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Rainwater is a viable alternative for many types of water uses. Essentially anywhere you have a tap, you can use rainwater. Three basic areas exist for rainwater use: Irrigation, Indoor non-potable or potable entire house use. It's the smarter way to use water with the prevailing drought conditions and other issues causing water shortages all over our country. Harvest rainwater and be not only more green but reduce your environmental impact by conserving water.
A few examples of rainwater uses are:
Simply put Rainwater harvesting collects the water that run offs a catchment surface (typically a roof) so it can be saved for future use. One surface or multiple surfaces can be used to catch rainwater. The more roof surface, the more water that can be stored. Systems range from a simple rainbarrel to large decorative cisterns depending on the many uses of rainwater.
Rainwater often conjures up images of a big red barn and water barrels full of water with a gourd on the side for drinking. Rainwater is free and it falls on your property. It's one of your basic private property rights that we have access to in Texas! For water conservation, it is but one method that is quickly starting to catch on as a viable alternative for many water needs.
An easy way to figure how much you can collect is gained by use of the following formula:
1' of rain x 1 sq ft. = 0.623 gallons
Or alternatively = 1" of rain from a 1000 sq ft. roof provides 623 gallons
Traditional landscaping often includes large areas of grass or turf and trees or shrubs throughout the space. With water conservation becoming a necessity, changes to what we consider to be the norm need to occur.
Xeriscaping is the process by which drought resistant landscaping or other native, water conserving natural turf is installed. Both this practice and rainwater system installations can no longer be prohibited by homeowner's associations. 'HOA's must approve all reasonable requests' in light of our continued drought situation. Read more about that here.
Using drought resistant native plants conserve water and don't need as much labor. Consider cutting down on turf areas and replacing the harder hit areas with patio pavers, decorative rockbeds, or mulches. The proper design of a water conservative landscape offers better drainage, less runoff or water waste, less water use and allows more water to be taken into the soil and down into aquifer's to recharge.
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Despite all the recent rain, it won't be long as we have seen in recent years before some areas will be back in drought conditions. Some areas never get out of some type of drought condition.
As cities in the drought areas go on Watering Restrictions and other means of Water Conservation, it begins to become clear that more is needed to be done to preserve our water supplies. Farmers and Ranchers are unable to provide crops and livestock, thereby affecting our food supplies. Our Water stores need to be not only preserved but new means of conservation need to be put into place consistently to ensure we have enough water for generations to come.
RainDrop Harvesting Solutions, LLC
Simply google water issues in the US or Water Conservation and many articles come up such as the following:
"All Around The US, Risks Of A Water Crisis Are Much Bigger Than People Realize." Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-drought-water-scarcity-2013-5#ixzz2fItGJT8f
"Water Scarcity - The US Connection" by Shannyn Snyder. Read More: http://thewaterproject.org/water_scarcity_in_us.asp
"California, Texas and the Southwestern U.S. Face a Critical Year for Water Supplies: 2014 - http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2014/world/2014-preview-california-texas-southwest-face-critical-year-water-supplies/