Within the last decade, rainwater harvesting has become a more popular topic in the United States. New interest in collecting rainwater has stemmed from growing populations, agricultural demands, increased energy and costs, and changes in the climate, which have resulted in water shortages in certain areas. Collected rainwater can be used to supplement water supplies for gardens, landscaping, ponds and many other uses.
So why is this important? Rainwater harvesting conserves water supplies and reduces runoff that flows through dirty roads & gutters and eventually pollutes local creeks, streams, and oceans. Also, using collected rainwater in your garden can significantly reduce your total water bill since 30-50% of your water usage is due to landscape irrigation. To encourage water conservation, some cities offer programs with rebates and incentives. Here’s a link to San Diego’s Water Conservation Program but please check with your local water district for rebates they may be offering.
It is estimated that a 1000 sq ft roof could capture 625 gallons of water for every 1 inch of rain. Rain barrels or repurposed 55 gallon food grade containers are a great way to store and reuse collected rainwater. Using collected rainwater in your garden and landscape could translate into a significant savings on your water bill. Not to mention the hundreds of gallons of polluted water you are keeping from contaminating our oceans. The City of San Diego is currently offering up to $200 in rebates for implementing a rain barrel collection system into your home. Again, I urge you to check your City’s website for incentive programs.http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/resrainwaterharvesting.shtml
Here is a list of tools you’ll need to start harvesting rainwater.
- Collection Area – roof
- System to Capture Water – gutter, downspout, etc
- Storage Tank – 55 Gallon Water Storage Barrel or equivalent
- System to Distribute the water
Harvesting rainwater is a simple conservation method to sustaining a healthy environment, saving water supplies, and will put money back in your pocket.
Stay tuned for our DIY Rainwater Harvesting System post.