The rain water is collected by the roof gutters and emptied into the 520 gallon cistern. It is then used to water the fruit trees in the courtyard, and landscaping.
Rain water is much healthier for plants, as it contains the nutrients and minerals necessary for growth and healthy fruit. Municipal water is filtered and chemicals are added for human benefit, and not exactly beneficial to plants. Many of the nutrients that benefit plants are removed with the city water treatment purification systems.
The plant or tree will grow when watered with city water, but not flourish as with rain water.
Everyone must pay to use water. When you think of it, water is very inexpensive. There are places where water rationing is normal, people in those areas are used to rationing every summer. Here in the desert, it is surprising how affordable and available our water is. Suppose one day it were not as available? If the cost of water was too high to afford? If we start conserving today, we can help prevent worsening water shortages, such as the situation in Southern California. The Vision House Tucson has low water use fixtures. Every bit helps.
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