Harvesting Rainwater: It's easier than you think...

Curbside Native Plant Rain Garden
The practice of harvesting rain, mulching and encouraging water to  "slow and spread" and infiltrate into soils to conserve precious water resources is simple people have been practicing rainwater harvesting in its many diverse forms around the globe for millennia.

Why harvest rainwater?
For most modern, man-made development rainwater is designed to sheet off impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, sidewalks and roads and is typically piped into gutters and stormdrain networks and eventually into our streams and bays.

As water travels across parking lots and roads and other hardscapes, it gathers volume and momentum, and picks up pesticides, oils, heavy metals, garbage and other toxins  eventually also carrying these directly into our streams, rivers and oceans. Every year, 
millions upon millions of gallons of fresh, clean rainwater are essentially polluted and/or wasted and discarded in each of our neighborhoods.

By harvesting rainwater runoff from our roofs or other impervious surfaces and retaining and infiltrating as much of it as possible on our landscapes we can each:
  1. Reduce our carbon footprint by saving precious energy resources used to treat and pump municipal water supplies by reducing our use of treated water for landscaping purposes.  In Marin, ~30% of the water we consume is for landscaping.   
  2. Reduce peak stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces stemming from developed areas, thus reducing erosion and sedimentation into creeks and and improving habitat for our local endangered salmon.
  3. Increase our conservation of precious water supplies.
  4. Prevent pollutants from reaching streams and bays to begin with.
Check out our 10 Reasons to Build a Rain Garden!  Click HERE.