Each year, the City of Santa Barbara Water Conservation Program honors an individual, business, or organization that has gone above and beyond in their water conservation efforts and serves as an example of resource efficiency in our community. Sweetwater Collaborative has been awarded the 2018 Water Hero Award for their commitment to educating the community on water resource efficiency through classes, presentations, and hands-on workshops throughout Santa Barbara County.
Sweetwater Collaborative is a non-profit agency that was founded in 2013 with the goal to educate the community on water wise practices such as rain gardens, graywater systems, rain tanks, and native landscapes. Sweetwater Collaborative's101 classes have provided over 750 participants an overview of the concepts, design, and best practicesfor landscape site assessment, rainwater harvesting, graywater systems, and water wise garden maintenance. Another popular Sweetwater Collaborative initiative is their Sweet Water Wise Walking tours. These tours have allowed approximately 200 participants the opportunity to view the homes and gardens of residences with cutting edge water wise features and systems.
In order to offer the community opportunities to get hands-on experience, Sweetwater has partnered with businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to offer hands-on workshops to over 400 individuals. These workshops have provided participants with the opportunity to assist with installation of rain gardens, graywater systems, and more. Hands-on community projects include the native and tropical garden installations at Impact Hub and a rainwatertank installation at Santa Barbara City College (co-sponsored with WMG, a Tuscon-based nonprofit). The gardens at Impact Hub consist of low water usage native plants, a banana tree, two coffee plants, and a passion fruit vine, which are primarily watered with air conditioning condensate water. At the Lifescape Garden at Santa Barbara City College, participants installed a rainwater harvesting tank to decrease the garden’s potable water use.
To assist the community in achieving their water efficiency goals, Sweetwater Collaborative offers site evaluations for homeowners and businesses. Sweetwater Collaborative invites the community to participate in their programs. To get involved with Sweetwater Collaborative visit their website at SweetwaterCollaborative.org