Rainwater Catchment Systems

By Rodrigo Frias and Will Rak


If you live in the Puget Sound area, managing rainwater on your property can be a tricky prospect. It might seem like an impossible task to turn something that is often seen as an inconvenience into something beneficial – but it’s entirely possible! With the help of a landscape designer with permaculture experience, you can learn to capture and redirect rainwater so it works for you instead of against you. Read on to find out how!

Capturing Rainwater

The first step in managing rainwater is consider capturing it for later use. Rain barrels, cisterns or ponds are great ways of doing this – these can store varying amounts of water which can then be used later when needed. This can be especially useful during dry summer months where there is no water available.

Redirecting Water

If you have hit your storage capacity or don’t have the means to capture rainwater, it’s time to think about redirecting the water to more functional locations on your property. For example, you could direct the water towards food forests or fruit tree orchards so that they have an additional source of hydration. Dry streams, French drains and naturally looking swales are great ways of doing this – they act as conduits for the water and allow it to flow naturally around your property without causing flooding or drainage issues.

Replenishing Our Water Table

If you still have some more water to spare, it’s time to look at replenishing our water table by allowing the rainwater permeate through the ground naturally. Swales, rain gardens and dry wells are all good options here – they will help ensure that the water seeps down into the soil rather than running off into nearby rivers or streams and causing problems elsewhere.

Redirect Excess Rainwater Responsibly

Finally, once all other options have been exhausted, redirect rainwater responsibly to your city infrastructure and avoid sending passing down the problem to your neighbor. They will thank you for that!

Rainwater doesn’t have to be an inconvenience – if managed correctly it can even become a valuable resource! By capturing rainwater for later use, redirecting it towards functional areas such as food forests and replenishing our water table with specialized features such as swales and dry wells we can make sure that we’re making full use of our natural resources responsibly – while also avoiding any drainage issues in our own backyard! With the help of a landscape designer with permaculture experience you too can learn how best to manage your rainfall – ensuring both environmental sustainability and aesthetic design go hand-in-hand!


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