Rainwater harvesting is nothing new—in fact, collecting rainwater to grow crops and to wash clothing, homes, and people has been popular across the globe for thousands of years. Although rainwater isn’t suitable for use inside the home (at least, not without going through an extensive filtration process), it is perfectly suited for watering your lawn and garden and for other uses around the outside of your home.
So what are the advantages to rainwater collection and use, rather than just drawing it from the tap?
- Healthier Lawn and Garden
Water you draw from the tap has been treated with chemicals and minerals—necessary measures to guarantee that it is safe for human consumption, but far from ideal for lawn care or for growing fruits and vegetables. Rainwater, which is both softer and more pure than tap water, is easier for plants to use without having to filter out the additional chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride.
- Save Money
Rainwater collecting is not just easy, it’s free. A simple rain barrel is a one-time purchase that will easily pay for itself in the long run. Alternatively, you may choose to find a second hand container for collection for little to no cost.
- Save Water
Not only does using harvested rainwater save on your utility bill, it conserves public tap water for indoor use and human consumption. Using public resources wisely is an essential element to treading lightly on the earth.
- Save Energy
The process of treating water for human use, delivering it to your home, and metering its use all take energy. For lawn and garden care, all that energy use is not only unnecessary—it’s less optimal than using collected rainwater! Why not skip straight to the most easily available solution?
- Reduce Erosion
Rainwater that you gather is rainwater that does not then run down a slope to a sewer drain, potentially degrading the terrain. This is especially important during storms when sewer systems may be challenged, creating back-ups and further erosion.
- Side-Step Water Restrictions
Does your town or city have restrictions on water use during “dry” seasons—or year round? If you collect rainwater when it’s available and save it for these times, you may end up with the only green lawn on the block. That’s important for more than just the sake of appearance, too–when lawns and gardens become dehydrated, their immunity levels decrease. They can then become susceptible to infection and disease. Rainwater storage to keep your soil well-watered during dry times will allow you to maintain the balance of moisture necessary for a healthy and beautiful lawn and garden.
Rainwater collection is a fun and interesting hobby that will reward you with years of free water—so take the plunge! Your lawn and garden will thank you with lush, healthy growth.