Water, Water Everywhere

The rain barrel is full. The trashcan we use as rain barrel overflow is full. The wheelbarrow is full. And so is any child’s watering can or wagon, empty planter or bucket—any container that’s been left outdoors in the deluge of the last week or so. In this weather, the thought of collecting rainwater doesn’t seem very urgent. But you can bet that we’ll need it; here in Fort Worth, we always do. If you haven’t yet started collecting rainwater for use on your landscaping or vegetable garden, now’s a good time to think about doing so: It’ll save you about 50 gallons of water every time it rains. We got our rain barrel at Marshall Grain more than a year ago. The thing that surprises just about everyone who’s new to rainwater harvesting is how quickly your proud new 50-gallon barrel will fill up. When hooked up to a gutter downspout, a good hard rain will fill it in an unceremonious five minutes flat. And you, like so many others before you, will start thinking about investing in a second barrel the very first time you watch your new barrel in action. I recently wrote an article for the September 2009 issue of Fort Worth, Texas magazine about small ways to go green, and met water expert Dotty Woodson, who conducts workshops in the DFW area to teach locals how to make their own rain barrels. Check it out to learn more about Dotty and other inspiring Cowtown characters who are leading by example, making life in Fort Worth a little greener.