Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects to Make at Home

Last Updated on June 24, 2019 by Ellen Christian

Have you given any thought to rainwater harvesting DIY projects? With all of the changes to our world and our weather, it seems like this may make sense. Most importantly, we need to understand water isn’t an unending resource. There are things we can do to help.

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Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects to Make at Home

Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects

Whether you want to try a few rainwater harvesting DIY projects for fun or necessity, keep reading. Water may become more scarce. Or, a power outage may mean your water pump doesn’t work. 

Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects to Make at Home

Let’s say the power goes out tomorrow.  If you’re anything like me, no power means I can’t turn the kitchen sink on to get water.  What’s your backup plan? Bottled water only goes so far.  What happens if you need to water the garden?  Feed the animals?

Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects to Make at Home

Or maybe you just live in an area that tends to be dry in the summer? Are you tired of being told you can’t water your lawn or your flowers?  If you collect your own rainwater, you’ll have it available when you need it and not have to worry about being told not to use the water.

Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects to Make at Home

What states is it legal to collect rainwater?

Believe it or not, there are actually states that have passed laws making it illegal to collect your rainwater. Check with your state for the most up to date regulations. 

homemade rain barrels near a house

DIY rain barrel

So, Marty and I really want to look into our options for rainwater harvesting.  And, one of the simplest options is a rain barrel.  Basically, a rain barrel connects to your gutters and harvests or collects the water coming off your roof.  They can be large or small and come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. I’ve written about this before. So, you can find more about our thoughts on homemade rain barrels. And, check out this DIY rain barrel stand by The Handyman’s Daughter.

Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects to Make at Home

So, if you have gutters on your home, you may want to use them for rainwater harvesting. First, you’d need to channel the rain into a barrel or an underwater cistern. And, if all you plan on doing is using this water to water your garden, it’s fairly simple to do. But, if you hope to use it for cooking or drinking, you will need to filter it. And, you’ll need to store it in a way that prevents bacteria from growing. So you should learn how to filter water in a rain barrel from The Prepper Journal.

Water collection methods

So, there are several simple water collection methods you can try. The easiest are gutters, rain barrels, rain chains, free-standing buckets, and ollas. And, if you want to collect rainwater in your garden, an olla pictured above is a great method for a longer term. Or, you can also use long raised beds to buffer moisture levels. Next, check out the post by Practical Self Reliance to get started.

Rainwater Harvesting DIY Projects to Make at Home

Rain chains for rainwater harvesting

But, if you don’t have gutters on your home, you can still collect rainwater. First, by attaching a rain chain to the roof, the water will drop down and collect in a barrel below it. You can buy one. Or, check out the video below to learn how to make your own. And, this blog post by Salvaged Living has step by step directions.

So, if you’re concerned about the lack of rainfall in your area, try one of these rainwater harvesting DIY projects. Certainly, they will at least allow you to water your grass or your garden even when water is scarce. Finally, be sure you check with your municipality to be sure if it’s legal in your area.

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