Rainwater Harvesting Basics
“Saving from a Rainy Day”
Rainwater harvesting is the process of diverting, capturing, and storing rainwater for future use. Implementing rainwater harvesting on your property not only reduces the demand on the water supply, but also reduces run-off, erosion and contamination of surface water. Rainwater can be used for any purpose that requires water but is especially good for plants because it is free of salts and other minerals that can potentially harm root growth. As rainwater percolates into the soil, it forces salts down and away from the root zone, allowing roots to grow better and can even increase drought tolerance.
Rainwater harvesting can be used both in large-scale landscapes, such as parks, schools, commercial sites, parking lots and apartment complexes, and in smaller residential landscapes. Whether your landscape is large or small, pre-existing or new, the principles described here can help you install a rainwater harvesting system to meet your needs. You will need to consider the supply (rainfall), the demand (water needed by plants), and a system for collecting water and distributing the water to your plants.