THE GOOD NEWS ... April 30, 2006

RAINWATER "HARVESTING" - this month we feature an article from our Texas-based artist/educator friend, "the Green Guru" **

Rain Water Collection: Does It Work? As she sips her rainwater tea, the Green Guru says, “Indeed it does!” In Texas rain is a blessing. As we do the periodic rain dance in our home we remember how important rain is to our lives, our homes and our bodies. Water is not always plentiful and that is why many people have decided it’s a necessity to catch it. Some collect it for their garden, knowing that plants prefer rainwater to well water, and some collect it to bathe in and to drink, relishing the softness of it without needing a water softener. Rainwater collection systems change the way you think about water and the Green Guru wouldn’t trade hers for the world, or a well.

The facts about rainwater collection:

  • Every time it rains 1” you can collect almost 600 gallons of water for every 1000 square feet of roof. Now, that means if you have a 2500 sq. ft. house, you would collect 1500 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall. In a region, which averages 32” inches a year, count on collecting 48,000 gallons of water a year!

  • Conserving families use 25 to 35 gallons of water per person per day. This means that a conserving family of 4 living in a 2500 sq. ft. house would be set with rainwater collection alone for their water supply.**

    How to conserve water and keep your bills down at the same time:

    > Use Energy Star toilets using 1.6 gallons, some toilets use 8 gallons per flush! Or put water-displacing bags in your existing toilets.
    > Use Energy Star front loading washers using only 16 gallons of water per load (top loaders use 48+ gallons per load!)
    > Wash your dishes by hand and try not to leave the water running, use an energy star dishwasher if you have to have one.
    > Buy water efficient faucet and showerhead attachments that help use less water.
    > Fix any leaks, a drip a second means more than 3100 gallons of water wasted per year.
    > Landscape with native water wise plants … Did you know that St. Augustine Grass requires 50” of rainfall a year to be sustained? Buffalo Grass requires 20”. Find out what's appropriate for your region.

    Quote of the Month
    (Aboriginal Australia): “The more you know, the less you need.”

    The Good News
    As we move into an era of resource re-valuation, easy to install, common sense measures such as rainwater collection & energy efficient fixtures are becoming common place all over the world. Rain Water "Harvesting" is an inexpensive way to become self sufficient and the simple can-do systems are easy to maintain. The benefits are clear: provide for yourself & your family, save money, and live more in balance with our natural ecosystems. That's good news!


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