Fight Drought with Rooftop Rainwater Collection

Rainwater Tank

Target: EPA IO Deputy Assistant Administrator Ken Kopocis; EPA IO Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Michael Shapiro

Goal: Ease drought by harvesting rooftop rainwater runoff.

Drought has become a national concern in the US. Even Seattle is in the midst of a drought. If Seattle isn’t safe, nobody is safe. Part of the reason for this is that we don’t make use of the water that is delivered right to our doorsteps, instead relying on water pumped from underground. The majority of the water that hits a rooftop or the ground will ultimately end up in the ocean, having been completely wasted.

The aquifers that provide the well water we pump are a finite resource. Many natural ecosystems depend on these and we use them recklessly.  All of these factors contribute to drought. If we simply harvested the water that hit our rooftops, our demand for well water would be greatly reduced. We would have less drought, and would see benefits like decreased tree die-off.

The only way that this is going to happen on a large scale is if individual households and businesses receive financial incentives to fit their rooftops with rain harvesting hardware and storage, and to make it compulsory for developers to outfit all new buildings with the same. This is a national concern, but one where action can really only be spurred at a city-wide level. For that reason, please take the time to request the help of the EPA to urge municipal government to take appropriate action.


Dear Administrator Kopocis and Administrator Shapiro,

Drought is becoming a national concern. In the midst of widespread drought, most US citizens are wasting the water that can be utilized at no environmental cost (rainwater), while we are pumping all of our water from wells. Our aquifers cannot take that strain. We need to start harvesting rooftop rainwater, en masse, or there will be devastating consequences.

Municipal authorities need to enact measures to financially compensate individuals and businesses who outfit their homes and work facilities with rain catchment systems. It needs to be compulsory that all new structures that are erected are outfitted with the same.

I urge you to use your influence with the EPA to convince municipal authorities to recognize this problem and implement the policies necessary to remedy it.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: E. Dusingizumuremyi

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