Stop 4: Water Harvesting

plastic water harvesting tank
This water storage tank is fed from rain running off the DRLC roof.

All of the water used on the DRLC grounds is harvested from the sky. This 1,400-gallon plastic storage tank collects rainwater from the roof via raingutters. The tank fills quickly during even a small rainshower, with the overflow filling the landscape basins. The first 30 gallons of rainwater are diverted into the piping below to reduce dust and other contaminants inside the tank. Nearby plants are watered using a garden hose attached to the tank.

This process conserves water and ensures that it gets to where it’s needed, when it’s needed. In Arizona, with an average of 13 inches of precipitation per year, a 2,500 square-foot rooftop can collect about 20,000 gallons of fresh rainwater annually.

Rainwater harvesting can reduce your water bill. It can also reduce the need for groundwater pumping—which, in the words of water-policy expert Robert Glennon, causes water bodies, wells, and “wetlands to dry up; the ground beneath us to collapse; and fish, wildlife, and trees to die."

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Last updated: September 8, 2022