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 minerals! 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.
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: Barnabus 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)