Rainwater Harvesting Guidelines

Client: Urban Watershed Management Program, San Francisco

Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting and using rainwater from hard surfaces such as roofs. It is an age-old technology that is growing in popularity as people look for ways to use water resources more wisely. Communities in ancient Rome were designed with individual cisterns and paved courtyards, which captured rainwater to augment supply from the city’s aqueducts.

Until recently, urban areas served by municipal water have tended to overlook rainwater as a water resource. San Francisco would like to change that by raising awareness of rainwater harvesting and promoting its use.

The City of San Francisco’s Urban Watershed Management staff worked with WRE in the development of a Rainwater Harvesting Manual, a technical guide for homeowners and businesses. The manual describes the many benefits of rainwater harvesting and provides users the information necessary to plan and design their own system in compliance with regulatory requirements.