Rainwater Harvesting

Water harvesting is the capture, diversion, and storage of rainwater for plant irrigation and other uses. It is appropriate for large scale landscapes such as parks, schools, commercial sites, parking lots, and apartment complexes, as well as small scale residential landscapes.

rainbarrels

There are many benefits to harvesting rainwater:
♦ Water harvesting not only reduces dependence on groundwater and the amount of money spent on water, but also reduces off-site flooding and erosion by holding rainwater on the site.
♦ If large amounts of water are held in highly pervious areas (areas where water penetrateseasily), some of the water may percolate to the water table.
♦ Rainwater is a clean, salt-free source of water for plants.
♦ Rainwater harvesting can reduce salt accumulation in the soil which can be harmful to root growth. When collected, rainwater percolates into the soil, forcing salts down and away from the root zone area. This allows for greater root growth and water uptake, which increases the drought tolerance of plants.
♦ Limitations of water harvesting are few and are easily met by good planning and design.

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Why Use Rainwater

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF USING RAINWATER

• Rainwater catchment is “Point of Source Production.”
• It will cushion users from fluctuating water-hauling prices, city rate hikes/ordinances, private well company policies, and home well subsidence.
• Using rainwater increases local biomass and shade, which in turn will decrease Prescottʼs heat dome.
• Using rainwater decreases the userʼs impact on the local water table and increase groundwater recharge.
• Capturing rainwater is cisterns and increasing soil infiltration reduces storm water runoff.
• Xeriscape techniques, like rainwater catchment, increases local biodiversity through water conservation/permaculture.
• Using rainwater allows for better watershed management by reducing local runoff.

HORTICULTURAL BENEFITS OF USING RAINWATER

• Stored rainwater increases a plantʼs ability to uptake nutrients and aids soil in retaining water.
• Rainwater is free of toxins such as chlorine, arsenic, salts and other groundwater contaminants and is considered soft.

GENERAL BENEFITS OF USING RAINWATER

rainbarrels for plants

• Rainwater increases the effectiveness of detergents, minimizes mineral build-up, and pipe calcification.
• 1,000 square foot of catchment + 1-inch of rain = 620 gallons of free water!
• Rainwater serves multiple functions in a homestead system.
• Stored water has sustained human population in Arizona for over 1,600 years.

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