SPAWN to offer rain-harvesting cisterns at discounted bulk pricing to help communities, streams and salmon

Olema, Calif. (Jan. 30 2014) – On the heels of Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought emergency declaration in which he urged California residents to cut water use by 20 percent, Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) announces a water-smart, rain-harvesting program. Residents of Marin County can now purchase cisterns, which capture rainwater, at discounted bulk pricing from Turtle Island.

“We’re facing the worst drought that California has ever seen on record, and so are our rivers and endangered coho salmon,” said Todd Steiner, Executive Director of Turtle Island Restoration Network and SPAWN. “Catching the rain for irrigation is a great water conservation action that benefits families, communities and the environment.”

Over 1,500 gallons of water (or enough water to take 35 long showers) can be collected from a one-inch rainstorm on an average-size house in Marin. Over 62,000 gallons of water (or enough water to fill more than 1,000 bathtubs) off a 2,500 square foot roof in an average 40-inch rain year in Marin.

Though counterintuitive, capturing rain in a cistern benefits waterways and endangered coho salmon because urban developments, especially in hilly areas found throughout Marin, increase high flows as rain runs off roads and parking lots and into streams at a higher velocity, eroding stream banks and killing baby salmon.

Cisterns, which are primarily used for outdoor irrigation, save potable water for more important uses and when used release water slowly – preventing runoff. This allows water to collect in the ground and raises the water table, which continually feeds river systems throughout the year – even in times of drought. This go-slow cistern approach to managing rainwater improves water quality, benefits drought-stricken landscapes, maintains the natural beauty of our community and helps protect endangered coho salmon.

To place an order or learn more please contact Preston Brown at or 415 663-8590 ext. 111.

Click HERE to view the 2014 Cistern Price Sheet

Click HERE to read our Marin County Coho Salmon and Drought Fact Sheet.