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 email Ask LCRA.

​More Resources

Stop by and check out LCRA Redbud Center's innovative 31,000 gallon water harvesting 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. For more information about rainwater harvesting, please visit the Texas Water Development Board.

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

The mission of The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world.

Visit the Rainwater Harvesting website for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. This website is full of information about rainwater harvesting basics (including videos), upcoming events and programs, and locations where you can see a rainwater harvesting demonstration site in person.