The rain can be a great source of water for homes, gardens, livestock and many other uses – but you do have to do your homework before you aim a downspout into the kitchen sink. First and foremost, the rain (like any other natural resource) can be unpredictable. This means that living off rain water alone is problematic. Sometimes there’s too much, and other times – there is none. Another issue is contamination. The birds, bugs and other beasts that do their business on your roof or other collection surface are contaminating the water with bacteria, viruses and many other pathogens. This means that effective filtration and/or disinfection are needed before you use the water for drinking or bathing. Finally, you’ll have to research the local legal issues with rain collection. In some areas, you could be technically committing an "unlawful diversion of rainwater." Even though rain collection makes a lot of sense, it can still be considered a violation of water rights if it’s happening on a large scale and without the proper permits. But don’t worry, the SWAT team isn’t coming to get you because you have a water barrel under your rain gutter.
And if that’s not enough, you can:
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