It begins slowly with the sound of a few drops of rain hitting the roof. As the storm intensifies, the rain’s drumming rises to a crescendo, thunder booms, and the sky opens up. Soon, a torrent of water gushes through the downspout and into a waiting rain barrel. The rain will water your garden for you, while the water collected will nurture your crops for days to come. For gardeners and many others, saving rainwater and snowmelt is an economic, sustainable, and enjoyable practice.
Why Collect Rainwater?
Water is life. Collecting precipitation for later use is a human practice as ancient as our species. While it’s a largely passive activity, it does require setting up infrastructure to accomplish the goal. Some people are lucky enough to live in an area with ample and well-timed precipitation. Where my wife and I live, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado, precipitation is less reliable. Where you live and what purpose you have in mind should determine the size and complexity of your system. What are your goals?