In this dry desert climate, it’s easy to be grateful when any amount of moisture falls from the sky. However, inevitably the storms blow away, and we’re once again left wondering when the next drop of rain will arrive. But did you know that with a few simple steps you won’t have to wait for the next storm to hit to reap the benefits? Through rainwater harvesting, you can continue to take advantage of the rain showers long after the skies have cleared.
WHAT IS RAINWATER HARVESTING?
In short, rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting water runoff from structures on your property during a rainstorm and using it for non-human consumption purposes. Harvested rain is great for watering your lawn or garden and cleaning items around the home. Just don’t drink it!
WHY COLLECT RAINWATER?
Collecting rainwater is easy and worth it. A half-inch of rainfall on a 1000 square-foot roof will yield roughly 300 gallons of water! To estimate how much you could collect from your home, try this rainwater calculator.
In Utah, harvesting rainwater is not only legal it is encouraged, but registration through the Utah Division of Water Rights is required. Registration is easy and free.
The benefits of harvesting include decreased utility bills, preservation of dams, and reduction in soil erosion.
HOW TO GET STARTED
It doesn’t take much to begin collecting rainwater. While there are many different collection systems and methods used to capture the excess water from a storm, the most effective ones have the same basic components: gutters/downspouts, storage tank, debris screen, lid and a distribution device. The Utah State University Extension office recommends using a diverter system that allows for easier maintenance. Visit their website for information on how to build your own rain barrel capture tank.
Water conservation has always been important, but as the population continues to grow and stress our current water supply, the need for everyone to be more water conscious is critical. Visit us at ghid.org to learn more ways that you can slow the flow and save water.