There’s a free resource right in your own yard! Water! Tired of paying high water bills for watering your vegetable and flower gardens? Well, then catch the rain in a rain barrel! Rain barrels are large containers that capture rainwater at the end of your downspout. Believe it or not, “A quarter-inch of rain falling on the average home yields about 200 gallons of water. A rain barrel can be filled within a matter of minutes during a good rain” (“How to Conserve Water using a Rain Barrel, HGTV). That’s a lot of water you can use in your gardens!
Here’s 4 convincing reasons I found on Catch of Rain:
1. It’s free
2. It’s easy
3. It’s good for your plants (rainwater is soft and free from most of the pollutants and salts found in treated water)
4. It’s a good thing to do because there is not enough treated water to keep up with our current usage patterns.
But, wait…does your State allow it? In some states it is actually illegal to catch and store rain water. The National Conference of State Legislatures writes: “States must ensure that water-quality standards and public health concerns are met. In some states, such as Colorado, previous water law stated that all precipitation belonged to existing water-rights owners, and that rain needed to flow to join its rightful water drainage.” In 2009, the New York Times published an article “It’s now legal to catch a raindrop in Colorado”, informing us that two new laws in Colorado will allow many people to collect rainwater legally.”
Driven by population growth, drought, or declining groundwater in aquifers, these antiquated laws are being replaced (in some states) with new laws that allow you to catch and utilize rainwater. If you can do this where you live, you might consider saving yourself some money — and your plants will love you for it!