This decision support tool is designed to help communities in the southwestern United States understand the role water harvesting can play in meeting water resource challenges while providing multiple additional benefits. It also introduces water harvesting techniques and suggests ways to implement locally appropriate water harvesting efforts.
The Toolbox contains five tools:
- Tool 1 is a video presentation entitled “Guide to Assessing Rainwater and Stormwater Harvesting Potential.” This narrated 95-slide, 54-minute video leads users through eight steps, from general orientation to water harvesting strategies and techniques to specific water harvesting implementation options.
- Tool 2 is a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet that consists of four data tables and associated charts, allowing users to insert location-specific data to tabulate water resource challenges, water harvesting benefits, and future water harvesting priorities.
- Tool 3 is another Excel® spreadsheet that can be used to determine the optimum ratio of water harvesting catchment area to plant-canopy area. Rainfall, evapotranspiration, and plant water demand data are provided within the spreadsheet for urban areas in the Southwest U.S.
- Tool 4 is a website hosting links to numerous resources and in-depth information about the water harvesting topics introduced in the Tool 1 presentation.
- Tool 5 is a customizable Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation that helps users create a concise and effective presentation for decision makers and the public.
A separate Facilitator’s Instructions document presents the five tools in the Toolbox and step-by-step instructions for using them.
The Toolbox is intended for a wide range of users. In order to make most effective use of the Toolbox, a local facilitator should convene a varied group of community personnel (water supply management, stormwater management, transportation, planning, engineering, etc.) to go through the water harvesting assessment process together.