Rainwater harvesting techniques have been used for centuries to make the most out of rain fall in the desert. Rainwater harvesting captures, contains and distributes rainwater on your property for use by landscape plants, edibles, wildlife and water features.
Water harvesting can offset the use of drinking water supplies in your landscape and garden, saving you money on your water bill.
It can also improve the health of your plants. It maintains water on site longer, allowing it to saturate the ground more deeply. Plus, rainwater is better for plants than tap water, because it contains less salt and more plant-boosting nitrogen
Rainwater harvesting can be as simple as creating berms and basins in your landscape to allow rainwater to soak into the ground, or it can include the installation of systems that capture and store water in cisterns for future use.
The following resources will start you on your way to harvesting rainwater in your landscape.
An on-line water harvesting module created by The University of Arizona Arid Lands Information Center is available to the public free of charge. The module makes use of 'how-to' video clips, photos, demonstrations, animations, and interactive quizzes to communicate simple principles of capturing rainwater for landscape use.
Low Impact Development (LID) is any technique that allows more rainwater to stay in place and to sink into rooftop gardens, into landscaping and planters, and through sidewalks and parking lots made of permeable pavement. The cities of Glendale and Mesa have created a Low Impact Development Toolkit to guide the city and their businesses and residents toward more sustainable stormwater design practices.