SR Owens, Pearson and Reese families in NBC 7 story about collecting rain water. Recent rainfall is filling the pockets of some San Diego residents who partake in rebate programs for harvesting rainwater. The area is seeing an increase in rainfall this rainy season and many residents are thinking smart. Rainfall totals are up by 2.67 inches since the start of the rainy season in October, according to the NBC 7 First Alert weather team. San Diego International Airport's rain tracker has seen 3.5 inches of rain since the start of this year alone. Residents harvesting rainwater in Scripps Ranch, Poway, and Rancho San Diego say their barrels are full to the brim. Residents who install rain barrels can take part in rebate programs offered by the city and state.
Within San Diego city limits, for example, you can receive up to $1 per gallon of barrel storage capacity on your property (400-gallon maximum). Bob Reese and his wife live in Scripps Ranch. They’ve been using rain barrels in their yard for the last eight years. Their rainwater retention system has grown to multiple 300-gallon rain barrels and a bioswale that helps them avoid flooding. “So if we're feeding the yard, the yard feeds us,” Bob said. Another neighbor has nearly 3,000 gallons worth of rainwater storage on their lot. “We live in San Diego where water is so precious and rare and our water comes from so far away. Such little is just local rainwater,” Russ Owens said. Owens uses two 865-gallon tanks and a whopping 1,000-gallon tank to water plants and trees, and even flush his toilet. He’s also found a way to use the water to keep his Scripps Ranch community safe. “It’s nice to water hillside without worrying about increasing our water bill,” Owens said. He uses harvested rainwater to keep their nearby hillside green in order to prevent fires.