March Showers bring Summer Relief

Water is a precious resource around the world and especially in California where we receive our year’s supply between November and April. This past week was especially rainy and residents of the Bay Area are probably ready for a few sunny days.

This year year to date, downtown San Francisco has received 18.11 inches of rain, just above our normal for the entire year! With another month of winter rains to come, our reservoirs will be full to capacity for the dry summer months.

The rainwater catchment system on Alcatraz is nearing capacity with its current levels at 80% full. This is the second year the catchment has been in use and supplies enough water to meet the irrigation needs of the gardens for one year. Even though we choose drought tolerant plants, everything appreciates a drink to perk themselves up.

I ventured out to the west side of the island during one of the downpours this past week to see the system at work: water catchment. Seeing the rain water flowing easily from the downspout into our basins was very satisfying, knowing that each drop will be used by the thirsty plants to get through the summer months.

Even though the rain can be cold and unpleasant, the dramatic skies provide countless photo opportunities – so grab your camera and get outside.

Alcatraz Island in the early morning light. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

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One Response to March Showers bring Summer Relief

  1. Kristen Tracy says:

    Shelagh, thank you so much for this blog. The photos are stunning and the information is impossible to beat. The gardens on Alcatraz are one of the most gorgeous and meaningful places I’ve spent time. And this blog certainly keeps me in touch with their progress. Love them! Thanks for all the posts. (I hope they never end) Kristen