Welcome to Citizens Water Advocacy Group

Rainwater Harvesting and Water Budget

Rainwater harvesting has been used for thousands of years. Today, homes from Australia to Hawaii rely on it for indoor and outdoor water supply. Arizona ranchers began collecting rainwater many decades ago. This is an ancient, well proven method of adding high quality water to the community water supply. It works very well in our area with only 12" of rainfall.

Rainwater is better for plants than tap water – no salts or chlorine! There are no legal barriers to the use of rainwater for landscape use, but there are various state and local regulations that complicate using rainwater for whole house use; that is a problem we must address in the future.

Additional Information:

Harvesting Rainwater for Landscape Use (free booklet explaining active and passive rainwater harvesting)

Rainwater Harvesting Tips (illustrated article)

Rainwater Harvesting Slideshow (slides plus notes in 3/page format)

Video: Barnabas Kane Explains Rainwater Harvesting (Landscape architect describes this water-saving technique)

Video: Rainwater Harvesting and Drought Tolerant Plants (Video of CWAG field trip)

Water Budget Spreadsheet (Excel spreadsheet to estimate landscape water needs including effect of rainwater harvesting)

Recommended books: Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster. 
Vols. 1 & 2 are available from the Yavapai County Public Library, online as pdf files and can be purchased from http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/
Volume 1 pdf  Guiding principles to welcome rain into your life and landscape
Volume 2 pdf  Water-harvesting earthworks
(Volume 3:  Roof Catchment and Cistern Systems is apparently not yet available)
There is an ~18 minute TED Talk by Brad Lancaster "Planting the Rain to Grow Abundance" 

Upcoming Events

Fri Mar 02 @12:00PM - 01:15PM
WRRC Webinar/Seminar - Salt River Project/Water Management
Mon Mar 05 @ 7:00PM -
Presentation by Bill Throop - Restoration Ecology, Prescott
Sat Mar 17 @10:00AM - 03:00PM
Verde River Runoff


  • "Ranchers need clean water for their stock, farmers need it for their crops, every employer needs it to stay in business, and every living thing needs it for life... The law needs to be clear to protect water quality and the rights of landowners."
    Mark Udall
  • "Water is the driver of Nature."
    Leonardo da Vinci
  • "When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."
    Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746
  • "...and since flow of information is to spirit what water is to life, we'd best think about how to keep the pipes free and unclogged."
    Raphie Frank
  • "In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference."
    Rachel Carson
  • "We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one."
    Jacques Yves Cousteau
  • "Water is life's matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water."
    Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine
  • "Water is everywhere and in all living things; we cannot be separated from water. No water, no life. Period..."
    Robert Fulghum
  • "It's the water. Everything is driven by the water."
    Mike Thompson
  • "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over."
    Mark Twain