Rainwater harvesting is an under-utilized practice in Southern California, in part because of the common misconception that we don't get enough rain to make it viable. However, San Diego County averages about 10 inches of rainfall per year. This may not sound like much, until you consider the effectiveness of rooftop-based rainwater harvesting systems.
Did you know?
A 1000 square foot roof is capable of capturing 600 gallons of rainwater for every 1 inch of rain.
DESIGNING & INSTALLING A RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEM ON YOUR PROPERTY
ACTIVE RAINWATER HARVESTING
The more commonly known practice of using barrels or tanks to collect rainwater is referred to as Active rainwater harvesting. The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) defines this as “Rainwater that is collected from roofs and other surfaces into containers and stored for later beneficial use is called active rainwater harvesting”.
PASSIVE RAINWATER HARVESTING
Passive rainwater harvesting utilizes the use of rain gardens and earthworks such as swales, basins or depressions to create low maintenance and cost effective means to capture rainwater. Passive rainwater harvesting is defined by (ARCSA) as “Collecting rainwater and runoff directly for infiltration into the ground without immediate storage in a tank is know as passive rainwater harvesting”.
Our landscapes have a direct impact on our local bodies of water because whatever flows off our gardens and hardscape surfaces will eventually end up in our rivers, lakes and oceans. In addition to helping to restore watersheds and oceans, installing a water harvesting system will reduce your water bill and your dependence on municipal water while also increasing your landscapes resiliency against drought.
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Catchment Area Calculator
estimate total rainfall collection potential (annually)
Check out these tools to look up estimated Average Rainfall Totals by State here! *Please note: This calculator is provided for general guidance only. Design and installation of RWH facilities should be based on site-specific conditions and technical expertise.