FLOW OF INFORMATION T

he St. Johns Water District Web site, www.fl oridaswater.com, is loaded with

informative and useful tools, including the one on facing page. For example, you can download a technical manual or locate train-

ing for irrigation and landscape profession- als who want to get Florida Water Star ac- creditation. There’s also a water-wise plant database, featuring more than 800 low-water plant species.

RAINWATER HARVESTING MODELING A

long with conserving water, a next step is rainwater collection. While research-

ing for our new VISION House in Innoven- tions at Epcot Center in Orlando, we took

a close look at the potential for rainwater harvesting in Central Florida. In the process, we re-visited some basic calculations that could be put to use anywhere in the country.

First, there’s a simple formula for computing rainfall potential, borrowed from the Raindrops Cisterns Web site (www.rdcisterns.com):

&#62; Square footage of roof area x .6 = gallons per 1 inch of rain

&#62; Gallons per 1 inch of rain x average inches rain per month = amount available for collection

EXAMPLE &#62; Square footage of roof area (length x width) = 1,800 sq. ft

&#62; 1,800 x .6 = 1,080 gallons

&#62; Average inches of rain per month in most of Florida is 3 inches. This does not include June, July, August and September, when rainfall is about double that amount.

&#62; 1,080 gallons x 3 = 3,240 gallons collected

&#62; Let us assume 2 people live in this home. With each person using 69 gallons of water per day (this is average), the total is 138 gallons per day, or 966 gallons per week and 3,864 gallons per month.

&#62; Considering the fre- quency of rain, a 1,000- to 2,000-gallon storage capacity would be a good choice.

Most regions in the U.S. can provide monthly and annual rainfall data such as this record for Orlando, Florida. It’s easy to size and plan a rainwater system, assuming future weather patterns don’t change dramatically.

Here’s a shot of the main living area from the kitchen end, and a closer look at the sleek, austere bathroom (below).

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