Water truly is life. Humans can go without food for several weeks, if necessary, but they can't last for more than a few days without water. Animals too will die without a water source, and plants will wither. So, it is smart to always have ready supplies of water on hand.
For most of us, using water simply consists of turning on a tap. We seldom or never think about where this precious but common liquid comes from. But creating your own water supply in addition to what you get from your municipality or your well can be a smart idea. One way to do that is by catching and storing rainwater. Rain catchment can benefit you, your community, and the environment in many ways. And because the water simply falls from the sky, capturing it is a fairly simple matter with the right rain catchment products.
How to Harvest Rainwater
There are many ways to harvest rainwater for use. The simplest is to use rain barrels. These can be hooked up to downspouts from a building's gutters to harvest water that runs off the roof. Cisterns, rain pillows and even entire rainwater collection systems are possible for more ambitious uses. For a minimal investment of time and money, rain catchments can provide a huge return. If you are the least bit handy, you can install a rain barrel yourself. Or if you lack the skills or time, you can hire a pro to do an installation quickly and affordably.
You will benefit greatly from catching rainwater and storing it on your property. If you rely on city water, having your own water source will cut your water bills. It could also cut your sewerage bill if your utility calculates sewer usage by the amount of water used. Even if you use a well and pump as your primary water source, rainwater catchment will cut down on wear and tear while helping to conserve groundwater supplies in the aquifer.
You can use this virtually free water supply from your roof to keep your plants healthy. Rainwater lacks chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals used in municipal water supplies. Some folks think plants grow better and healthier without these additives.
Let It Rain
Catching rain offers many other benefits. It can serve as an emergency backup in case your municipal water supply is interrupted or your well and pump fail. If you live off-grid, rainwater catchment provides a simple solution for your everyday water needs. Use it as gray water for household tasks. With proper filtering and treatment, it can be made potable.
If you have a wet basement, channeling rainwater off your roof and into a rain catchment and away from your home's foundation may solve the problem. Rainwater catchment is good for the environment too. Besides conserving a precious resource, catching rainwater will reduce storm water runoff, decreasing the load of oil and other contaminants that storm water picks up as it moves over paved surfaces into storm drains. Channeling rainwater can also reduce soil erosion.