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With water rationing threats and the drought consistently in the headlines, rain barrels are the homeowners’ answer to the current water shortage.

It’s no secret that southern California is facing a devastating water crisis. In communities around the world where it rains consistently, rain barrels are commonly used. Here in Los Angeles, an urban desert, where, not only is the rainfall low, but the drops that do drip are wasted, there is a desperate need to find an alternative to simply turning on the faucet.

Los Angeles, CA March 2, 2009 -

RainBud, a locally-owned company founded by landscape designer Paula Henson and writer Alex Metcalf, is providing Los Angeles area residents with a creative solution to the water crisis: rain barrels. It’s a simple, low-budget system for saving and storing rainwater so that it can be used on those days when no rain falls. This saved water can, in turn, be used to irrigate a garden, wash a car or fill up the kid’s pool when the heat is on, without using one drop of valuable fresh water; making sense environmentally and economically. It’s worth noting that the City of Santa Monica offers residents a $100 rebate on rain barrels.

RainBud’s rain barrels are reused polyethylene barrels retrofitted to fit under rain gutters. Each barrel has a mosquito proof intake screen, an overflow valve and a spigot at the bottom that can be attached to a garden hose or a drip irrigation system. Only recycled food-grade barrels are used; no new plastic is created and RainBud rain barrels can be camouflaged in many interesting ways by painting them or covering them with vines etc.

The statistics are eye opening:
• One inch of rain falling on a 1,000 sq. ft. roof produces over 500 gallons of water.
• Los Angeles has an average rainfall of 14 inches per year.
• The City of Los Angeles is planning to restrict homeowners’ irrigation water use to two days per week.

Currently, in most houses, the pattern goes something like this: rain falls, it runs off the roof into a rain gutter, down a drain into the street and then it runs into the storm drain pulling with it all the debris that it has accumulated along the way and out into the ocean it flows. The overall result: wasted water and polluted oceans.

RainBud’s rain barrels halt this process right at the rain fall stage and assists homeowners in being active when it comes to saving and using water responsibly and effectively. RainBud barrels are recycled, recyclable, local, and easy to install. RainBud provides and installs the barrels, and can advise on location, and possible aesthetic concerns.

Paula Henson, RainBud

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