Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Rollin' out the barrels, checkin' on the cistern

LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office has been working with Mar Vista residents to demonstrate a rain barrel project. They’re rolling out the barrels now. (ha!) I plan to go check them out. I was reminded that back in winter, I went up the hill to TreePeople’s village of yurts atop Mulholland to talk to Andy Lipkis and Jim Hardie about the group’s demonstration cistern.

Jim Hardie went down into the cistern for me. Not very far, though – at the time, it was full to the brim: 8 feet deep, 70 feet across, 216,000 gallons of water from the sky. TreePeople thought it would be enough water for the rest of the year.

So I figured I’d check back with TreePeople for an update. Turns out that between mid-February and mid-July, they used just under half the water in that cistern for their climate-adaptive landscape: 46 inches, almost 4 feet, so at 2250 gallons an inch, that’s 103,500 gallons. Keep your fingers crossed for them – they’ll probably need a wet winter to get through 2009.