Monday, March 9, 2015

Save The Date!

Water Wise Expo 
at the 

Sunday March 29th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.


Saving water starts with us. 
Join us to learn simple ways to save water and money in our homes and gardens.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Let's Be Ready For The Rain That We Do Get!

Rain Barrel Truckload Sale

Rain Barrels FREE After Rebate!

The MWD and DWP gives up to a $100 rebate per barrel for 4 Rain Barrels per household, with one submission allowed. The cost of the rain barrels is $85.00 and then you apply for the rebate and you will receive your money back!

Pick up your rain barrels from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Rain Barrels should be pre-ordered but we will have some available the day of the event. Order here

For easier pick up, distribution on March 29th will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Hub on Venice at  11827 Venice Blvd.

Meet Rain Barrels International and learn about nature's solution to our drought, and explore all the opportunities that fresh, soft chemical free water offers to your garden. 
The rain barrel is an invention that has been used for centuries, but in recent years their relevance has become more pronounced. When we do get rain, we can't tolerate the waste of letting it run into storm drains. Learn how it can be captured and reused!

This is a business that was founded for all of the right reasons - read their wonderful story....
The Rain Barrel Company was started in 2006 by our 12 year old son (who wanted to make one for me as a birthday gift). I loved the barrel and so did all my friends. My son then took it to a local garden center (Norwood Road Gardens, Raleigh, NC) who graciously agreed to sell his product. In the next couple of days the garden center sold four rain barrels and my son enlisted the manufacturing assistance of his twin sister. The children decided that this would be their way to help the environment and make some extra holiday spending money. They quickly found out they were providing a top quality product with high demand.
The business has grown and our products are currently sold in 119 stores in nine states. On Friday nights, we no longer all go into the garage as a family to watch a video, eat popcorn and make rain barrels together. However, both of our young teens are still very involved in the business and are learning the day to day operations of running a company. Our company now has a crew that assembles our rain barrels out of recycled food grade barrels that would otherwise be headed to landfills.
Our children have proven that everyone can make a difference to address our country's drought and recycling concerns.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Preview Screening - " WATER WOES: We Plan for Your Eating"

Please join us for the special preview screening of  "WATER WOES: We Plan for Your Eating" -  a work-in-progress documentary exploring how California's small farmers are adapting to the challenges of water shortages and climate change. The documentary is sponsored by the Mar Vista Farmers' Market.

The film looks at the implications of the drought for farmers and consumers, the innovations of small farmers, water policies and politics, and the connections between the urban and rural economies through the exchange mechanism of the farmers market.

We will be screening the documentary continuously during the Expo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Open Office Hours with CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin

We are pleased to announce that Co-Host Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin will hold open office hours for community input at the Water Wise Expo on March 29th. Stay tuned for more info!

Fracking - How Much Water Does it Use? How Much Does it Poison?

Did you know that Fracking is exempt from major environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act?

Food & Water Watch will be at the Water Wise Expo on March 29th to answer your questions about fracking and urban oil production, and the tremendous amounts of drought defying water it consumes. Learn about the shocking lack of oversight of Central Valley aquifers into which oil companies have been directly disposing their toxic waste. Can we really afford to sacrifice this much water?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Save Water and Money with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power!

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will join us at the Expo with tips on how to save water and money. Visit and learn about their turf replacement rebate and California Friendly Landscape Incentive Program. Get  information on the federal tax credits available when you install a tankless water heater and other water saving tips for our homes.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

G3 Green Gardens Group

Meet Pamela Berstler of G3 Green Gardens Group and learn about the hands on  programs that they offer.

Studies show we retain 10% of what we read, 50% of what we see and hear, but 90% of what we DO. The G3 Residential and Garden Steward Programs are interactive, fun, hands-on, peer-to-peer  classes and workshops designed to motive people from all backgrounds and gardening experience toward conserving water and other resources, holding on to rain, building healthy, carbon sequestering soil, and sharing their positive experiences with their neighbors.

G3 offers four classes for residents and garden stewards: Hands-on Workshops (HOWs), Watershed Basics ClassesNeighborhood Walks, Get A Garden Guru, and Garden Steward Series (Maintenance Practices)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What is an Ocean Friendly Garden?

Ocean Friendly Gardens retain rainwater as a resource and prevent runoff, create permeable soil and hard surfaces, and conserve water, energy and wildlife habitat. Meet the team from Surfider Ocean Friendly Gardens at the Expo on March 29th and learn about their hands on workshops and how you can transform your lawn!

The 2,000 square feet in front of the Hermosa Beach Community Center is now home to an Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG). A recent ribbon cutting celebrated how rainwater from the roof is now directed into the garden.

This OFG is the 7th out of 10 that are funded through a state grant awarded to West Basin Municipal Water District and Surfrider Foundation. Except for one of the gardens, the designs are created by Surfrider partner, G3/Green Gardens Group. In this case, the G3 designer was John Tikotsky, a landscape architect.
The simple, yet functional, design helps slow, spread and sink rainwater. All the plants are local natives. Click here to read more, and go check it out: 710 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Learn How We Can REUSE the Water in Our Homes on March 29th!

Sunday March 29th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Greywater Corps  designs and installs residential greywater irrigation systems and teaches homeowners how to use them. Their systems are generally simple and low-maintenance, relying on gravity and natural processes to save water to turn our homes into an essential part of a healthy ecosystem.

Please stop by to learn about a menu of options that would allow you to become a little more water self sufficient! Consider a  laundry-to-landscape grey water system that uses the water that washed your clothes to irrigate your garden!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Los Angeles Waterkeeper Dirty for the Drought!

Los Angeles Waterkeeper Invites Us to 

Join their Movement to Fight the Drought!

California is experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. We must spread the word and do our part to conserve water.

Visit them at the Expo on March 29th to Take the Dirty Car Pledge

Spread the Word

Sign the pledge and pick up a “Dirty for the Drought” car sticker (It’s static cling, so it won’t ruin your car ). The 10,000 pledges they have received have saved an estimated 3 million gallons of water have been saved so far! 
Put the sticker on the inside of your back car window to help spread the word while you’re driving.
Take a photo and post it on social media with the hashtag #DirtyCarPledge. Tag your friends in the post and challenge them to take the pledge, too!

Why Plant Natives? Check out the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase!

12531 Preston Way

Did you know that an average of  40% of the water used in our homes is used to irrigate what we plant? The Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee will be a guest presenter at the Expo on March 29th - stop by to learn about the 7th annual The Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase that will be held on April 25th.

This tour of sustainable and edible gardens empowers Angelenos to adopt environmentally conscious living solutions. Each garden has one or more of the following sustainability features: California native/drought tolerant plantings, edibles, water catchment systems or chickens. Visitors can talk with landscapers and meet landscapers as well as do-it-yourself gardeners who share knowledge and experience. Special guest presenters at many gardens will enhance your knowledge of sustainability in daily living. 

Visit their tent at the Water Wise Expo to learn about the gardens on this years tour and get tips on what will be new this year!

Why Trees? Learn More From TreePeople on March 16th!

TreePeople has partnered with us as Co-Host on the Water Wise Expo and will help us understand how to protect our trees through the drought.Trees are the most vital resource for environmental well-being in urban areas. While it may seem counter-intuitive to irrigate trees in a water crisis, it is the single most important thing to do.  Trees actually are key to a sufficient local water supply in Los Angeles.

When it does rain, a mature tree can capture thousands of gallons of rainwater in its canopy and root zone, sinking that rain into the aquifer. Because so much of our city is paved, every time it rains an inch in the City of Los Angeles, 3.8 billion gallons of precious water runs off into the ocean and is wasted. When it doesn’t rain, trees shade and cool our city by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Visit TreePeople at the Expo to learn more about response to the drought!

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Guest Presenters at the Water Wise Expo in 2014

Saving water starts with us. 
These guests will present simple ways to save water and money in our homes and gardens.

Co-Host Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin will hold open office hours for community input from
10:00AM to 12:00PM

Co-Host TreePeople on drought response and water capture

Pre-order from Rain Barrels International

Grey Water Corps on how to reuse water in our homes

Margot Griswold, Ph.D. and Los Angeles Audubon on how to kill your lawn and why we should

Marcia Hanscom of the Ballona Institute on planting California Natives

Lawrence Ziese of WorldFest on water and our food choices

The Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase on the April 26th tour of sustainable and edible gardens

Co-Host AltBuild on water conservation resources and the upcoming AltBuild Expo

Well Water USA on water filtration options

KOR Water with reusable bottles

Susan Klos, National Association of Realtors GREEN Designee on LADWP free water conservation tools and rebates

Food & Water Watch will provide information on fracking and the Bay-Delta Conservation plan and their implications on the drought 

Surfrider Ocean Friendly Gardens program

Keep checking back as we add presenters!

How the Drought is Impacting Our Farms - Gonzaga Farms

Ronnie Gonzaga had a long and successful career in construction as a general contractor and Tess Gonzaga began her career in the medical field as an RN. They founded Gonzaga Farms in July 2001 with the idea of bringing a high quality of fresh and unique produce to the Southern California community at competitive prices. Their mission is to help create a stronger community by providing nutritional education to consumers while encouraging them to eat healthy organic food.

They have 4 sites and 3 different wells but in the city of LA, historically it has been cheaper to buy water than to use the electricity to pump from their wells.  Pumping costs twice as much with electricity rates being so high within the City of LA.  Now the city water is no longer available except in the case of emergency.  They have had to make deposits on emergency supplies. It used to be $158 an acre, now it is $1200.   It’s getting to the point where they can’t sell enough fruit to make the money needed to afford the water. They can buy outside water but it is 180% more expensive.

They use micro sprinklers next to the trees to irrigate.  These shoot water efficiently just to the crucial point that feeds the root.  When it rains they can wait two weeks to water.  

They have new trees to plant but aren't doing it yet because they fear not having enough water.  If things don't improve, they may have to let those trees just decompose and die.

How the Drought is Impacting Our Farms - Arnett Farms

For over 103 years the Arnett Family has been operating one of the best farms in California. Arnett Farms, located in Fresno, grows over 200 different varieties of stone fruits, citrus, and berries, as well as apples and persimmons.

Normally their water comes from surface irrigation from nearby lakes with pumps.   Today, those lakes are at 15-17% capacity. When they can’t get surface irrigation, they use their wells, which is much more expensive. This year, 90% to 100% of their water will come from the wells. They are working to upgrade the wells, but so is every other farm in the area and the service providers are back up 2 to 3 months. It’s a race to get the wells upgraded in time for the summer water needs. 

This is the worst year of drought in Scott’s lifetime - going into the 3rd year of little rain with no drainage carry over to replenish their ground water.  They are trying to convert to drip irrigation – most farms have stayed with surface irrigation in the past because it replenishes the ground water.

They are still in a major crisis despite the little bit of rain we have had recently.  All they can do is their best to get their wells in shape and hope that it rains.