When we think of the water we use, our minds are automatically wired to think of the tap, but what if we rewired our thinking to nature’s source of water? Rainwater harvesting is one way we can utilize a natural source of water without impacting the environment in a negative way. Although this water catchment method has been around for hundreds of years, it is just recently started to regain interest in the world of conservation. Our ancestors relied on water catchment systems to survive, so why wouldn’t we want to implement them into our own lives?
Why are people interested in rainwater harvesting?
The benefits of using rainwater in and around your home are endless. From a conservation perspective, rainwater harvesting reduces the demand on the existing water supply, run-off, erosion, and possible contamination of surface water. One of the most common uses for rainwater is landscape irrigation due to plant benefits and ease of use. The stored water can be used without pumps and other complicated watering systems, not to mention the numerous plant benefits. 30-50% or more of the total water used in communities around Texas is used for landscape irrigation.
Why is rainwater better for plants?
Well for starters it is free of salts and other minerals that harm root growth. As the water percolates into the soil the salts are forced down away from root zones. This allows for better growth and enables the plants to become more drought tolerant. This is an excellent resource for more information regarding landscape water conservation practices https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/.
In-home use of rainwater can be beneficial in many ways. Rainwater has absolutely zero hardness. Your dishwasher and washing machine will thank you! Less soap is needed for all applications. Pipes, faucets, tiles, glassware, and even your hair will have less calcium build up. Rainwater can be easily made potable without any use of chemicals. Suffering from high water bills? Collecting the water from your roof...essentially free. Who doesn’t want to save a little cash?
All in all, the strain on our groundwater resources is on the rise. On average Americans use 100 -150 gallons each day. If we calculate those numbers for a family of four, the average use is 400 - 600 gallons. Only 1% of the Earth’s water is even usable and you guessed it! That 1% is groundwater. Any methods that can be utilized to aid in the reduction of groundwater use will be beneficial in conserving the water for the future. To calculate the approximate collection total for your home check out this site https://www.watercache.com/resources/rainwater-collection-calculator.
Did you know?
● Approximately 550 gallons of rainwater can be collected for every 1,000 sq. ft. of collection surface per inch of rain.
● Texas Tax Code 151.355 allows for a state sales tax exemption on rainwater harvesting equipment.
● Texas Property Code 202.007 prevents homeowners associations from banning rainwater harvesting installations.
● Most water used is for non-drinking.
An average 25 X 40ft. Roof sheds about 600 gallons of water in 1 hour of moderate rainfall, enough to fill over 15 bathtubs.