New York apparently gets around 46 inches of rain a year (probably about 4x – 5x what my little chunk of Australia does), but it’s still no reason to waste it.
Roads, buildings and other hard surfaces cover approximately nearly three quarters of New York City’s land area – so when it rains, much of that water doesn’t replenish the earth, but just runs off. NYC’s own water supply is sourced a long way from the city.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, over 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted stormwater discharge into New York Harbor each year.
The harbor doesn’t need that fresh water in polluted form or otherwise as it can do a great deal of harm to the harbor’s aquatic ecosystem, so New Yorkers may as well capture and use what they can as a part of drought-proofing and reducing the load on the city’s water supply and stormwater infrastructure.
As part of the city’s NYC Green Infrastructure Plan, 1,000 free 55 gallon rain barrels will be given away to single and two-family homeowners by the Department of Environmental Protection ( DEP) in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island over the next few weeks (the Brooklyn giveaway has already happened).
The barrels will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The rain barrels connect directly to an existing downpipe and a spigot on the barrel allows for a hose to be connected for watering gardens. The DEP says it is providing residents with an easy-to-use installation kit.
What a great initiative. Here’s the dates and places where people can pick up a barrel:
Queens: Saturday, April 30; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Cunningham Park, 196th Place and Union Turnpike.
The Bronx: Saturday, May 7; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Pelham Bay Park, Middletown Road Parking Lot on Stadium Avenue.
Staten Island: Saturday, May 7; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard.
Live in New York or have friends or family in those locations? Let them know about this initiative – click on the Facebook recommend button below.
For the rest of us, a rain barrel is a great investment – they cost around $70 – $150. Learn more about rain barrels.
Simple water saving tips
Saving water in the garden