SAN DIEGO - A product designed to help cut back on water usage by up to 80 percent while still maintaining a green garden is now available in San Diego.
Stephenie Caughlin has been farming in Carmel Valley for the last 25 years and she recently started using the product, called Solid Rain, on her potted plants and lawn.
"I think that it's the obligation of every citizen to respect and try to conserve the resources we have," said Caughlin.
She is using innovative ways to conserve water on her organic farm.
"This is water conservation," said Caughlin. "It's watered from the top and it drips down into the five levels."
Irrigating her two acres is adding up. A few years ago, her monthly water bill was about $200. Now, it is about $2,000.
So when she heard of an unfamiliar product called Solid Rain, she decided to try it out.
Solid Rain is made in the United States. It looks like sea salt and is made of potassium. It is said to absorb water up to 500 times its size, and it may save 50 percent to 80 percent of water usage depending on the climate and soil conditions.
Here is how it works: You simply add the granules to the soil and mix it together. The polymers act like micro-reservoirs of moisture at the root level and the water is released back into the soil when it is needed.
"Since there is no excess water loss, the nutrients that are already found in your soil stay in your soil," said Edwin Gonzalez, who is with Solid Rain.
It has a shelf life of eight to 10 years in the ground. After that, it turns back into potassium.
Caughlin has not used it on her produce yet because it has not been certified organic, but she is hoping she will not have to wait long.
"There's only so much water that we have," she said.