In Texas and other parts of the world where drought has become a frequent visitor, the importance of having enough water has come into full focus. Patricia Michael, teaching fellow of the International Permaculture Academy and landscape designer, says rainwater harvesting is an important part of disaster-proofing your home.
“One of the biggest disasters we could have down here is fire,” she says. Patricia lives with her husband, Bill Meacham, in Austin, Texas at the back end of a subdivision that
is not easily accessible for quick response from emergency vehicles. She notes that a fire hydrant used for any length of time lowers water pressure in the neighborhood. “Everyone needs a way to get water on their roof to put out sparks,” she says.
A gravity-fill water supply is the best solution. Last year Patricia and Bill bought a 5,000 gallon water tank. They use it to water their landscape. Patricia says the tank was three-fourths full before the recent drought. “It’s about one-third full now,” she says. “We are not going to use any more of it until it comes back up.”
Having a water collection system also is important for providing drinking water in an emergency. “I live on a creek. If there is a flood we could have a number hours without potable water,” Patricia says. “I use to buy jugs of water. Now I have a tank.”