Estimating your water needs is important if you are considering installing a rainwater harvesting system for your home. A quick look at your water usage (and the demand for it) provides a clear answer as to whether or not a rainwater harvesting system is right for you. However, from a practical perspective, I don’t know why you wouldn’t harvest rainwater. We all think of the obvious when we think of our water usage, but let’s look a little farther. As you read this article you will notice a few, “Oh, yeah” moments of things that didn’t come to mind to consider when determining your water needs.
First, we need to determine the average use of your home. This is easily done by analyzing your water bill for a concise answer. However, this chart from the government gives you averages from across the country if that helps.
Unless you are living off-grid, you are probably going to harvest rainwater for things like:
- Irrigation for the lawn, gardens, and pond,
- Washing the car,
- Cleaning the deck and walk ways,
- Washing the windows,
- Bathing the dog
And perhaps recreationally:
- Such as keeping the hot tub or pool topped off this summer.
- Maybe even a garden shower to rinse off after working in the yard or before getting into the pool.
A rainwater harvesting system is a one-time investment
that will obviously pay for itself quickly
by reducing your monthly water bill.
Cost of Equipment and Upkeep
Let’s look at the cost of a simple rainwater collection system, as well as necessary upkeep. Let’s keep this simple and you can progress from there. The first step that I would recommend would be 50 gallon rain barrels at the bottom of each of your downspouts. I have included links here to the type of items that we use so that you can see what I’m talking about and see what other people that have purchased the item have to say. You get a better idea for making your own decision.
If you live in an area that is prone to periods of drought, a harvesting system can help. In fact, if you are experiencing water shortages in your area, using rainwater could be one of the best decisions you will ever make. In addition to the uses we’ve named, you can harvest rainwater and purify it easily for drinking should the need arise.
Now that you know a little bit more about rainwater harvesting and estimating your water needs, it’s time to make an informed decision. It is a minimal and very logical investment for people who are:
- Tired of high water costs,
- Living in areas experiencing drought and shortages
- More environmentally conscious
Quite honestly, harvesting rainwater is a win-win situation for everyone.