You might not be able to check scuba diving in Tonga off your bucket list this summer, but you can save water with stylish blue buckets offered by the San Diego County Water Authority as part of its Bucket List Challenge.
As the region aims to meet state-mandated water-use reductions, the Water Authority is giving away seven-quart plastic pails this summer while supplies last to promote creative ways for saving and reusing water with the buckets. The public is invited to share water conservation ideas and photos on Twitter using #bucketlist and #cadrought.
The first bucket giveaway is from 10 a.m. to noon (or while supplies last) on Friday, June 19, at the Water Authority’s award-winning garden exhibit at the entrance to the San Diego County Fair’s Paul Ecke, Jr. Flower & Garden Show. Buckets also will be available during regular business hours at the Water Authority’s headquarters, 4677 Overland Ave. in Kearny Mesa, starting Monday, June 22. The Water Authority is planning additional bucket giveaways this summer.
The Water Authority’s garden exhibit celebrates the centennial of the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park with a re-creation of the Alcázar Garden, originally designed by Richard Requa in 1935. It also demonstrates the principles of water conservation, low maintenance, sustainability and climate-appropriate plants on a scale that’s accessible to homeowners. In the center of the garden, a waterless fountain features a large blue pot filled with succulents.
The garden was designed by Jim Bishop and installed by Marilyn’s Garden Design with the help of students at MiraCosta College’s Horticultural Program. It has won seven awards, including one for unique color landscapes and another for landscapes that benefit the environment.
The fair display is part of the Water Authority’s multifaceted outreach effort to promote water conservation during the fourth year of statewide drought conditions. As a wholesale water provider, the Water Authority coordinates drought response actions for San Diego County to foster consistency while minimizing harm to the region’s $206 billion economy. The regional approach to water conservation focuses on decreasing ornamental landscape irrigation first to lessen the economic disruption caused by cuts to water used by industrial, commercial and farming operations.
To help local water agencies meet state water-use reduction targets and avoid state fines, the Water Authority’s Board of Directors has restricted irrigation of ornamental landscapes with potable water to no more than two days a week across the region. The Water Authority’s 24 retail member agencies are responsible for determining the specific measures necessary to meet state mandates. Links to local agency restrictions, state regulations, water-saving tips and other resources are at www.whenindrought.org, the website for the Water Authority’s When in Drought outreach campaign.
The Water Authority has heavily promoted conservation for more than two decades, helping to drive down per capita potable water use in the region by 31 percent since 1990 – 24 percent since just 2007. Regional potable water use in 2014 was 12 percent lower than it was in 1990, despite adding 700,000 people to the county. Over that period, more than 300,000 jobs were added to the local economy, and the county’s annual gross domestic product grew by 80 percent.