Rainwater Harvest Systems

California is going on its third year of very little rainfall and snow pack.  The state has already passed a law (AB 1881) to reduce the amount of residential water use.  If you drive down highway 5 you see empty fields that used to be green and lush filled with vegetables for our local grocery markets.  The state has cut the amount of water that can be used for agriculture. The amount of water that would be used for our food supply is now being diverted to the multiple residential neighborhoods that have been built over the last ten years.  Even with the cost of living in California the state’s population is growing not diminishing.  The water requirements are increasing whether we have rainfall and snow pack or not.

In San Mateo County there is a population 97,000 inhabitants.  If we say there are 50,000 households and the average adult uses 200 gallons of water per shower, the gallonage of water is huge.  Now add washing machines and our most wasted,  the garden.  We are using viable drinking and bathing water to water our lawns and more than 60% goes down the gutters and overwhelms our streams and the bay.

One inch of water in a 20 by 50 square mile in an urbanized city will generate 17.4 billion gallons of water.  All this water is not stored or retained for future use but all this water goes to our city sewer systems and this run-off is thwarted into our streams, lakes, estuaries and bay.  All this water has polluted our coastlines and bay.

What can I do???

Imagine if every one of the homes in the City of San Mateo were to install a 50 gallon rain barrel under one of their roof downspouts this winter.  50 gallons x 50,000 homes = 2.5 million gallons of water that can be used to be put back into our gardens soil instead of it rushing out to the Bay and Pacific Ocean.
If a small percentage of homes throughout the bay area were to install a rainwater harvesting system of 5,000 gallons the amount of water savings would be huge.  This water can be used to wash our cars or water our gardens.
Masterpiece Gardens has started to install beautiful water features to create habitats for birds, lizards, butterflies, and etc right in suburban gardens.  This water can be constructed with a pump system to water our gardens in the summer and our drinking water can be used for actual drinking.

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Going Green?
By using a pump system are we not using electricity?  Are we not robbing Peter to pay Paul?  Yes, there is a small use of electricity but we are conserving our most precious resource that we truly need to survive.
Right now there is not a perfect solution but we can all start by trying to save even a small percentage of water.  Low flow showerheads, low flow toilets, etc.  There are many ways to save but if we do not start now there will be no future.

Comments : 9
About the Author
Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. is an award-winning garden landscape design/build firm that has been creating beautiful environments for Bay Area residents since 1994. Owner Michael Moore began his landscaping career at the age of 15. He and his team share a lifelong passion for working outdoors and love of plants and nature that is evident in all of their work.
  1. Fiid

    No need at all for pumping systems really – the easiest rainwater to catch lands on the roof, which is conveniently quite a few feet above most yards. Why not simply elevate the tank a few feet and gravity feed any irrigation systems?

    There’s also plenty of tankage available for free or cheap. Most major food producers buy their food in large plastic drums which they are eager to get rid of once they’ve consumed the food within. You can pick up 50 gallon tanks for free or certainly less than $50 if you look around, and they’re easy to add fittings to for garden usage.
    .-= Fiid´s last blog ..Questioning Leadership =-.

  2. janucece

    We should care about nature and environment. Otherwise huge disaster will occur to earth. This is time to open our eyes.

  3. Eshwar

    This a great article about rain water harvesting system. In the present world, rain water harvesting is a main thing that has to be done. This helps a lot of people. There has always been a problem with water scarcity. Hence rain water harvesting brings a great deal in the current situation. And it also feels good in seeing such articles. Great job!

  4. Nancy

    This is a good article which addresses the issue of misuse of water and water conservation. I personally know some people who save rain water, filter and use it in their daily life. They do not depend on city water for their daily use.

    Rain water harvesting is a good idea to save water. It is time to wake up, admit there is a problem and do something constructive to solve the problem. You cannot wait for others to solve your problems, we have to take that first step towards conservation.

  5. Benji

    Rain water harvesting is such a simple way of saving the world! Rainwater should not be wasted and your article so beautifully puts across this message – your calculations and numbers make it so relevant! I hope many people read this and are motivated to do rainwater harvesting!
    .-= Benji´s last blog ..Rejoice TV =-.

  6. Sabeena Ibrahim

    Rain water harvesting is very amazing idea. We want to protect our country by saving trees and water which gives by nature. We want to line naturally in the world. If we miss to protect we will lose our earth as well as life.

  7. satheesh

    Our government should strictly order that every home should have the facility of saving rain water. We did not allow it to mixed with drainage.
    .-= satheesh´s last blog ..embarkons =-.

  8. Nick Summers

    You are correct when you say there is no perfect solution, however, you are also correct when you offer a number of small solutions that, when added together, result in incredible water savings. The changes to one’s shower and toilet are certainly a good start. The rain harvest solution is certainly a clever and practical means of taking what Nature drops from the sky and utilizing it more effectively by holding the rain water in a special rain barrel until it is necessary. That is certainly a good way to continue to have a beautiful garden while at the same time, conserve clean, fresh water for drinking and baths. It is important that people begin to realize that we cannot continue to take such things as water for granted any longer because the population of the world is continuing to grow and the weather systems are not always dependable. If, like in California, you hit a string of years where rainfall is very rare occurrence, then the consequences of such waste really begins to shine brightly. This article presents people with some simple yet effective means of conserving water, but it also serves as a wake-up call to all of us that we must not be so wasteful otherwise the consequences will most definitely be dire.

  9. shaikreshma

    I think using rain water for harvesting is an worth full idea because lot of water has been wasted during rainy seasons and most of the drinking water is flowing into the oceans and hence for this problem if the water has been stored at each homes as mentioned in the article then people can come out of the drought.

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