Got a roof? Get a tank! Harvesting rainwater is a great way to conserve this one of the scarcest natural resources and save your dollars in the bargain.
An average family uses about 107,000 gallons of fresh water every year. Much of this is flushed down the toilet or poured into the garden. If you have space, installing a rainwater harvesting system is a brilliant move that will help reduce water waste.
This spring many cities and communities all over the US and Canada rolled out rain barrel and cistern programs. For some communities, these are new programs while for others they are part of their now standard water conservation efforts. Many areas affected by droughts such as those in California, Florida and New Mexico have implemented are offering rebates to jumpstart their water conservation efforts. For information in your area, contact your local water agency or city conservationist.
Many different tank sizes are available these days to fit either below or above the ground. They can even be flat so you can use them as a fence or under decks. Check out Aaron’s Rain Barrels and Nova Barrel for a variety of barrels made from wood, recycled plastic, and metal.
You can also make this a DIY project by either setting out buckets to collect small reservoirs of rain, or converting an existing container (plastic, metal, ceramic, or plastic) into a rain catch. Attaching a spigot finishes the project off and makes watering a cinch!