Water shortages are cropping up everywhere these days — sometimes due to drought, and sometimes just because we draw too heavily on the water resources in many areas, especially with increased development and population growth. As a result, there’s lots of talk about putting rain barrels under downspouts to capture rainwater for watering lawns and gardens. But the truth is that a couple of 50-gallon barrels don’t hold much water. Think about how long it can take to irrigate your garden, compared to the few minutes it would take to use your hose to fill one or two 50-gallon barrels. During an inch of rainfall, more than 900 gallons flows off of a house with a 30-by-50 foot roof. Why not make use of all 900 gallons?
Here’s a low-cost way to move the rain from your roof to where it will do some good, instead of letting most of it overflow and “escape” as soon as the barrel fills up.
by Art Ludwig
Focuses on the design of tanks for storing water, although one chapter concentrates on ponds. Includes detailed instructions for building a tank.
Create an Oasis with Greywater
by Art Ludwig
Covers options for using recycled greywater (water that drains from washing machines, showers, bathtubs and sinks). Plumbing, regulations and common errors are explained.
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands
(Volumes 1, 2 and 3) by Brad Lancaster
Volume 1 is an overview covering the basics of rainwater harvesting. Volume 2 covers the collection and storage of water in earthworks (swales, ponds and terraces), the use of mulch and greywater systems. Volume 3 (not yet published) will explore roof catchment and cistern systems in further detail.
Rainwater Catchment Systems for Domestic Supply
by John Gould and Erik Nissen-Petersen
A thorough book covering both roof and ground catchment systems. All aspects of collecting and storing rainwater (in a variety of environments) are covered with illustrations, diagrams, photos and case studies. In addition to technical information, the book discusses social and economic aspects surrounding water.
Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on Google+.
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