How And Why You Should Harvest Your Own Rainwater

By PowerHouse Growers | Rainwater Harvesting, Urban Agriculture

If you’ve been following trends in green building, energy conservation practices, or sustainability initiatives in general you will have no doubt heard of rainwater harvesting. This article will explain what rainwater harvesting is, what the benefits of rainwater harvesting are, places that have rainwater harvesting initiatives, and how to harvest rainwater at home.  Let’s dive in!

What Is Rainwater Harvesting?


A rainwater harvesting barrel. Harvest Your Own Rainwater. Image courtesy Buildpedia.

How And Why You Should Harvest Your Own Rainwater

Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting water during rainfall and storing it for various future uses. Such uses could include for watering plants and maintaining gardens, drinking water for livestock, irrigation for agriculture, even drinking water for yourself.

The systems for catching rainwater can be as simple as a barrel catchment to as complex as large scale commercial systems like BRAE for businesses and schools depending on what the water is being reused for.

Benefits Of Rainwater Harvesting

Confused about why you would want to harvest rainwater? Ask Tom Brady. He and Giselse Bundchen built an eco-friendly mansion in L.A. They had a rainwater catchment system installed to reduce their water consumption.

Because rainwater is the purest form of water it really just makes the most sense to keep it – especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest where we might tend to take water for granted. Collecting your own rainwater cuts down on your dependence on the filtration process not to mention your overall water consumption. With this self-sufficiency you can now safely water your yard and plants because rainwater is non-chlorinated. An extra special benefit is the cost-effectiveness and savings of catching your own rainwater and reusing it.


Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, the world’s greenest commercial building. Image courtesy Bullitt Center.

Places That Use Rainwater Harvesting

Because of the personal, health, and environmental benefits of harvesting rainwater many businesses, schools, and other facilities are implementing rainwater harvesting systems.

One World Trade Center harvests rainwater to use in their energy-efficient cooling towers as well as to recirculate to water the landscape and surrounding greenery.

Cities such as San Diego, Tuscon, and Austin all offer their residents rebates or incentive programs for at-home rainwater harvesting.

How To Harvest Rainwater At Home

To harvest rainwater (or ice or snow) at home can be done in many ways. This article shows five different DIY ways you can collect rainwater at home. We also recommend this WikiHow article on building your own rainwater catchment system. There’s a great video to go with it too:

If you’re not the DIY type then check out for lots of different systems and pick the one that works for you. There are also options for those of you living in apartment buildings to efficiently use a rainwater harvest system.

You may now decide you’re passionate about water conservation and want to raise awareness. Well lucky for you there’s Home Water Works – An Alliance for Water Efficiency which has a Never Waste Program you can join today.

To find out more about rainwater harvesting visit Share with us why you harvest your own rainwater and how you’re doing it.

Feature Image: Raindrops In The Water, Shutterstock

About The Author

PowerHouse Growers
PowerHouse Growers teaches you how to sustainably integrate urban agriculture into your cities, businesses, and homes. We provide clear solutions and benefits for better health, increased productivity, and lower environmental impact. By connecting you with experts, we bring awareness to solutions that may not be top of mind.