There are lots of reasons to harvest rain water. But this one in particular comes to mind. A house with a 1,000-square-foot roof can yield about 600 gallons of rainwater from just 1 inch of rainfall. That’s a lot of water!
Now consider all the rooftops in your neighborhood and imagine how much water is running down the street into our rivers and streams. Storm water runoff can become a problem in some areas, causing flooding, eroding banks of rivers and streams, and carrying pollutants into them. Harvesting rainwater can help prevent some of this.
Here are a couple of ideas to put rainwater you collect to good use:
- Rain Gardens – Make the most of storm water runoff by using native vegetation, which is more tolerant of the local climate and soil conditions (adding compost to soil greatly increases its water holding capacity). Plus, native plants provide year-long color and may even attract wildlife.
- Water features – From waterfalls to garden fountains to small ponds, water elements present the perfect opportunity to use rainwater you collect. But do some research first to determine how much water can be captured, size of any pumps that are needed, and how much water storage capacity is required for particular features.
- Everyday irrigation – Your plants prefer rainwater. Not only is it free, but rainwater doesn’t contain salts and other minerals that can hinder root growth.
All you need for harvesting is a good rainstorm and something to collect it in. It’s that easy.
By Cynthia Barsun, Guest Author