|Harvesting Rain Water|
Why harvest rain water?
Rainwater is often treated like wastewater in our communities. Our rooftops and
yards are designed to shed rainwater runoff to the street, down the storm drain,
and into receiving streams, rather than absorbing and infiltrating it. Then, we use
drinking water to water our lawns and gardens. Rainwater harvesting is a way to
capture rainwater for such uses and conserve treated drinking water.
In the past, many homes in cities had a cistern to capture and utilize rainfall
for household purposes. Concerns over safe drinking water led us away from
rainwater harvesting practices. While treated drinking water remains an important
modern benefit, harvesting rainwater for non-drinking water uses is gaining
The simple way to start harvesting rainwater is to install a rain barrel. There are
more elaborate rainwater harvesting storage systems available to capture rooftop
water, such as modern cisterns and bladder tanks. It is even possible for these
large scale systems to meet all non-drinking water uses, such as toilet flushing,