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It's time to be eco-'logical' about water

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"You don't miss your water till your well runs dry," sang by Joni Mitchell decades ago, holds so very true today. Though today you can turn on the tap anytime, there is an underlying tension about what lies ahead of us as it relates to future water shortages. Water districts and fire marshals in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and California are concerned that we are on the verge of a major water crisis.

The world's water resources are our lifeline for survival. Water use has been growing more than twice the rate of the world's population. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity.

As a native San Diegan, I, like most everyone else, have been puzzled by our change in weather and diminished rainfall. Water is our most prized natural resource and we must open our minds and close our faucets. With so much focus being placed on green building, environmental awareness and energy efficiency, it is astonishing how little is said about conserving water.

The Eco-Barrel collects all the roof water that would go down the drain and stores it for future use.

The United Nations -- which marked March 22 as World Water Day 2007 -- reported that "with climate change now adding to the pressures, sharing rather than warring over the world's resources of fresh water represents the challenge of the 21st century."

The crisis is predicted to reach global dimensions. Growing population also means "14 percent more freshwater will need to be withdrawn for agricultural purposes in the next 30 years."

We can no longer wait or pretend water is not an issue. We all need increased integration and cooperation to ensure equitable, efficient and sustainable management of scarce water resources both internationally and locally. Every conscious effort to save water is important. You have the opportunity to join in and help save the environment -- naturally.

Environmentally friendly RSI Eco-Barrels provide a simple, economical and ecological way to help you actively participate and address this global challenge. Rainwater left to run wild off your roofs funnels into our storm drains, causing overflows and shoots into fragile creek beds. The result is polluted oceans and bays, erosion and creeks that go dry for months, disrupting habitats and leaving fish and other species to die in dwindling pools.

An Eco-Barrel, or rain harvester, collects all the roof water that would go down the drain and stores it for future use. The system is simple. Rain that would normally be lost runs down the roof into the downspouts of your rain gutters and pours gallons of non-potable water through the screened window and is captured in your RSI Eco-Barrel.

Rainwater is more oxygenated and free of chlorine and fluoride additives that plants do not need or want. Rainwater also lowers the pH of soil, allowing roots to have more access to drink up the nutrients making them greener and healthier. Your indoor plants, lawns and flowerbeds will respond with abundant growth when bathed in rainwater. An Eco-Barrel can also help reduce the amount of water that may settle around the foundation of your home.

The amount of water you purchase from a municipal agency used for general cleaning and watering can be substantial over time. Conserving water everywhere -- your office, commercial buildings, homes, apartments, condominiums and garages -- will save on your water bill and, most importantly, our environment.

Mandatory water restrictions during hot summer months need not be a worry when you have an RSI Eco-Barrel. Landscaping is an expensive investment, and having gallons of free rainwater to care for them should be a concern. Our city and county infrastructure is weak. Water mains routinely break, leaving business and households with no running water for days at a time. Having just one RSI Eco-Barrel will give you 95 gallons of water to use for that emergency, if only to flush your toilets when the water is shut off due to a break in the line.

Using non-potable rainwater for peripheral watering, washing your car or dog, cleaning paintbrushes, outdoor tools or mixing concrete, all lessen the tax of using our precious drinking water. If 1,000 buildings had just one Eco-Barrel that could be used for all those miscellaneous uses, this alone would save 95,000 gallons of precious drinking water. Join in, not just for ourselves, but for our children. It is time to be eco-logical and water wise, for every drop counts.

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