Agricultural Rainwater Harvesting: Every Drop Counts

While much of the United States has seen higher than average amounts of snow and rain this year, the west coast is contending with one of the worst droughts in more than a century. California is experiencing its driest year on record since 1895, and its farmlands and vineyards are starved for water.

The state did get a brief respite a few weeks ago as several storms moved through the region. In Santa Cruz County, which saw anywhere from 1-9 inches of rain, farmers with rainwater harvesting systems in place are relishing the opportunity to replenish their water supplies. In a story published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, vineyard owner Jerold O’Brien details how he uses his rainwater collection system to irrigate his 18-acre vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

O’Brien’s wine aging bunker is covered by a slanted roof, which is covered with solar panels that generate electricity. The 6,000 sq. ft. roof also funnels rainwater into several plastic harvesting tanks, which he uses to irrigate the land. “An inch of rain produces 4,000 gallons of water. Ten or 11 inches will take O’Brien through the winter and the first month or two of the dry season.” Though the rain from the most recent storm isn’t enough to offset the drought, it does keep O’Brien from having to draw on his well for irrigation.

Tanks Direct offers fiberglass and steel rainwater harvesting tanks and systems, which can be used for everything from agriculture to urban green facilities. Contact us today for more information.

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