Rainwater is a free water source provided by nature. By capturing and collecting rainwater, you can significantly offset your potable water use. Not only will you lower your water bill, but you will help retain water that may otherwise wash away as runoff.
There are two methods of harvesting rainwater: passive and active. Passive water harvesting focuses on earthworks to manipulate the movement of water. By creating basins and raised berms, you can direct water to vegetation. This is something you can integrate into your home right away, with relatively low costs. Active water harvesting utilizes a cistern to capture water from your roof that can be stored and used for irrigation throughout the year. An integrated system of both passive and active rainwater techniques will make the most of your water resources. Some homeowners have developed rainwater harvesting systems that capture enough water for all of their water needs.
Explore the resources below to help get you started:
Tucson Water’s Outdoor Conservation webpage: http://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/outdoor-conservation
City of Tucson Water Harvesting Guidance Manual (pdf)
Implementation of water harvesting techniques is a water conservation measure that can also enhance natural habitats. This manual provides information and design ideas to developers, engineers, designers, contractors and the general public.
FREE Rainwater Demonstration Sites in Tucson (listed by the Watershed Management Group)
Arizona Tax Credits for Water Conservation
Effective January 1, 2007, Arizona taxpayers who install a “water conservation system” (defined as a system to collect rainwater or residential greywater) in their residence may take a one-time tax credit of 25% of the cost of the system up to a maximum of $1,000. Builders are eligible for an income tax credit of up to $200 per residence unit constructed with a water conservation system installed. Click here to download information about the tax credit from the AZ Dept. of Revenue.
Brad Lancaster’s comprehensive rainwater harvesting website:http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/
University of Arizona Cooperative “Harvesting Rainwater for Landscape Use”http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/water/az1052/harvest.html