Water Conservation

Rainwater and Alternative Water Source & Storage

Tanks with daisiesRainwater catchment is a critical piece to achieving water resilience and conserving water within the watershed for wildlife. California experiences seasonal drought during the summer, but receives ample rain the winter. Catching and storing rain on hard surfaces such as roofs is a clean and effective way of sourcing quality and abundant non-potable water. This water can be stored and used in the summer dry season, reducing the impact that summer diversions have on wildlife, like salmon, that rely on the already scant water in the stream for survival. It also is a way to protect water and soil resources in the watershed: modern infrastructure is designed to send water off and away from the landscape to assure good drainage and dry feet on all of our buildings, but this quickly removed water enters our streams too fast, eroding hillsides and sending sediment into the water, flooding roads and blowing out fish in high velocity flows.

Gold Ridge RCD offers site evaluations, recommendations, professional referrals, and design assistance for any landowner interested in developing rainwater catchment.

Water Reliability Program: Currently, funds are available for full design and construction of alternative water storage and rainwater capture through the Coho Partnership for landowners whose current water source impacts coho salmon habitats most directly. Landowners on the upper reaches of Green Valley Creek and its tributaries and Dutch Bill Creek and its tributaries may be eligible for funding. Read more.

Hughes Dairy Water Conservation Project: Construction of the Hughes Dairy rainwater storage project in Bodega, CA is nearly complete. The Hughes have partnered with the RCD to design and construct a 1.4 million-gallon pond, leaving nearly 7,000 gallons of water each day for wildlife in Salmon Creek during the summer months when water is scarce. Read more.

Salmon Creek Watershed Water Conservation Projects: Since 2012, the RCD has built rainwater storage capacity in the Salmon Creek Watershed, through the Save Our Salmon program and with funding from NOAA, which developed rainwater storage systems for eight rural residents and the Bodega Fire Department.  Read more.

Additional Resources:

The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) offers a host of educational resources and technical support.


For more information, contact John Green at or (707) 823-5244.

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