El Paso gets about 8" of rain annually. During the stretch of drought for last few years it has been even less. With this scant rainfall is it even worth fitting a rainwater collection system?
1 inch of rain on a 1000 Sq. feet area amounts to about 600 gallons of water.
A large amount of water runs off on the hard surfaces during the rain, carrying with it many pollutants found on the roads and other urban hardscapes.
The rainwater becomes specially precious in our desert climate as the soil and the community water are alkaline. Rainwater normally has slightly acidic pH and is free of salts, minerals or disinfectants like chlorine & chloramine present in the community water supply. With these properties the rainwater allows plants to absorb nutrients more efficiently. It also reduces the soil alkalinity and possibly helps wash down some contaminants in the soil.
So yes, it is well worth harvesting the water in this desert climate and slowing down the runoff at least from our homes. Harvested water is used mostly for the garden. It is not potable as it carries with it dust and small debris from the roof and gutters.
We don’t realize but an amazing amount of water is collected off the roof in just 15-30 minutes of good rainfall.
The set up is extremely easy and does not need a professional to install the system.
You will need: