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News & Press: ARCSA Press Release


Friday, January 31, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Melonie Walter
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 27, 2014


The declaration on January 17, 2014, by California Governor Brown that the state is in an official drought emergency reinforces the value of harvesting rain and stormwater to provide distributed sources of safe water for non-potable purposes. The mission of the 501(c)3 nonprofit 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 significant amounts of high-quality water for potable and non-potable, residential and commercial uses. Given an average 12 inches of annual Southern California precipitation, a 1,500-square-foot residential roof could collect over 10,000 gallons annually. For a commercial 100,000 ft2 building, over 700,000 gallons could be harvested annually.

Despite record dry weather, it's looking increasingly unlikely that a multibillion-dollar water bond to pay for dams, conservation and parts of Gov. Jerry Brown's $25 billion plan to build two huge tunnels through the Delta will be placed on the November ballot. How about if the state used these funds to promote decentralized rain and stormwater harvesting systems?

Drought is nothing new to the Golden State – whether the short, but intense 1976-77 one; or the longer 1987-92 drought. But dry times inspire some creative thinking in California and across the nation. And this is where ARCSA plays an important educational and technical role to promote onsite water supply solutions, part of a multi-prong response. Not just large, regional water moving projects, but small, decentralized, onsite rain and stormwater harvesting systems, that will keep the funds in the local economy rather than exporting them to large multinational corporations.

Moreover, in a state where 20% of its total electricity is used to move water from north and from east to Southern California, promoting local rain and stormwater harvesting systems can help reduce electrical demand to pump water hundreds of miles from distant watersheds to consumers.

ARCSA is gathering funds, experts and technical writers to create a national rainwater harvesting manual and is soliciting tax-deductible donations. For more information, please contact Heather Kinkade, Executive Director ARCSA, at 512-617-6528 or

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