Thank you, Emily Green, posting at “Chance of Rain,” for expressing your ambivalence about rain barrels. Owen Dell’s feelings, in contrast, are unconflicted. He calls them “another delusional, greenwashed, pernicious consumer scam.” Jay Lund, at UC Davis, calculates that the water provided by rain barrels water is ridiculously expensive. Even more dramatically,
…if a rain barrel’s installation removes 8 square feet of a highly watered lawn (1 to 2 acre-feet a year), the gallons saved from reducing the irrigated area would be similar to the water provided by the rain barrel.
O, People of the Rain Barrel, please consider irrigating a little less rather than buying another barrel! Consider taking that money you were going to spend on a rain barrel and use it for an efficient showerhead, a swale, or a rain garden.