Rainwater Harvesting

Spring always gives me a boost. Everything starts to pop out of the half-frozen ground, signalling the beginning of another growing year.

With the permaculture way, spring starts early, all the seedlings well on their way to becoming teenagers in the hoop house. This nice warm weather encourages everything to wake up and get ready for the big drink; spring rains. Nature as always has the perfect system; moisture to germinate the seeds, with the arrival of spring thaw, warm weather to get the soil microbes active and seedlings pushing towards the sun.

Then comes the rain.

It’s not just the perfect watering system, there is so much more to this liquid perfection.

Thanks to Brad Lancaster of Rainwater Harvesting  for this list. His excellent work and 3 volumes can be found at harvestingrain.com

Advantages of Rainwater Harvest

*Rainwater, sleet and snowfall is delivered to us free of charge, eliminating the need for costly distribution systems.

*Rainwater is the highest quality source of irrigation water.

*Rainwater is salt-free and can help flush plant damaging salts from the root zone in alkaline soils.

*Rainwater is a natural fertilizer containing sulfur, beneficial microorganisms, mineral nutrients and nitrogen.

* Rainwater harvesting reduces utility bills.

*Rain water harvesting reduces flooding by reducing flow to the streets and storm drains.

* Rainwater harvesting reduces non-point-source pollution of storm water.

* Rainwater harvesting provides a water source when well water is contaminated or unreliable.

*Water harvesting helps utilities reduce summer peak demands for water and reduces the volume of waste water that needs to be treated at water treatment plants.

* It’s a great way to drought proof your life!

I am currently teaching water harvesting in my community and have found the responses to water harvesting very interesting and eye-opening. Many folks believe that having a rain barrel is what water harvesting is about. This is a call to action for more education through our municipalities and local administration to enable residents to make wise water choices that are effective and easy to implement.

In a rural context, education is needed to bring to the attention of landowners that pulling all your  water needs from rivers, creeks and ground water is not a sustainable practice. North Americas’ aquifers are being emptied at a rate that can not be afforded in our world water crisis.

Collecting rainwater allows us to catch water that comes from a primary source of water from the Hydrologic cycle. Hydrologic Cycle:

Secondary sources of water are in creeks, rivers and lakes. If constantly pumped or drained faster than they can replenish these secondary sources eventually cease to exist.

This spring, take the plunge (no pun intended ) into rain water harvesting for yourself, your community and the planet.

Here is Brad Lancaster talking about the importance of rain water harvesting.

Basics of rainwater harvesting with Brad Lancaster

Happy harvesting!

Plant seeds , Harvest change


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