Celebrate World Water Day by learning how to deal with the drought

You’d think that there’d be more attention drawn to World Water Day (22 March) in California, especially after the drought was officially declared a disaster by our once and again governor, Jerry Brown. In 2008, the Pasadena Weekly had a special issue for World Water Day, and things have changed, but many things have not.

Greywater has become legal and there are local organizations that can help you recycle water, but water-guzzling landscape such as lawns are still overwatered.   Pasadena Water and Power have opened up the turf removal program to all customers, but part of the much the desirable homeowner’s dream. The extravagance of lawns and having five golf courses in the area haven’t been discussed and no one protests the wastefulness of the well-watered lawns maintained in the desert for millionaires and their wanna-bes in places like Palm Springs.

World Water Day was first initiated by the United Nation and first observed in 1993. Wasting water may not hurt you, but it hurts future generations and it hurts other people, the people down the river who end up with no water.

For information on greywater which usually involves recycling water from your washing machines and in some cases your kitchen sink, visit:

Do you wash dishes? Take showers? Save water by catching the warm-up water in a bucket. In one day, I can fill a bucket which is enough to water many of my plants. You can also use the water to fill up your toilet.

You can take advantage of the turf removal programs and start planning for drought-tolerant landscaping. Be sure to include native plants. Good places to start learning or even purchasing plants include:

The Theodore Payne Foundation is holding a sold-out 3-part Native Garden Design course. It’s too late for you to get in, but it’s not too late for you to join the “Four Seasons of Color with California Natives with Lili Singer presentation on 22 March at 1 p.m.

There’s also the charming Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. Admission is free all day on 22 March 2014 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m for its first California Native Sage Festival. There will be 20-minute workshops on sage for the garden, and for medicinal use. You can spin the wheel of sage for prizes and you can guy sage at the nursery and soaps made by Padua Farms. For the famished, food trucks will be waiting to take your order (Peaches’  Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen). Live music by Steve Rushingwind from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You can also check out the exhibit gallery for “Betty Davenport Ford: Capturing the Animal Spirit.” The exhibit ends 30 March 2014.

Remember, we live in what was a semi-arid region, a desert. You can learn to appreciate the wildflowers that belong in our region as well as welcome water-wise newcomers from similar regions.

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