An easy way to conserve

With the banging of hammers on roofs still a familiar sound after the May hailstorm, we want to put in a good word about collecting natural rainwater for our gardens.

When replacing gutters after a roof job, consider installing rainwater barrels at some or all of your gutter downspouts. It is an easy, inexpensive way to have water readily available for gardens and flower beds.

With water growing more scarce in the Texas Hill Country, this is a simple way to use nature’s abundance.

Rainwater is pure and can contain more nitrogen (healthy for plants) and less minerals (which result in “hard water”).

Some filtered rainwater systems can even provide clear, safe water for potable use. But any harvesting of rainwater is helpful in the big picture. It is amazing how much even a modest rain can contribute to water collection.

One inch of rain drops more than 1,000 gallons of water on a 2,000-square-foot roof. That is certainly enough to fill several 55-gallon-sized containers to capacity.

And over time, that can make a huge difference in water bills and water use, particularly for those with green thumbs.

Cisterns were commonly used in the olden days until most of us were spoiled by municipal plumbing. But with water shortages challenging the Hill Country, rainwater provides a part of the conservation solution.

The placement of rainwater collection barrels is a simple step to begin your own conservation efforts at home.

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