Rainwater harvesting: What to keep in mind before using it in your garden

Rainwater harvesting is not without its precautions. Even if the water is only going to be used for gardening, it’s essential to follow these rules.


In India, as in other places of the world, water can be at a premium. In fact, many inhabitants of this extraordinary country regularly harvest rainwater for everyday uses, such as washing clothing or vehicles.

The World Health Organization even recommends that some regions collect and then distill rain to be used for drinking purposes. While this isn’t necessarily warranted in all situations — and if it is done, the rainwater should be boiled for at least 20 minutes to remove contaminants — rain can also be collected for landscaping uses. Specifically, it can help anyone living in regions throughout India grow their gardens.

Pic - Rob | Flickr

Pic – Rob | Flickr

Rainwater Harvesting Is Cutting-Edge Technology with Ancient Roots

Rainwater harvesting is not a new phenomenon. Yet it seems to have been forgotten in the hustle and bustle of modern lives. Fortunately it’s beginning to enjoy a resurgence, thanks to the actions of people who are worried about the world’s water supply.

Across the globe many communities —including those in the U.S. — are jumping on this type of water management. Not only does harvesting rainfall for gardens and other uses assist in conserving natural resources, but it’s a smart way to “recycle” what’s already available. Conservation and green living have been gaining popularity for years in the U.S. For those in India who want to adopt an environmentally friendlier lifestyle, collecting rainwater is an excellent way to start.

How Rainwater Can Be Collected On a Private Property

The weather in India can vary wildly depending upon where one lives. This means rainfall amounts throughout the year also will fluctuate. Yet, even in desert-like climates, the little rain that occurs has the capacity to be collected.

LIDRainBarrel011

Usually families do so by installing a rain barrel of some sort onto their properties. These barrels can be made from numerous types of materials, including plastics, wood, steel, aluminum, concrete and composites. They come in different sizes and can even be painted to match the siding of the house.

The easiest rain barrels to install are those that attach to the gutters and downspouts on a building. Essentially, when rain comes down, it naturally spills into the gutters. With a rain barrel, that water will not be lost but will be kept for future gardening needs.

The key is to try to have a rain barrel — or many rain barrels — that can capture as much of the rainwater as possible. Every drop that lands in the barrel is a drop of water that won’t have to be taken from the public drinking supply to use for gardening.

LIDRainBarrel02

Some Precautions Necessary For Rainwater Collecting

Rainwater collecting is not without its precautions. Even if the water is only going to be used for gardening, it’s essential to take the following measures:

  • Make sure the roofing materials, gutters, and downspouts do not contain lead. This can leach into the water supply. Hence, all the vegetables, plants, fruits, and herbs in the garden could wind up containing a toxic substance.
  • Pick a rain barrel that will not be likely to corrode, decay, rust or wear out. Not all rain barrels are built to last. Choose the model that will hold its shape for years, even if that means paying a little more for the barrel.
  • Make certain any rainfall overflow is sent away from the house or building. Rain barrels can overflow easily during torrential downpours. The excess water should not be allowed to pool near the property foundation, as it can lead to home moisture problems.

Once these precautions are addressed, there should be no concerns related to the rain barrel or water collecting and gardening can begin in earnest.


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger with a passion for sustainable foods, Green initiatives and eco-friendly movements. You can read all of her latest posts by following her on Google+ and Twitter. more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger with a passion for sustainable foods, Green initiatives and eco-friendly movements. You can read all of her latest posts by following her on Google+ and Twitter. more

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