Rainwater harvesting

water_rainbarrel205.jpgRainwater harvesting can be as simple as placing a barrel under a roof’s downspout for collecting water for your plants. Or it can be an elaborate arrangement of cisterns, pumps and filters to provide an entire household with water.

A common practice in the early 20th century, rainwater harvesting is becoming popular again in Texas for several reasons. The benefits include:

  1. Rainwater provides an alternative water source.
  2. It benefits plants more than chemically treated water.
  3. By using rainwater you can limit stormwater pollution by catching water that would otherwise wash over land and into waterways.
  4. Rainwater is naturally softened, so it lacks the minerals found in ground and surface water, making it easier on your plumbing.


Learn more

For more information, download the following publications and view these Web sites:


For more information on LCRA’s water conservation programs or publications, please call (512) 473-3200, Ext. 7471, or 1-800-776-5272, Ext. 7471. You may also reach us by e-mail through Ask LCRA.

​More Resources

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) awarded the 2008 annual Texas Rain Catcher Award to LCRA for LCRA's Redbud Center. Stop by and check out our innovative 31,000 gallon system, which collects both rainwater and air conditioning condensate for use in toilet flushing, make-up water for the highland lakes water features, and drip irrigation.

LCRA has compiled a list of rainwater harvesting suppliers and services. LCRA does not endorse any rainwater harvesting products or services, but provides this information as a convenience to the public.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has published guidelines for the collection and treatment of rainwater.

Did you Know?

There are currently no federal or state public health or safety standards for designing, constructing or maintaining rainwater systems. There also is no regulatory oversight for the use of rainwater by communities or public water supplies.

In 2005, the Texas State Legislature established a Rainwater Harvesting Evaluation Committee to study rainwater harvesting in Texas and recommend guidelines and standards for rainwater use.

Download the November 2006 Texas Rainwater Harvesting Evaluation Committee's report to the 80th Texas Legislature. The report is on the Texas Water Development Board's Web site.