Rain Barrels and Cisterns
Free water, anyone? Collect it, store it, use it! Why let rain water run off your roof and down the drain? Harvest this free and valuable resource for use in the garden with rain barrels. Rain barrels and other storage options come in all manner of shapes and sizes from simple recycled pickle barrels to classic wine casks. Newer options include expandable modular rainboxes, flexible 'rain pillows' lying hidden under a deck, tall columnar cylinders, and even large cistern storage systems below ground. Cisterns can be low tech gravity-driven units for local water use, larger systems utilizing pumps for longer distances. The variety of sizes and shapes means that water storage can be accomplished in most any garden.
Outdoor water use accounts for 30-80% of water demand, requiring 13% of electrical demand to supply clean water. US Deptartmentof Energy