Rainwater harvesting is a stormwater management and water conservation strategy that is under-utilized in the Northwest. Rainwater harvesting reduces demand on other water sources by providing an alternative water source for human uses, and it mitigates damaging runoff from our stormwater system. Rainwater harvesting systems vary from simple rain barrels to cisterns capable of storing tens of thousands of gallons. Small systems like rain barrels are an easy way to get started and give rainwater harvesting a try. Check out this detailed guide to building a simple rain barrel.
Of course, with our wet winters in Oregon, rain barrels will only collect a portion of your runoff, so make sure they can overflow to safe place – like a rain garden!