Now is a great time for City of San Diego residents to go out and get that rain barrel they have always wanted.  If you have a barrel/tank purchased after January 1st, 2012, the Public Utilities Department will rebate $0.50/gallon up to 400 gallons or $200!  There is only a limited amount of rebate funds, so act fast.  You can learn more about the program requirements and download a rebate form here:

http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/resrainwaterharvesting.shtml

 Rain barrels are a great addition to any Ocean Friendly Garden.  By retaining stormwater on site for later use, you reduce the amount of potable water being used for landscaping.   You will also be reducing the amount of water that flows off your property when it rains, which can help manage erosion and pollution problems downstream.  While some critics like to argue that it doesnt rain enough in Southern California to justify buying a rain barrel, the amount of water coming off your roof is more than you might think.  A 1000 square foot roof collects about 6oo gallons of water after just 1 inch of rain.  A small, affordable rain barrel only holds 55 gallons of that!  In a dry climate like San Diego its even more important we dont let this valuable (and FREE) resource go to waste.