Rain barrel rethink?

There is widespread concern over our lack of rain in Southern California so far this year. (If you have natives, now is the time to water deeply so that they last through the summer). In these circumstances, attention naturally turns to using water more effectively.

I've been opposed to rain barrels as an effective means of storing water since our typical rainfall pattern makes them very inefficient. The storms that drop enough water to run off also drop far more than can be effectively stored in a typical 50 or 100 gallon barrel storing run off from a typical roof pitch: It's far better to just keep the water on property in the ground. Of course this assumes that you can create or already have a suitable retention and infiltration area (for many homes this is a lawn area). Also, I think that my analysis was confined to 50 gallon or 100 gallon barrels.

This 350 gallon tank with manifolded drip system is temporarily watering a native plant restoration site in Lunada Canyon, but it reminded me of my rain barrel analysis that condemned their effectiveness.

You'd have to reconcile the industrial look of this barrel with your garden. Perhaps a location in a service yard or behind a screen would make sense.

You wouldn't want to integrate a pump due to the added complications, but if you wanted to keep a hillside watered from above, then this gravity system might be the ticket.

Sent from my iPhone at great expense

- Posted from my iPhone

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