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News & Press: ARCSA Press Release


Friday, March 21, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Melonie Walter
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The nation’s drinking-water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life, according to the 2013 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure compiled by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Water Companies found:

  • 7 TRILLION gallons per day are wasted due to 240,000 water main breaks each year
  • Over $1 TRILLION is needed over 10 years to repair water systems
  • $39 billion needed in California alone; and $12.8 billion for Florida


Individuals can protect their personal water supply from disruptions by supplementing utility water with rainwater harvesting. The mission of the 501(c)3 non-profit American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association ( is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world. A well-designed, installed and maintained rainwater harvesting system can provide high-quality water for potable and non-potable, residential and commercial uses.


For example, if your average annual rainfall is 12 inches of precipitation, you could collect:

  • 10,000 gallons annually from a 1,500 ft2 residential roof, or
  • 700,000 gallons annually from a 100,000 ft2 commercial building.

If your annual precipitation averages 42 inches per year, you could collect:

  • 39,000 gallons annually from a 1,500 ft2 residential roof, or
  • 2.6 million gallons annually from a 100,000 ft2 commercial building.

Capturing rooftop water also reduces stormwater runoff and pollution, benefitting local water bodies.


While we generally have high-quality drinking water and contamination is rare, much of the nation’s water infrastructure is over 50 years old, overused and underserviced. Wasteful leaks and breaks are frequent. Delayed replacement means higher costs, disruption of daily life, health risks and greater expense. While both centralized and decentralized improvements mean jobs and reduced long-term cost, rainwater harvesting represents a new industry growing around an ancient practice.


ARCSA is the premier national educational and technical rainwater harvesting organization. Decentralized onsite rain- and stormwater harvesting systems can deliver a partial solution to our aging water delivery infrastructure and support new job creation.


ARCSA is currently accepting tax-deductible donations to produce a comprehensive rainwater harvesting manual written by its many experts and technical writers, and to host on-line and in-person training events across the country. Consult ARCSA’s website for rainwater harvesting systems, suppliers, trainings, and research information. For more information, contact Heather Kinkade, Executive Director, at 512-617-6528 or

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