Free drought gear offered to Palo Alto residents

Water District distributes shower buckets, lawn signs to promote conservation

Palo Alto residents had a chance to pick up free shower buckets, hose nozzles and lawn signs promoting water conservation Wednesday as part of an effort by the Santa Clara Valley Water District to encourage water saving during a time of drought.

The gear, which also includes moisture meters, faucet aerators, low-flow shower heads and shower timers, was distributed at the Mitchell Park Library until 2:30 p.m., according to water district officials. Residents were also able to pick up "Brown is the New Green" and "We're Fighting the Drought – Inside Out" signs at the library early Wednesday.

Though the Palo Alto event concluded at 2:30 p.m. residents who wish to pick up drought gear may still do so at the water district's headquarters, 5700 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, during normal business hours. Residents must show proof that they are Santa Clara County residents. They can also pre-order lawn signs and other items at

The distribution of equipment is part of the county's effort to meet the 25 percent water reduction target set by Gov. Jerry Brown in response to California's severe drought, which is now in its fourth year. Palo Alto, which draws most of its water not from the district but from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, is required to cut back its water use by 24 percent from 2013 levels.

So far, the city appears to be close to the target. According to the Utilities Department, the city's water consumption was 24.3 percent lower last month than it was in July 2013. In recent months, the city has added new rebates and water-efficiency programs, imposed restrictions on irrigation and banned the use of potable water in construction when non-potable water is available.

The city is also exploring increasing its use of recycled water for irrigation. The Utilities Advisory Commission will discuss tonight a proposal to use non-potable water for irrigation at the Stanford Research Park. The commission is also scheduled to receive its regular update about the drought and its impact on the city's hydroelectric supply.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Anybody know the difference between a city-issued shower bucket or the regular, old plastic bucket in which I run the water until it warms up enough to bear to take a shower? Of course, I then use that water in the bucket.

5 people like this
Posted by nat
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2015 at 12:39 pm

I was just at the library yesterday and don't want to make another trip this soon.
Is this a one day deal only at the library? why not have it continue for a week or two or more?

7 people like this
Posted by Maren
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Some of us work during the week. A weekend or evening pick up would be nice.

3 people like this
Posted by I Always Miss Out
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm

I always miss out. I would love to come pick up a few of these items, but I work in San Mateo until 5:30pm and have class from 6-7pm.
What are the hours for this event?
Will this be the only day?

8 people like this
Posted by Daniel Tuerk
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:18 pm

We got there at 1:30. If you hadn't pre-registered, you went away almost empty handed. The City of Palo Alto had shut off hose nozzles to hand out. So if you didn't register before hand don't feel badly if you couldn't make it.

12 people like this
Posted by vivi
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Where and when were we meant to pre-register, for Pete's sake? No visible notices in the local newspapers.

A ridiculous waste of time and gasoline getting there just now, only to find that everything had gone.

13 people like this
Posted by herbf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 5, 2015 at 11:45 pm

How was tis event notified? I first became aware of it by reading this article.U

11 people like this
Posted by Funny Feeling
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Ever get the feeling that the folk in power REALLY don't want people to show up?

Otherwise this would have been publicized at least a week in advance, and a notice of preregistration, and how to do it, would have been included.

Ridiculous Jerx!

2 people like this
Posted by Valley Water District
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2015 at 4:40 pm

If you missed this event, you can still receive free water conservation devices, while supplies last, by calling the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Water Conservation Hotline at (408) 630-2554 or ordering them online (Web Link). You can pick your items up from the water district headquarters during regular business hours. The catalog of drought gear is online (Web Link) and most of the items are also available through the water district's free Water Wise House Call Program.

8 people like this
Posted by Funny Feeling
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Turns out, Palo Alto Hardware on Alma gave out free buckets, etc MONTHS ago.

As always, too little too late with this city and county.

11 people like this
Posted by Right
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Haha all the comments. Now, since we missed it at Mitchell Park, we'd have to drive 30 minutes (or one hour in rush hour) to the San Jose headquarters. And how is that good for the environment?

Why place a lawn sign when it's also a waste of resources to manufacture it? Is the sign an excuse for a less than pretty "lawn"? Is a sign really necessary? Is anyone unaware we're in a drought?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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