Introducing Transition Streets Water Saving Edition!

Overview of the Transition Streets Water-Saving Edition: Transition Streets is a tried-and-tested, lifestyle-change project where neighbors come together with neighbors to implement simple no-cost and low-cost actions using a thorough and well-laid-out handbook. By using the Water-Saving Handbook you will reduce your household indoor and outdoor water use and strengthen your neighborhood at the same time. 

How it works: A small cluster of neighbors gets together and follows clear and easy steps from a user-friendly handbook. The focus is primarily on low-cost (and no-cost) actions that result in the lowering of both expenses and water use of each participating household. With the handbook and the support of near-neighbors, our behaviors do change. The added incentive, of saving money, works as a further motivation. Transition Streets Water-Saving edition is comprised of four chapters (74 illustrated pages), and outreach and facilitation guides. Chapters include:

Water Saving Edition cover

  • Chapter 1: “Getting Started” which provides an overview of the two main water sections to come.
  • Chapter 2: “Indoor Water Use” which provides practical actions to reduce household water usage.
  • Chapter 3: “Outdoor Water Use” which provides suggestions for simple to more complex landscape improvements such as: Rainwater catchment, easy laundry to landscape installations, water-wise irrigation, and much more.
  • Chapter 4: “What’s Next?” which provides a bridge for participants to consider additional actions including: Advanced neighborhood projects like our Ready Together Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Handbook, water-saving work parties (i.e. to install grey water or rain-water collection systems), neighborhood crop swaps, and more. 

Prior to undertaking any of the Transition Streets solutions, participants conduct a resource-use audit and complete an introductory evaluation form that primarily uses EPA water conversion data. When complete, participants tally again to assess their water and cost savings.

Benefits: The Transition Streets Water-Saving Edition curriculum pulls together practical resources and tips on changes that can be implemented at a household scale. Along with SAVING MONEY, and REDUCING WATER USE, participants BUILD COMMUNITY. Neighbors form rich social bonds that go well beyond the project. Often they continue to engage in other projects; they move into action and come up with resourceful new ways to further support and involve their neighbors and improve their communities.

Transition Streets resources currently include:

  • Transition Streets website: (Please note: The Water-Saving Edition will be posted to this website after the pilot feedback has been incorporated and Edition is made available to the public.)
  • Transition Streets 1 minute animation: (Note: This video illustrates the full Transition Streets 7-chapter version but illustrates how the 4-chapter Water-Saving Edition works.)

Now, more than ever before, conserving water is crucial. By mid-2018, 14 states were experiencing extreme or exceptional levels of drought, and an additional 10 states were experiencing severe levels. study in the US from earlier this year, predicted that in just five decades, the central and southern Great Plains, the Southwest and central Rocky Mountain States, California, and areas in the South and the Midwest are likely to experience significant water shortages. What we do to conserve water on a household scale and help to percolate it into our landscapes, can have profound cumulative effects.  

As well as concerned, sustainability-minded residents, the Transition Streets Water Saving Edition will be of particular interest to various state water districts and agencies, public utillities and their orgainzational partners.

We warmly welcome your participation and comments. For more information, please email Carolyne Stayton at - or call: (707) 824-1554.

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