Blog Rainwater Harvesting Can Help in Drought-Stricken Areas August 23, 2021August 31, 2021Jeremy KelseyGutters Water continues to be in short supply in many parts of the country, with the western and northwestern portions of the United States suffering from persistent drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, this year, eleven states have been suffering from extreme drought conditions: New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming. In the driest areas, wildfires, some of which are started by lightning, are common. How Rainwater Harvesting Works When the dog days of summer arrive, every drop of rain matters in drought-stricken areas. Placing rain barrels underneath downspouts – also known as rainwater harvesting – could make all the difference for parched lawns, gardens, trees and houseplants. A rain barrel is any type of container used to collect water running off a roof or other surface. It is placed at the base of a short downspout, directing water runoff into the rain barrel. This reduces your reliance on other water sources and cuts down on the amount of stormwater runoff released into drainage systems. It’s a smart, simple solution that can save you money. Ideally, you should have a rain barrel for each of your home’s downspouts. For every inch of rain that falls on a roof area of 1,000 square feet, you can expect to collect about 600 gallons of water. What You Need Start with a properly functioning gutter system that transports water without leaking or overflowing. Underneath each downspout, install a rain barrel on a sturdy concrete or wood base. If the barrels are open, you’ll need mesh screens to cover them. Gutter Helmet® rain gutter guards are also an important component of a rainwater harvesting system because of the way they filter the water by keeping leaves, twigs and pine needles out of the gutters, and thus out of the rain barrels. Improve Your Gutter System With Gutter Helmet® Learn more about the cost of Gutter Helmet® rain gutter covers and the role they can play in rainwater harvesting by calling (800) 824-3772 or submitting an online request for a free, no-obligation consultation.