San Rafael church-goers have gotten into the spirit of conservation. More than 35 households representing five congregations participated in a pilot Water Conservation Challenge coordinated by the City of San Rafael. Participants took specific actions to reduce their water use at home, including fixing leaks, adjusting water pressure and irrigation scheduling, and installing high-efficiency fixtures. MMWD pitched in by providing high-efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, and technical know-how.
Participating congregations included Trinity Community Church, Bay Marin Community Church, Lincoln Hill Community Church, First Congregational Church of San Rafael, and First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael. One participant from Trinity Community Church achieved a 50-gallon-per-day reduction! In addition to making changes in their own homes, several participants stepped up as ambassadors to help their fellow congregants save water, too. All the participating churches were recognized for their great work at the San Rafael City Council meeting on December 1, 2014.
The city developed the Conservation Challenge both in response to the drought and as part of its Climate Change Action Plan, an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020. Treating and transporting water requires energy—in fact, water-related energy use consumes 19% of all electricity used in California. Thus by saving water, participants saved energy, too.
San Rafael focused the pilot program on congregations since they meet regularly and tend to be community- and stewardship-minded. The city plans to use feedback from the congregations to refine the program and engage a larger portion of the community in 2015. If you are a member of the San Rafael community and are interested in getting involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org