Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2013 - (Page 39)
Idea Still in Vogue
BY SUSAN HARGENS, MEMBER SERVICES
DIRECTOR, MID-DAKOTA RURAL WATER SYSTEM
WHILE SEARCHING THE Internet recently, I came
across an interesting item that brought back some
old memories for me. I thought back to the days
when I would visit my grandparents and we would
play in the yard. At the corner of the house, under
the waterspout stood the rain barrel. The thought of
that barrel took me back to a time when water was
hauled to the house and water quality was anything
The news item that triggered all this reminiscing had to do
with a program called the “Green Barrel,” in the city of Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada. The city offers Vancouver residents a
chance to purchase a 75-gallon plastic rain barrel for the subsidized price of $75 per household (which is one-half the regular
price). Water used for lawn and garden purposes in Vancouver
makes up roughly 40 percent of the summer’s household water
usage. With the use of the rain barrels, the city estimates that each
barrel could save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during the
peak summer months.
Now, this barrel isn’t like the one my grandparents owned.
It has an inlet that directs water to a small opening, and an
outlet that can work with a watering can or hose. The barrel
also has a childproof lid. It’s a bit different from the old barrel,
with a screen or lid weighted down by a rock or brick that my
My grandmother used that water for her houseplants, and I
remember so well how my aunts used to use the water to wash
their hair – they claimed it made their hair shiny and soft.
I can see that there would still be beneﬁts to this tried-andtrue method of conservation today. In addition to reducing
water usage, using the barrels in town would cut down the
burden placed on the storm sewer system. You could water
outdoor plants and save on your water bill using water straight
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Third Quarter 2013 • 39 AM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2013
FROM THE PRESIDENT
PROJECTS THAT START IN RURAL AMERICA TOUCH THE LIVES OF ALL AMERICANS
WHAT DOES RURAL MEAN?
PROTECTING THE LAND
THE POWER OF AN ASSOCIATION
OLD CONSERVATION IDEA STILL IN VOGUE
THROWING MY LOOP
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ ADVERTISERS.COM
FROM THE CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2013