Rainwater Harvesting

Benefits
More water is used outside the single-family home than inside - almost 60% of a family’s water consumption in arid climates, but that can also include Bellaire during a summer drought.
Consider rainwater harvesting for your lawn and garden needs. We tend to take our water for granted - turning on the tap is too easy and always reliable. Unfortunately, even in our area, municipal systems are under stress due to aging infrastructure. Taking advantage of stored rainwater that falls on your home is an easy way to lessen the stressed water delivery system. Using rain barrels connected to a gutter downspout to supply (at least some) water for your lawn and garden is a cost-effective way to harvest rainwater, and conserves water provided through the municipal water system.
Rain Water Harvester
Underground Cistern
Alternatively you can capture rainwater roof runoff by tying your existing gutter system in to an underground cistern and using a pump to supply water to your irrigation system. With current low water rates such a system is unlikely to be cost effective, however it can provide many benefits such as:
  • The water is free; the only cost is for collection and use
  • Rainwater harvesting reduces consumers’ utility bills
  • Rainwater is superior for landscape irrigation due to its low PH
  • Rainwater harvesting helps utilities reduce the summer demand peak and delay expansion of existing water treatment plants
  • Rainwater harvesting reduces flow to storm water drains and also reduces non-point source pollution
Additional Resources
In Texas we have several good resources including the Texas Water Development Board website and the Texas Rainwater Harvesting Manual (PDF). Here you can find detailed information regarding rainwater harvesting and links to many other resources. In addition a quick search of the internet for rainwater harvesting will yield links to many commercial providers of rainwater harvesting equipment, including cisterns, pumps, filters, and plumbing fixtures.

Of course there are many other ways of reducing water consumption including the planting native plants, the use of low-volume irrigation or drip watering systems, and the use of low volume water fixtures and appliances.