After listening to a speaker about rainwater catchment systems, I started thinking about the movie, The Big Short. There is a connection here, I promise. The film, an inside look at how the financial crisis created the Great Recession, had at its center a hedge-fund manager who predicted the collapse. Of course, no one believed him until after it happened. At the end of the film, the next prediction he has is that the next great commodity will be water.

In Whatcom County, that future is now. Building in the county has slowed, as permits are tied to having a reliable water source. The historical water source for single-family homes outside water districts has been exempt wells. But because the county has put a moratorium on issuing building permits for properties needing these wells (to learn more on that, just google “Hirst Decision”), rainwater catchment systems are gaining renewed interest. Whereas previously these systems were only popular with those wanting to go “off grid,” or wanting to have what is called a “net-zero” home (a home that creates as much energy/utility as it uses), now the average Joe is looking seriously at how to make a rainwater catchment system work.

Which brings us full-circle to the speaker I heard at a Whatcom County Realtor’s Association meeting this week. The more these rainwater catchment systems are installed, the easier it will be to get loans to build properties with them as their primary water source. We do have local experts in this area. The speaker was Tony Freeland, a Bellingham land consultant and engineer, who was accompanied by CJ Huxford of Northwest Rain Solutions, which installs the systems.

Judging by the number of attendees, and questions posed to the experts, we have a lot of interest in rainwater catchment here! If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me.