Rainwater harvesting made easy: Simple solution for sustainable living

Rainwater harvesting made easy: Simple solution for sustainable living

First things first. Can you have a rainwater system in Texas?


In fact, many cities offer rebates, discounts, and tax exemptions for the purchase of rainwater harvesting materials. 

Rainwater harvesting is not just for farmers or those with large tracks of land. Systems don’t have to be large or complicated, and you can set one up just about anywhere. 

To harvest rainwater, all you need to do is collect the rain that falls and store it for later, whether that’s to have water for your lawn or garden or many other purposes. The number of different purposes that harvested rainwater can be used for are practically endless. When the rain falls, it hits the roofs of homes and businesses. Many structures already have gutters and downspouts, which make for the perfect way to direct the rain into one area for capture. 

Rain barrels are the most common and economical rainwater harvesting system. You simply place a barrel beneath a downspout and collect the rain hitting the roof. Rain barrels can hold as little as a gallon or as much as 50 gallons of water. Many systems use a lid or screen to keep debris from getting in the water. The water can then be scooped out from the top, or released via a spigot toward the bottom of the barrel.

Invest in the system, save money in the long run. Harvesting rainwater will reduce your water consumption, therefore lowering your water bill. Using the system will also help your area’s water supply by not utilizing what’s available.

“Rainwater is valued for its purity and softness. It has a nearly neutral pH, and is free from disinfection by-products, salts, minerals, and other natural and man-made contaminants. Plants thrive under irrigation with stored rainwater.” – Texas Water Development Board.

“In Central Texas, more than 400 full scale rainwater harvesting systems have been installed by professional companies, and more than 6,000 rain barrels have been installed through the 
City of Austin’s incentive program in the past decade. Countless “do-it-yourselfers” have installed systems over the same time period. An estimated 100,000 residential rainwater harvesting systems are in use in the United States and its territories.”

We are always hopeful for plentiful rain in the Brazos River basin. However, since we know drought is a guarantee at some point, consider a home rain harvesting system. Save money and help conserve our greatest natural resource.

Learn more about rainwater harvesting from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office here.