How Can Rainwater Harvesting Benefit My Landscaping?

June 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

rainwater harvestingIn its most basic form, rainwater harvesting is simply the process of collecting and depositing rainwater before it meets an aquifer. If intelligently done, rainwater harvesting can have benefits for your irrigation system and garden.

Logistics of Rainwater Harvesting 

Rainwater harvesting is an extremely eco-conscious and renewable water source to power your irrigation and landscaping. Instead of rainwater falling down your gutters and into the street unused, you can harvest rainwater and collect it in a cistern or storage tank. The water you accumulate through these means can later be used for irrigation, gardening, heating, washing clothes or even drinking later on.

Less Erosion and Lower Water Bills 

Since rainwater harvesting is a renewable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional irrigation, you could see significantly lower water bills and less flooding and erosion during high rains. How does this work in practice? Rainwater harvesting lowers the chances that heavy runoff will lead to flooding or heavy erosion. You could also lower your personal water bills and your area’s reliance on the traditional water supply by utilizing harvested rainwater for irrigation and giving much needed water to your garden’s plants, flowers, shrubs and vegetables.

Is Harvested Rainwater Better? 

You could make the case that harvested rainwater is even better for your plants than traditional, treated water. Rainwater collected and deposited from cisterns and storage tanks is typically pollution-free and cleaner than regular water. Using cleaner, harvested rainwater could pay dividends for your irrigation efforts and plant growth over the long haul.

Even from an economic perspective, though, using harvested rainwater just makes more sense. Since wasteful irrigation and droughts put an extra burden on water supplies, now’s the time to switch to harvesting rainwater for irrigation. Harvested rainwater bypasses the heavy treatment and pumps in favor of eco-friendly, sustainable and incredibly affordable natural water for irrigation.

Improvements in Irrigation and Plant Growth 

The rainwater harvested in cisterns and storage tanks and later used for irrigation may be better for your plants as well. Rainwater typically has fewer pollutants, and rainwater also tends to have fewer detrimental minerals and salts that hinder the growth of plants.

Rainwater naturally pushes down salts and minerals that are counterproductive for plant growth. In addition, rainwater has been known to percolate with the surrounding soil and hasten the growth cycle of plants while making them more resilient to droughts. All of these factors collectively lead to improvements in landscaping, irrigation and plant growth.

Self-Sufficient and Eco-Friendly Landscaping 

Using harvested rainwater can also make your landscaping and irrigation more self-sufficient by weening you off of the traditional municipal water supply. Rainwater is totally free and relatively clean.

In congested areas in which restrictions are put on the amount of water that you can put towards your irrigation every month, harvested rainwater collected in cisterns and storage tanks can be used to supplement your irrigation efforts even when water restrictions are in effect or droughts are stalling your landscaping efforts.

Treated water from a traditional, municipal source is not only more expensive and conditionally-suppled compared to rainwater – treated water is typically doused with chlorine. You won’t face this problem by harvesting rainwater and putting it towards your irrigation. Both plants and gardens benefit from water untreated with chlorine.

The main uses of harvested rainwater are landscaping and irrigation. That said, harvested rainwater can also be put towards washing clothes, heating and the water used for flushing toilets. Harvested rainwater is an excellent supplement or emergency backup to municipal water.