Water Conservation Connection 2018-07-19T11:51:17+00:00

Water Conservation Connection

Learn to: Catch rain, Conserve water, and Create resilient landscapes


Why Conserve Water and Create Resilient Landscapes?

Water will become a critical issue for the next generation. Rainfall, temperatures, and weather patterns are all changing, so managing water and maintaining healthy landscapes will become much more challenging. But everybody can make a difference, whether it is in your back yard, a community garden, or a larger landscape.

I truly believe that water will be a critical issue for our children’s generation given our increasingly erratic climate. So this site was created to share “how-to” information about catching rain, conserving water, and creating resilient landscapes that support both people and the environment. It also showcases success stories – creative projects, people, and organizations that we can learn from and emulate.

The site was designed to be a resource for homeowners, gardeners, community groups, and non-profit organizations. With time, I hope it can become a broader forum for people to connect and share water conservation ideas.

Adapting to a Changing Climate

Global temperatures are rising and are typically illustrated in charts like this. While the rising trend is concerning, it is hard for most people to relate to it personally.

But there are presentations of the data that make the challenge more relatable. I live in the Midwest U.S. and here are some that got my attention. They show how our climate is projected to change by mid-century.
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(Global air temperature chart published by the University of East Anglia, Climatic Research Unit)
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Source:Regional Climate Trends and Scenarios for the U.S. National Climate Assessment: Part 3. Climate of the Midwest U.S. NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 142-3 (95f2ea7d)

What these pictures show is that by the middle of this century the Midwest can expect hotter temperatures in both winter and summer, more extremely hot days, longer dry periods between rainstorms, plus more intense storms when it does rain.

What might this feel like?

See the illustration – it shows how future summers in Illinois will migrate south – meaning they will feel like more southern states do today.

So in my lifetime, where I live in Kansas City may have summers that feel like southwest Texas does today. I’m not looking forward to that, nor are the plants in my yard (they told me so….) Other parts of the U.S. and world are facing similar changes.

Climate Change in the Midwest: Projections of Future Temperature and Precipitation, Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org/mwclimate

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Where to Start?

Under these conditions it is going to become increasingly difficult to access and conserve water, grow food, and maintain healthy landscapes. But we can each take steps to adapt in our own yards and in our communities. Let’s share knowledge and ideas to help each other and future generations.

I invite you to catch rain, conserve water, create resilient landscapes, get inspired by other’s successes, and share ideas at upcoming workshops.

 

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Catching Rain

Rain gardens, rain barrels, and cisterns are good starting points for catching rain and putting it to good use. They can be sized for small yards or larger spaces like community gardens, and anybody can learn the basics.

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Resilient Landscaping

Resilient landscapes are able to survive stressful conditions and bounce back. How can you create a more resilient landscape? Build Healthy Soil, Conserve Water, and learn how to Choose Plants for the changing conditions.

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Success Stories

Browse success stories that highlight people and organizations doing great work to conserve water and create resilient landscapes.

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Workshops

Attend an upcoming workshop to learn, share ideas, and help inspire others.