creek Ecological Stabilization Project blog.