Rainwater harvesting has been an important part of human history and vital to the survival of our species. Evidence of this practice extends at least as far back to the time when we lived as hunter-gatherers. Later, it was integral to the ancient agrarian cultures of China and India. As societies progressed, so did humanity’s skills in this essential means of acquiring our most fundamental resource. In the days of the Roman empire, catching rain on rooftops was often the primary source of drinking water for cities and enclaves.
In more modern times we have moved away from this important means of accessing water. Instead, we have been transporting surface water and pumping groundwater. However, extensive pumping and over usage has drained the supply of usable water, which has led to hardships for many. Choosing to create a water-efficient garden is a compassionate act of conservation that benefits everyone.
While creating a water-efficient garden can begin with using drought tolerant native plants as well as hardy succulents, collecting and using natural precipitation increases your water efficiency. In essence, water harvesting- as it applies to yard designs- involves capturing and storing non-potable water for plant irrigation. In addition to being a boon for water conservation, this technique also pays dividends in the garden.