BY TRANSITION SALT SPRING
After a summer of drought conditions and the threat of heat looming over plants, gardens and forests, Salt Spring Island residents have a timely opportunity to help beat the dry season blues.
With fall rains returning now, setting up a rainwater harvesting system becomes a proactive way to prepare for the future. Transition Salt Spring is leading the charge, offering up to $500 rebates to incentivize the adoption of rainwater harvesting systems.
Salt Spring Island’s climate and location lend itself well to rainwater harvesting, particularly during the rainy season between October and March, with an average of 92 centimetres of rainfall gracing the island annually. However, as the summer months arrive, rainfall dwindles, emphasizing the need for rainwater storage to counterbalance the decreased availability of groundwater. Astonishingly, only 10 to 12 per cent of rain replenishes the groundwater, while the rest succumbs to runoff or evaporation, as noted by the Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Alliance. Residents can play a pivotal role in optimizing the island’s limited water resources by collecting and storing rainwater for personal use.
In response to the changing climate, adopting significant water conservation and management strategies becomes essential for preserving Salt Spring’s groundwater health. A standard rainwater harvesting system designed for non-potable use typically encompasses a rainwater cistern, downspout integration with existing gutters, filters, debris diverters, and hoses or irrigation system connections. Residents can set up this relatively simple approach to irrigation on their own or get assistance from rainwater harvesting consultants or plumbing professionals. Local suppliers can provide and deliver the necessary components. The Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Alliance’s Non-Potable Rainwater Guide is a free resource for those curious about setup and bylaw specifics: See tinyurl.com/ssiwpa-rain.
Homeowners from Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands who rely on well water can apply now for Transition Salt Spring’s rebate program, and the time to act is now, given the limited availability of rebates. This initiative, funded by the Capital Regional District, provides a rebate of $250 to $500 to encourage rainwater collection and utilization for irrigation purposes. Dive into details and apply at transitionsaltspring.com/rain.
Amidst concerns about drought and dwindling water supplies, an important part of the solution is harnessing the island’s abundant rainwater. Transition Salt Spring’s rebate program is the perfect incentive to take action now.
As residents gear up to embrace rainwater harvesting, they secure a better water future for themselves and contribute to the well-being of the island’s natural environment.