Special Reports
Tucson Passes Rainwater-Harvesting Law

AWWA WaterWeek
October 27, 2008

Tucson Water's recommendation for the nation's first rainwater harvesting
ordinance for commercial development was adopted by the city council Oct.
14. The ordinance, effective June 1, 2010, requires new commercial
development to demonstrate an ability to capture and retain enough
rainfall to meet 50 percent of their landscape watering needs.

A 24-member technical advisory group will develop the specific technical
requirements for compliance with the ordinance ? including how to prepare
a water budget and a rainwater-harvesting implementation plan. The city
also has a rain harvesting Web site.

In September, the Tucson Council approved another ordinance recommended by
Tucson Water that requires pre-plumbing (i.e., stub-out) of graywater
systems in new housing construction. The ordinance does not mandate that
the graywater systems be used by occupants. Instead its intention is to
allow easier connection of a system at a later date.

Also, San Francisco launched a rainwater harvesting initiative to conserve
Northern California water as the statewide drought continues and to divert
stormwater from the sewer system. Customers can buy the first fully
outfitted 60-gallon rain barrel at a steeply discounted price of $69.99.

The $60 discount was made possible through a subsidy provided by the SFPUC
and a price reduction by Cole Hardware.


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