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U of A promotes system to harvest rainwater

PHOENIX — If you’ve got a lot of water at your house after Wednesday’s storm, you may be able to put it to good use.

The University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension Facility in Phoenix is teaching something residents about rainwater harvesting. The system involves catching the rainwater in a barrel and distributing the water elsewhere in your yard.

Summer Waters with U of A said the system can be built to whatever you want.

“It go from a simple, small-scale, something that you attach to an accessory structure like your shed out back, to a large-scale system that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she said, adding that water can be redirected to a garden or other areas of your yard.

A big rainstorm can send a lot of water to your house.

“If you have a 2,000-square-foot house, and you get a one-inch storm, you can get 1,200 gallons of water,” Waters said.

Rainwater harvesting dates back to the third century BC, when farming communities in what is now Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan used it for irrigation.

You can learn more about rainwater harvesting during the University’s Dragonfly event Saturday in Phoenix.