Calif. Church Boasts Huge Rainwater Collection System
California is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in recorded history. Significantly below-average winter precipitation, combined with record heat, is causing one-third of the state to experience “exceptional” drought, the worst level. While some churches have encouraged their members to pray for rain, others are taking a more proactive approach to water conservation.
The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos, Calif. is one such church.
It features one of the largest rainwater-collection systems in the country. According to the local water district, the system is expected to save 150,000 gallons of water each year — the annual water of two households. The rainwater, which is collected on the roof of the new facility and then flows to the tank for storage, will be used for irrigation.
The 2.5-acre church campus also features drought-tolerant landscaping and other ecologically sustainable aspects such as permeable pavement that encourages water to percolate into the ground rather than the storm drain, extensive use of natural lighting throughout the building, and the removal of garbage disposals in the commercial kitchen.
“Being a good steward of the environment was a key part of our design,” explains the church’s website.
Designed by San Francisco-based Form4 Architecture in collaboration with design architect Warren Callister, the eco-conscious building can incorporate church services, as well as music concerts, social events, and other community-engagement activities.
The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist is a wonderful example of actively working to connect faith with environmental stewardship.
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