Climate Action Plan - Measure W-2.1

Rain Barrel Installation

The County aims to increase residents’ ability to capture rainwater by distributing 1,200 rain barrels in the unincorporated county by 2020 and 3,200 barrels by 2030. Homeowners can save money on their water and electric bills by capturing, storing, and using rainwater from rain barrels installed at existing and new developments. 
  • 2020 Target: Install 1,200 rain barrels by 2020 
  • 2030 Target: Install a total of 3,200 rain barrels by 2030

Total Rain Barrels Installed

How are we doing?

The County has distributed a total of 10,493 rain barrels since 2014, exceeding both the 2020 and 2030 goals!  In 2022, an equivalent of 1,232 rain barrels were distributed to unincorporated county residents through County-sponsored events and through a rebate incentive program.

How is this measured?

The County encourages the distribution of rain barrels through County-sponsored events, our Waterscape Rebate Programs, and collaboration with the SoCal WaterSmart Program. Rainwater captured in rain barrels reduces the amount of potable water used for outdoor landscaping and water use. Reductions are calculated based on the greenhouse gas emissions that are avoided from extracting, treating, and transporting potable water with fossil-fuel electricity generation on a per gallon basis.

Why is this important?

One inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof generates 600 gallons of rainwater! Coastal San Diego receives an average of 10 inches of rainfall per year, while the desert areas can receive as low as 2.5 inches per year. By using rain barrels to capture rainwater, homeowners can reduce water and electric costs, decrease dependency on municipal water supply (which helps especially in times of drought), and minimize the amount of polluted runoff. Rain barrel incentive program participants have said they can water their garden from November to March by using captured rain from their rain barrel alone.

Where are we going?

The goal for 2030 is to distribute 3,200 rain barrels by 2030 to homes within the unincorporated county. Rain barrel rebates are available through the County’s Waterscape Rebate Program and the SoCal WaterSmart Program.