What is Rainwater Harvesting?

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Rainwater harvesting has been used around the world for centuries. It is the collection of runoff stormwater. When it rains, water will travel along a roof catchment system of gutters and pipes that will fall into a storage container which is stored and used for a later time. Storage tanks are covered to reduce evaporation losses and to prevent the breading of unwanted bugs. 

There are more than 100,000 residential rainwater harvesting systems in the US, including more than 6,000 in Central Texas. Even though rainwater harvesting is legal and even supported in Texas, individuals should check with their country districts for guidance and regulations.

For many answers to frequently asked questions on rain harvesting, please visit this Texas Water Development Board page. Get the prediction harvest rate here.

What is rainwater harvesting used for?

Water can be used for outdoor or irrigation uses, or, with the proper filtration system, for indoor potable water uses, such as drinking and cooking. 

Rainwater harvesting has multiple benefits including:

• Providing a locally available alternative water source to wells and groundwater

• Reducing flow to storm water drains

• Reducing non-point source pollution

• The water is free! The only cost is for collection and use

• The end use is close to the source, localizing the distribution system

• It is the best water for landscape irrigation – plants love it!

• Zero hardness that prevent scale on appliances and eliminates the need for a water softener.