New International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance

New International Rainwater Harvesting AllianceContinuing its efforts to promote rainwater harvesting education and propagation, The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association and the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance recently announced a newly formed partnership to work for the inclusion of rainwater harvesting within integrated water resource management strategies and to promote the practice of recharge, retention and use of rainwater.

The mission of IRHA, formed in 2002, is to reinforce and unify the movement of the Rainwater Harvesters and to promote rainwater harvesting as a management of a water resource.

ARCSA, whose mission is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world, hopes the IRHA alliance is the first many.

ARCSA and IRHA agree it is important to raise awareness, share knowledge, and increase local water capacity through rainwater harvesting techniques and project implementation, resulting in local ownership and a shift of project management to non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in developing countries.

To learn more about this historic partnership toward developing rainwater harvesting education and awareness, please click here.

“Water Drops In Green Stem” courtesy of SweetCrisis /


Can Rainwater Catchment Help Protect Resources that Attract Tourism?

Can Rainwater Catchment Help Protect Resources that Attract Tourism?Big Butte Springs supplies the majority of the Rogue Valley, OR water needs. Water usage at local residences is typically more than three times higher during the summer than the winter.

Can rainwater catchment help protect resources that attract tourism?

During the summer months, when water usage more than triples, Medford utilizes water from the Rogue River as well.  Annual rainfall is 18.31 inches, with only 1.87 inches of rainfall during the dry season (June through September).  A population of over 76,000  increases use dramatically during the summer months with tourism, contributing to the demand on water resources.

What are the effects of these demands on the river, the very attraction that draws tourists during those summer months?  Could the effects of the increased “draw down” of the river affect the salmon run?  What impact does this have on tourism for Medford, Oregon?

Conservation of a fragile ecosystem involves investing in alternative technologies (like rainwater catchment), changing or improving existing practices and implementing different measures to increase the sustainability of  our resources. Protecting our natural environment while protecting jobs in a small town dependent on summer tourism can be achieved with small practical changes.

How to Maintain a Rainwater Collection System

How to Maintain a Rainwater Collection SystemWhether your rainwater collection system consists of simple rain barrels or whole house potable usage, maintenance of your system is essential to its successful operation. Simple tasks will keep clean water flowing for years to come with little effort.

Here are tips for how to maintain a rainwater collection system:
  • Gutters should be kept free of leaves and pine needles so as not to create tannins or discoloration of the water.
  • If possible, cisterns should be placed in a shady area so as not to promote algae growth. A screen basket at the entrance of the cistern to keep debris from entering should be cleaned as needed.
  • If a sump tank is used for transferring water to cisterns, periodic cleaning will help keep the water in the cistern cleaner.
  • Any PVC pipe should be painted for UV protection and protected from freezing.
  • Filtration elements should be changed as needed with canisters cleaned at time of changing elements.
  • If the system is for potable use, the UV bulb should be changed per manufacturers recommendations.
  • Shocking the system with chlorine during UV change will help keep the plumbing lines disinfected.
  • Finally, keeping a log of maintenance will help keep a schedule of your tasks.

You can Click Here to download a free copy of RainBank’s recommended maintenance schedule.