Rainwater & Stormwater Harvesting

Given the water challenges facing many parts of the country, capturing, storing, and using rainwater and stormwater runoff is often an effective way of decreasing stresses on municipal water sources.  "The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting" prepared for the Texas Water Development Board is a good resource for Sustainability Officers interested in learning about small-scale commercial and residential rainwater harvesting systems. Although it was written for Texas, the manual contains information useful for Sustainability Officers in other parts of the country, including:

  • Details regarding rainwater harvesting system components, water quality and treatment, system sizing,  and cost estimations
  • Pictures and diagrams of rainwater harvesting components
  • Pros and cons of different types of rainwater harvesting systems
  • Case studies

Sustainability Officers interested in collecting and using stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as parking lots, roads, and compacted land can also refer to the City of Tucson's "Water Harvesting Guidance Manual."  As with the Texas manual, Tucson's manual provides information useful nation-wide, including:

  • An overview of the stormwater runoff water harvesting design process
  • Descriptions of various stormwater runoff harvesting techniques (e.g., micro-basins, swales, drains, and water tanks)
  • Stormwater runoff harvesting design examples for subdivisions, commercial sites, public buildings, and public rights-of-way