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Tucson Water encourages customers to conserve rainwater during monsoon

Rainwater Harvesting
Posted at 6:43 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 14:24:44-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — In Pima County's Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, plants are thriving after one of the wettest monsoons on record. When the storms stop, their plants won't have to suffer because gardeners have been storing rainwater all Summer long.

"This plastic cistern is about 1,300 gallons. That's a pretty typical size that we see customers install," said Tucson Water Water Conservation Manager, Candice Rupprecht.

Rupprecht said over 2,600 Tucson Water customers have installed a system like this in their backyard.

"Active harvesting is when a customer installs a tank or cistern, captures the water from the roof and then they are able to use that water for future irrigation demand. They don't have to use it at the time it rains. They can store it for the future," said Rupprecht.

The method is known as "rainwater harvesting." There are several ways residents can use the water they store.

"Most of the time they are watering their trees and shrubs with this water harvesting. However, we have seen customers who use it to fill their swimming pools, fountains or bird baths," said Rupprecht.

There is also a simpler approach residents can take. Rupprecht said subtle changes to your landscape will help conserve water and better irrigate plants.

"We do that by creating earthworks, berms and basins. We move the land around to make sure water can stay on the property," said Rupprecht.

Tucson Water customers have collected 70 million gallons of rainwater through harvesting. While they're helping the environment, they're also saving big bucks.

"It really helps you save water in your landscape and also helps you save on your bill. If you use rainwater instead of tap water, it's water that is free to you," said Rupprecht.

Tucson Water customers that harvest rainwater on their property and attend a free workshop can earn a rebate up to $2,000. To learn more, click here.