10 Ways to Capture Rainwater for Use in Your Home or Garden

I just spent the last ten days in El Salvador, Central America where it has been raining almost non stop since Monday, October 10th. The region is experiencing a state of emergency that rainwater catchment could not have prevented, but it could have helped reduce the severity of flooding. Capturing rainwater in your home reduces the quantity of water that hits the storm sewers in your city. Here are ten posts to help you get started.

  1. Rainwater Harvesting Calculator from the World Bank Millenium Goals

    This calculator allows you to calculate the amount of water you could capture from a roof. It will automatically load the average annual rainfall for your address. This will help you size your rain barrels, cisterns or other rainwater capturing devices.

  2. Building a Rainwater Harvesting System learning module

    Watch a 45 minute learning module created by the Atlanta-based HarvestH20. "A very thorough, step-by-step video that explains how to build a rainwater collection system using rain barrels."

  3. Find a Rainwater Catchment Installation Professional

    ARCSA, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association has a searchable, online database of professionals who can install a catchment system for you.

  4. Read up on rainwater harvesting systems

    Rain Harvesting Systems (RHS) has a great facts page about rainwater harvesting. If you want to dig in deep and get to know more about harvesting, this is a good place to start.

  5. RainXchange: Modular Underground Rainwater Cistern

    The Aquascape RainXchange is a subsurface rainwater harvesting system that filters and stores rainwater with zero-footprint. By using a fountain-like feature integrated into your landscape, the water is constantly recirculated to prevent stagnation and bacteria growth.

  6. Rain Harvesting Retrofit Solution: Rainwater Pillow

    The Rainwater Pillow is made from durable, industrial strength and UV-resistant fabric that is commonly used by the military. The smallest size is 1,000 gallons (which is approximately 9' wide by 11' long by 2.5' tall) and can be customized up to 200,000 gallons!

  7. All About Water Systems: Rain, Waste, Filtration, Heating

    The West Coast Green trade show last week featured over 140 exhibitors showcasing the newest innovations in green building. I saw a lot of products related to water: how to collect it, how to use it, how to reuse it, how to heat it, how to cool it. Here's a roundup of some of the companies and products you'll want to know about:

  8. Rainwater HOG: Small, Modular Rainwater Collection

    Designed by Australian architect Sally Dominguez, Rainwater HOG is a modular system that's made specifically to take up as little of a footprint as possible. Each module has a 51-gallon capacity, a footprint of only 1.3 square feet and a height of 6 feet. Its rectilinear form and dark green color mean it can be placed against walls or fences without sticking out like a sore thumb.

  9. Inspiration: Man Creates 20,000 gal Rainwater Collector

    20,000 gallons would last some households an entire year. Granted, Jerry has something very green in mind for all that water. In his backyard, Block has about an acre of land on which he grows fruit, vegetables and some tree crops that produce enough food for two people each year. According to Block, his new rainwater collection system is sized appropriately based on the rainfall in Monte Sereno, and the water required to irrigate his land.

  10. Cista: Rainwater Harvesting Concept

    Cista is a rainwater harvesting system designed for urban environments -- a sort of vertical green wall allowing for both water conservation and increased green space. It was designed by Carolyn Moss of Moss Sund Architects in partnership with Lee Fletcher and Terence Woodside of figlforty. Made of stainless steel, flexible welded thermoplastic olefin, and (of course) ivy, the Cista can hold up to 100 gallons of water. We hope it makes it into production.

(Image: Laurie McGinley)

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