Stormwater Management

Published 2014
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Rainwater harvesting refers to the capture of rainwater to maximize its environmental and landscape value. Harvesting rainwater reduces stormwater runoff volume and velocity and can provide an alternative water source to help conserve potable water supplies. There are typically three primary components or steps in a rainwater harvesting system: 1) collection; 2) transport; and 3) infiltration or storage and use.
Collection generally occurs from rooftops or paved surfaces. The collected rainwater is then transported, often through downspouts or swales, and temporarily stored in a rain barrel, cistern, or other device for future use. The rainwater also may be diverted to planted areas, such as a rain garden, for infiltration and use by plants, or directly infiltrated into the soil through permeable paving or an underground structure such as a dry well. Rainwater harvesting systems are classified as green infrastructure which is targeted at capturing stormwater to infiltrate and/or store for later use, rather than allowing it to run off.

Publication Details


Kelly A Feehan

Kathryn A. Pekarek

Bobbi A. Holm

David P. Shelton

Steven N. Rodie

Thomas G. Franti


Natural Resources

Water Management

Publication Date June 10, 2014
Last Revision Date June 10, 2014
Language English



Series NebGuide