3 ways rainwater harvesting can benefit your community

August 6, 2014

In the summertime, a season tailor-made for outdoor activities, a rainy forecast can cast a major pall on your weekend plans, forcing the postponement of get-togethers at the poolside. But when you stop and think about it, how great is it that Mother Nature supplies the earth with the nutrients it needs to grow and remain strong? And the same goes for everyday people, many of whom take advantage of rain to benefit their landscaping and in-home needs.

Rainwater harvesting is one of the most effective ways you can make use of Earth's most abundant natural resource - water. As its name implies, it's basically a process in which you can capture and store rainwater for later use.

1. Rain harvesting critical for fruits and vegetables. It's easy to understand why rain harvesting has gained so much of a following, evidenced by the upcoming 20th annual conference of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, which will be held in November. Take landscaping as an example. In many states and communities, a prodigious amount of the water that's used goes toward irrigation, particularly in states like California, where most of the country's fruits and vegetables grow. But because the Golden State often experiences drought, your local produce section would be poorly supplied were it not for rainwater harvesting techniques. As noted by Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension, landscape irrigation is one of the most efficient ways of harvesting rainwater, mainly because it doesn't have to be treated and doesn't require pumps. The rain that's gathered can also be used to water flower beds and grow grass.

2. Farmers rely on harvesting for livestock. The same goes for livestock. Every living thing needs water to survive, and farmers will often get it through their rainwater harvesting systems. Depending on resources, some agricultural professionals may use their harvesting methods as a backup source for water in cases of emergency.

3. Communities benefit as well. But it isn't just the exterior of a home or business where rain harvesting can really come in handy. For example, rainwater is often used as a public water system for companies in the restaurant industry or businesses that manufacture food or beverages. A public water system is any system that serves more than 25 people per day and for at least 60 days each year, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The ways in which you can harvest rainwater are about as numerous as the ways in which its used. For more information, visit ARCSA's website, where you'll find strategies and statistics on how frequently rainwater harvesting is used for water supplies.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.