Currently in China and Brazil, rooftop rainwater harvesting is being practiced for providing drinking water, domestic water, water for livestock, water for small irrigation and a way to replenish ground water levels. Gansu province inh China and semi-arid north east Brazil have the largest rooftop rainwater harvesting projects ongoing.In Rajasthan, India rainwater harvesting has traditionally been practiced by the people of the Thar Desert.In Bermuda, the law requires all new construction to include rainwater harvesting adequate for the residents, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have a similar law.In Senegal/Guinea-Bissau, the houses of the Diola-people are frequently equipped with homebrew rainwater harvesters made from local, organic material.In the Ayerwaddy Delta of Myanmar, the groundwater is saline and communities rely on mud lined rainwater ponds to meet their drinking water needs throughout the dry season. Some of these ponds are centuries old and are treated with great reverence and respect.Until 2009 in Colorado, water rights laws restricted rainwater harvesting; a property owner who captured rainwater was deemed to be stealing it from those who have rights to take water from the watershed. The main factor in persuading the Colorado Legislature to change the law was a 2007 study that found that in an average year, 97% of the precipitation that fell in Douglas County, in the southern suburbs of Denver, never reached a stream—it was used by plants or evaporated on the ground. In Utah and Washington State, collecting rainwater from the roof is illegal unless the roof owner also owns water rights on the ground. In New Mexico, rainwater catchment is mandatory for new dwellings in Santa Fe.
Rainwater that isn’t collected does go into the ground. Most filters and seeps it’s way to become part of the groundwater. Read more about the water cycle to learn about where water goes after it rains.
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