Posts tagged CA drought

We live in Eagle Rock. It gets hot. A couple of years ago, we decided to make the plunge and install central air in our little 1922 bungalow. When the unit was being installed – on our roof, no less (thank you, narrow residential lot) – I noticed a PVC line being routed along the roof and down the side of the house: for drainage of air conditioning condensate.

Note the PVC line running out of the lower left of the package unit.

Note the PVC line running out of the lower left of the package unit.

I began to notice just how much water was being generated…and discharged into the dirt. This water begged to be captured. The solution was simple: I cut the PVC line, attached a threaded fitting, and ran a super-short hose into a bucket. On a warm summer evening, as our 1,400-square-foot house cools down, the 4-gallon bucket fills up in less than an hour! In the morning we pour the contents to water our lemon trees.

For less than the cost of a cold-pressed kale/banana/ginger juice, you can buy these parts.

For less than the cost of a cold-pressed kale/banana/ginger juice, you can buy these parts.

This represents 45 minutes of air conditioner condensate on a warm July afternoon.

This represents 45 minutes of air conditioner condensate on a warm July afternoon.

Plants need to stay cool, too.

Plants need to stay cool, too.

In a few months, I’ll let you know if the lemons have a peculiar aftertaste.

*This of course begs the question: is air conditioner water sanitary?

AHBE-Lab-skip-the-turf

Skip the Artificial Turf – The Value of Native Plants and the Truth About Fake Grass: “Though it may seem drought-smart, artificial turf has a big negative impact on our watersheds, creating run-off that pollutes our beaches and rivers and fails to replenish groundwater supplies, while also starving our soil of the life it needs to flourish.”

Study Finds Evidence of Multicentury Drought: “Cal State Fullerton’s Matthew E. Kirby, who studies past climates, found that Southern California has experienced multicentury drought periods over the last 3,000 years.”

The Decline of the British Front Garden: “My next door neighbour completely covered the front garden with crazy paving, as mine mostly is now. The whole street is crazy paved. I’m the only one who has any garden to speak of on my side.”

More Than Just a Drop In the Bucket: “The average family of four uses an astonishing 146,000 gallons of water per year.” But picking the right shower heads, toilets, washers, faucets, and dishwashers, tens of thousands of gallons of water can be collectively saved.

Drought Spinoff: Dead Orchards May Go Up in Smoke: “The San Joaquin Valley’s tainted air might be getting an extra dose of soot and ozone-forming gases this spring as growers wrestle with the woody waste from dead citrus orchards.”