At its simplest, rainwater harvesting consists of a rain barrel placed under the downspout of your home to collect rainwater for garden irrigation. In advance of or in preparation for emergencies or disasters, a catchment system rain barrel setup would be a good decision.
Larger, more sophisticated, systems can be incorporated into your home’s plumbing system to provide water for a variety of household needs, from toilet flushing to laundry, and even drinking water (in these instances the rainwater will be treated prior to use).
All rainwater harvesting systems, simple or complex, have the same basic components:
- A catchment area to capture the rainfall — this is typically the roof of the house.
- A conveyance system to move the water from the roof to a storage area — eavestroughs and downspouts, and maybe piping.
- A storage system to hold the rainwater for future use — a barrel, a cistern or a tank.
- A distribution system to get the water from storage to where it is being used — this can range from a watering can to full integration with the existing plumbing system in the house.
You can get more information on catchment system rain barrel at the Canada Mortgage and Housing site.
Here’s a great DIY design for a catchment system rain barrel to set up in advance of any disasters or emergencies:
This DIY rain barrel costs less than $100 and works just as well as the expensive one you can buy. Get complete how-to instructions and start saving water with the next rainfall.