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Southwest Regional Reports

Using Rainwater Wisely in the Southwest

These water-wise techniques will help you get the most out of rain showers

Using rocks to create a tiered series of basins controls and stores rainwater runoff. Photo: courtesy of Dan Johnson, Denver Botanic Gardens

There are many ways to collect and reuse rainwater on your property to benefit both your garden and the environment. In the Southwest this is especially important. In this report, we’ll cover some ways to easily adapt your gardens to take advantage of rainwater harvesting. We will also revisit Dan Johnson’s Tucson, Arizona, garden to discuss his use of natural precipitation to create a rain garden.

How to harvest rainwater

Harvesting rainwater, if approved by your local government, is a great tool not only to save money but to provide your plants with fresh and clean water. If you’re lucky enough to be building your garden landscape from the ground up, then you can create a rain garden, but if you’re attempting to use what Mother Nature provides, then rainwater collection tanks are the perfect option. These tanks range in size (50 gallons to more than 5,000 gallons),…

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