Daily Acts has a proven track record and is at the forefront of providing innovative programs that educate community members in water conservation and greywater reuse.
In addition to our annual offering of water wise tours and workshops to teach skills such as rainwater catchment, water wise planting and water re use, among our proudest accomplishments in:
• 2008, Daily Acts was the first to install a single-household greywater system in Sonoma County and was featured in an award-winning greywater, viewed by over 70,000 people.
• 2009, we co-facilitated a working group that participated in updating the California State Greywater Code, making greywater significantly more affordable, accessible and environmentally friendly.
• 2010, partnering with Greywater Action and the City of Petaluma, we installed 5 greywater systems in one neighborhood in a day.
• 2011, we installed 13 greywater systems in two cities in one weekend.
• 2012, we piloted the first 100 Greywater Challenge with a goal of installing 100 systems across Sonoma County. As part of which we taught the largest Greywater course on record in the US.
Last year, thanks in part to a Watershed Protection Fund grant, we successfully launched our groundbreaking 100 Greywater System Challenge to decrease residential water use, increase citizen awareness, and improve water quality and watershed health. We registered 107 greywater systems and completed 52 with 9 more in process, which we estimate will save approximately 500,000 gallons of water per year. Of these systems, 36 were located in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed. As part of the Challenge, we educated over 550 citizens in watershed awareness and care activities including leading the largest greywater course in the United States and inspiring groups in Santa Cruz and San Diego to replicate our efforts.
This year, building upon the significant successes and lessons learned from this innovative program, we will further catalyze this blossoming greywater movement and its many positive watershed impacts. In collaboration with partner cities within Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Water Agency, the goal of the 2014 Challenge is to: inspire and educate 100 households to commit to installing a greywater system; the completion of 50 – 100 systems in 2014; and approximately 1,000 citizens educated about greywater, toxics reduction and watershed protection practices. Additional benefits include reduced use of laundry ingredients such as bleach; less microfiber effluent entering our waterways; increasing homegrown food supply and more watershed literate and engaged citizens. We will achieve the above while continuing to build a skilled and in-demand cohort of trainers while also strengthening our sustainability networks and our ability to collaborate on ambitious projects.
County-wide, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water that currently enters our wastewater system each year could be reused for irrigation purposes. Through one simple action, installing a greywater system, laundry water is redirected into gardens for irrigation while simultaneously recharging our ground water supply and feeding our watersheds. This leads to a variety of additional benefits including more nature-connected, conservation-minded stewards who become inspired to share this solution widely, increasing the educational impact. A 2012 Greywater System study, conducted by Grey Water Action, showed that a significant number of households installing greywater systems had additional water savings from other activities.
In 2012, we provided the critical outreach, site assessment and follow-up support needed to empower community members to install 52 greywater systems.
Building upon our success and lessons learned, for the 2014 cycle we plan to execute a series of four to six, no cost, greywater education and installation trainings in Santa Rosa, Cotati and Windsor and Petaluma. Additional focus to priority areas identified in 2012 such as: increased targeted outreach (including 5 additional greywater and water reuse presentations) and additional site assessments and participant follow-up. The intended outcomes of this additional work are to increase the number of greywater systems installed from both the 2012 and 2014 Challenges; to refine program design; to conduct participant assessment; and to develop educational resources to increase awareness, participation and program replication including case studies, FAQ’s, and ‘how-to’ guides.