WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS… AND IT’S FREE

Have you ever noticed how plants appear greener and brighter after a good rain? It’s not just because the dust and dirt get washed off. Rainwater is a clean, salt-free source of water that contains many beneficial ingredients for plants. You may not think we get enough rain here to bother, but the rooftop of a typical home can collect more than 400 gallons from ½-inch of rain, making water harvesting well worth the effort.

Rain Off Roof

We do get rain! Even our average 8-inches of rain a year can collect more than 7,000 gallons of water around our homes.

Pavers

Permeable pavers cause less runoff of water and basins or swales collect and spread rain in your landscape until it can soak in. Project designed and installed by Watershed Management Group through community workshops. Photo: Ryan Wood, Watershed Management Group

 

Rain Chain

Gutters or rain chains can help to direct water into a rain barrel or the landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHERE TO START: Rainwater harvesting can be as simple as directing runoff to basins around your plants or collecting it in a rain barrel, or more complex systems may include gutters, storage tanks, pumps, and a delivery system.

TIPS: Mimic nature by creating a desert wash in the landscape that holds and distributes the water to the planted areas (not the street). In other areas of your landscape, use paving materials that allow water to soak into the ground below. Do not use plastic sheeting under granite or rock. Add mulch and/or low-water-use plants in strategic areas to help your soil absorb water.

BENEFITS: Keeping rainwater on your property reduces the amount of pollutants (such as pesticides, or fertilizers) from flowing into storm drains and eventually into our waterways or rivers. Of course, you’ll also reduce your outdoor watering and save on your water bill.

 

City Curb Cut

Curb cuts along city streets allow water sheeting off roads to soak into landscapes carrying fewer pollutants to our waterways.

LOOK FOR CURB CUTS INTO STREET LANDSCAPES. More and more communities are adopting water harvesting into street landscapes with a technique called Low Impact Development!

RAINWATER HARVESTING RESOURCES

FIND MORE FUN AND HELPFUL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WATER HARVESTING FROM OUR PAST WATER – USE IT WISELY BLOGS: 

 

Photos by Donna DiFrancesco unless otherwise indicated.