Rainwater harvesting has been practiced all over the world for thousands of years. Many people, especially in rural areas, have revived the practice and are using it for all their household water requirements. It may not be feasible for a homeowner to convert his/her residence to 100% rainwater collection, but a small system can easily be installed to help meet summer outdoor watering demands.
Collecting and using rainwater for outdoor watering provides a simple alternative to using potable water on the landscape and leaves this more expensive, treated water for human needs such as drinking and cooking. In addition to conserving the precious water resources of our aquifers, lakes, and streams, rainwater harvesting reduces the necessity for new water treatment plants and water storage facilities (which helps to keep the cost of publicly supplied water manageable).
Rainwater harvesting systems come in all shapes and sizes, from a simple container under a downspout to potable systems with thousands of gallons of storage and complex filtration features. Before you begin to plan your own rainwater harvesting system, check with local government agencies and homeowner associations for any applicable regulations.
Click on the image to the right to download a fact sheet on building a homemade, low-cost rain barrel.
For more information on installing your own system, please click on the following links and documents. In addition, the District has a 1550-gallon rainwater harvesting system that can be toured upon request. Please contact the District office at (512) 282-8441 for more assistance.
Annual Rainwater Revival event & resources: http://rainwaterrevival.com/
Cow Creek GCD Rainwater System How-To Videos: ccgcd.org/web/education/videos/
Texas Water Development Board: www.twdb.texas.gov/innovativewater/rainwater/
Texas Cooperative Extension: http://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/
City of Austin Water Conservation: www.austintexas.gov/department/water-conservation
HIll Country Alliance and Rainwater Revival: www.hillcountryalliance.org/HCA/RainwaterHarvesting