SAN ANGELO, Texas — Rainwater Harvesting is a technique not used by many in the Concho Valley, but can prove to be more beneficial than we may think. Allison Schwarz, a Horticulturist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, says due to the little rain we get, it is more important that we use this technique of water preservation.

“We’ll often hear people make comments about like, ‘well it doesn’t rain very often here, what good is it to put up a tank to catch it, and that is the reason why we would recommend putting up a rain tank is in a dryer climate,” Schwarz says.

The formula used to calculate the amount of rainwater is 0.6 gallons per 1 square inch of rainfall. Schwarz says, “Many people are surprised that you can get 0.6 gallons of water per inch of rain per square foot of ground. So for instance a fairly small one thousand square foot home roof could catch in one inch that’s 600 gallons just in one inch of rain.”

If we take our average yearly rainfall total of 20.9 inches and use the same variables of roof square footage, and one inch of rain, in 2022, a house could have gotten up to 12,540 gallons of water.

Schwarz mentions that plants in the garden respond better to rainwater than other sources, so using rainwater can help grow healthier plants. And it doesn’t take a large storage container to make a difference either. She says you can use “…a clean new trashcan or a recycled plastic barrel that was food grade. You can purchase rain barrels or small rain tanks.”

The Texas A&M AgriLife page has information on how to make a DIY version of a rain barrel. To see the step-by-step manual, click here.