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Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting cistern installed on AgriLife buildingsRainwater harvesting cistern installed on AgriLife buildings.

Rainwater harvesting systems capture runoff from rooftops and store it in large cisterns and containers for later use.

The rainwater harvesting BMP will involve a demonstration component as well as a controlled experiment component. The demonstration component, already in place, will monitor several rainwater tanks installed on Center buildings. Four cisterns (300, 500, 1500, and 2500 gallon tanks) will record water levels and flow and demonstrate usage of stored rainwater for a drip irrigation system installed on campus.

The controlled experiment will consist of four roof shelters with a turf lawn beside each. Three shelters each have a gutter with leaf guard and a downspout draining to three connected rainwater harvesting barrels. The lawns connected to these three shelters will be irrigated with the harvested rainwater. One control plot has a downspout draining directly to the lawn, to simulate a lawn that is not equipped with any rainwater harvesting system. The lawn connected to this control plot will be irrigated using city water, to demonstrate the water savings from rainwater harvesting systems.