Rainwater Harvesting as a Sustainable Practice
Above: A Cistern at the J5 Cutting Horse Ranch, Located in Parker County.
By Stephanie M. Chambers
Because water is such a precious commodity, harvesting this resource is a good ‘green’ practice. Yet, while water is scarce and droughts are a constant concern for farmers, ranchers, and home owners alike, it is regarded as a problem because it causes erosion and drainage design can be complicated, particularly in instances of flash flooding. Residential water collection contributes to a solution for dry environments and to the conservation and protection of land and soil. We chose an above ground cistern for this Dallas residence, both as an architectural landscape feature and to make a statement about the family’s conscious commitment to conservation and sustainability. Water from residential water harvesting can be used to:
- Hand water lawn and garden
- Wash vehicles
- Connect to irrigation/sprinkler system
- Wash pets
- Refill fountains and fish ponds
- Wash driveways and sidewalks
- Refill swimming pools
- Flush toilets
- Wash clothes
When properly filtered and disinfected, rainwater can also be used for potable needs.