Roofwater Harvesting Policy and Resources

The following is a list of websites, tax incentives, reports and publications for rainwater catchment systems legislation, policy guidelines, design and installation. The resources are listed alphabetically by country, then state, then city or publication title. It is our hope that citizens and policy makers will use this information to create policy language, pass initiatives and install rainwater catchment systems in their own cities, states and countries. Click here to download a PDF of this resource list.

Thanks to the following organizations and web sites from which many of our resources were derived:,,,,



• Gold Coast City Council –
This city council has created a Waterfuture Strategy to meet the water savings targets established by the Queensland State government in Dec. 2006 (see below). The Council mandates the installation of rainwater tanks for non-potable uses such as washing machines, toilets and outdoor uses on all new residential and commercial construction. This site has policy language and guidelines for homeowners, builders and planners.

• State of Queensland – This is the main page for Queensland’s Water Savings Targets. To view the code, go to and refer to the following:

•    MP 4.1 Sustainable Buildings, which sets the mandatory water and energy efficiency measures required for new Class 1 buildings (houses, townhouses, terrace houses) and Class 2 sole occupancy units (units).

•    MP 4.2 Water Savings Targets, which requires that new Class 1 buildings meet prescribed water savings. This can be achieved through the installation of a rainwater tank, communal rainwater tank, dual reticulation, stormwater reuse, or a greywater treatment plant. To view a FAQ Sheet on this go to:

•    MP 4.3 Alternative Water Sources Commercial Buildings, which sets the mandatory requirements for all new commercial and industrial buildings to have an alternative water source. This can be achieved through the installation of a rainwater tank, water storage tank or a greywater treatment plant.

•    To see all the guidelines and factsheets developed for these parts of the code go to:


•    For information on Arizona rainwater harvesting tax credits go to:
•    The City of Tucson’s Commercial Rainwater Harvesting Ordinance went into effect in 2010. This ordinance applies to new commercial construction, whose facilities must meet 50% of their landscape demand using harvested rainwater, prepare a site water harvesting plan and water budget, meter outdoor water use and use irrigation controls that respond to soil moisture conditions at the site.
•    City of Tucson Water Harvesting Guidance Manual:

•    AB 300 – Ensures that homebuilders receive credit for voluntary water demand measures:
•    AB 1408 – Ensures that water conservation measures continue when properties are sold:
•    AB 1834 The Rainwater Capture Bill was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010 and will be reintroduced in 2011:
•    Berkeley Rainwater Harvesting Guidelines:
•    San Francisco’s Rebate Program:

•    Guidelines on Rainwater Catchment Systems for Hawaii by Patricia S. H. Macomber. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Publication no. RM-12. ISBN: 1929325118. (revised 2010)
•    Senate Concurrent Resolution 128 to Promote Roof Water Harvesting: states that the water boards from each county are requested to study the feasibility of launching a water conservation program that promotes the installation of rainwater catchment systems:

New Mexico
•    Albuquerque and Bernalillo Counties -
These counties have mandated rainwater tank and water harvesting earthwork installation on new residential and commercial construction. They also have a rebate program at:
•    County of Santa Fe – This county has passed water saving rules that mandate rainwater harvesting into tank and water harvesting earthwork installations on new residential and commercial construction. To download a copy of the ordinance, go to: Harvesting Ordinance.pdf
•    Storm Water as a Resource: How to Harvest and Protect a Dryland Treasure
City of Santa Fe, New Mexico (2002)

North Carolina

•    The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water has implemented a Community Conservation Assistance Program, a voluntary, incentive-based program designed to improve water quality through the installation of various best management practices (BMPs), including rainwater harvesting, on urban, suburban and rural lands, not directly involved in agricultural production. Go to: .
To see the Division of Water Quality’s technical assistance handout on Stormwater Treatment Credit for Rainwater Harvesting Systems, download:

•    The State of Ohio has the most extensive rules on rainwater harvesting in the United States, with code on cistern size and material, manhole openings, outlet drains, overflow pipes, fittings, couplings, and even roof washers. Ohio’s rules also address disinfection of private water systems.

•    The City of Portland has developed the following Code Guide for rainwater harvesting systems for interior use or combined interior and exterior use to be found at:

•    City of Austin Rain Barrel and Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Program:
•    HB 645, passed by the 78th Legislature in 2003, prevents homeowners associations from banning outdoor water-conserving measures such as composting, water-efficient landscapes, drip irrigation, and rainwater harvesting installations.
•    Rainwater Harvesting Potential and Guidelines for Texas by the Texas Water Development Board (2006):
•    Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Harvesting, Storing and Treating Rainwater for Domestic Indoor Use:
•    Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Guidelines for public water systems on regulations about using rainwater:
•    Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements for large water users to develop water conservation plans:
•    Texas Manual On Rainwater Harvesting 3rd Edition by the Texas Water Development Board (2005):

•    While the water in Utah is owned by the state, State Senate Bill 32, passed in 2010, permits rainwater catchment for maximum capacity of no more than 2,500 gallons:

•    A comprehensive guide to examining, designing and maintaining rainwater harvesting systems to abate stormwater runoff was published for Virginia (2007): Rainwater Harvesting Manual.pdf
•    The Virginia Stormwater Management Act states that localities covered under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act within the Tidewater area are required to adopt a local stormwater management program, for which one solution is rainwater harvesting:
•    The 2009 Virginia’s Stormwater Impact Evaluation lists rainwater harvesting as a BMP:
•    Passed the law RCW 36.89.080 that mandates the reduction in stormwater rates of at least 10% for installation of rainwater harvesting systems:
•    In October 2009, Washington State Department of Ecology issued an Interpretive Policy Statement clarifying that a water right is not required for rooftop rainwater harvesting. If and when the department determines that rooftop or guzzler rainwater harvesting systems are likely to negatively affect instream values or existing water rights, local restrictions may be set in place to govern subsequent new systems:
•    The Department of Ecology is amending WAC 173-152-050 to specifically authorize priority permit processing for rainwater collection systems that do not fall under the permit exemption, and creating a streamlined rainwater collection permit.
•    The city of Seattle allows rainwater harvesting and requires a permit:


•    Since the early 1930s, the US Virgin Islands (USVI), have had a law requiring private residence and businesses to construct cisterns for the capture and storage of rainwater from rooftops or dig wells for domestic water supply:


Design For Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment and Alternative Water Reuse
by Heather Kinkade-Levario. Publisher: New Society Publishers. ISBN: 9780865715806. (2007)

Rainwater Catchment Systems for Domestic Supply: Design, construction and implementation - by John Gould & Erik Nissen-Petersen. Publisher: ITDG Publishing. ISBN:1853394564 (1999)

Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically Challenged

by Suzy Banks with Richard Heinichen Publisher: Tank Town Publishing. ISBN: 0966417003 (1997)

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Volume 1: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain Into Your Life and Landscape
by Brad Lancaster.  Publisher: Rainsource Press ISBN: 097724640X (2006)

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Volume 2: Water Harvesting Earthworks
by Brad Lancaster. Publisher: Rainsource Press ISBN: 0977246420 (2008)

Water From The Sky

by Michael Reynolds,

Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers and Ponds

by Art Ludwig. Publisher: Oasis Design. ISBN: 0964343363 (2005)


American Rainwater Catchment Systems Assn.

Harvest H2O

International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

Oasis Design - Rainwater Harvesting/Coliform

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s WATER Institute

Penn State School of Forest Resources – Water Facts #13 – Coliform Bacteria

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission – Rainwater Harvesting

Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN)
The Rainwater Calculator

The Centre for Science and Environment -Rainwater Harvesting Technology and Systems

Tree People

Wholly H2O


AP Rainwater Harvesting & Graywater Gardens - David Ortiz
(707) 874-9460 in Sebastopol, CA

Artisans Ecological Landscapes and Farms - Erik Ohlsen
(707) 332-8100 in Sebastopol, CA

Bill Wilson Environmental Planning
(310) 441-3861 in Mill Valley, CA 

Design Ecology - Josiah Raison Cain
(415) 888-8515 in Petaluma, CA 

Earth Craft Design - Bobby Markowitz
(831) 475-9355 in Soquel, CA

Prunuske Chatham, Inc. – Mike Jensen
(707) 824-4601 ext. 107 in Sebastopol, CA,

WaterSprout – John Russell
(510) 541-7278 in Oakland, CA

Wonderwater - Dylan Coleman
(530) 926-5050 in Mt. Shasta, CA


American Tank Co. Inc.
Windsor, CA (877) 655-1100

Harmony Farm Supply
Graton, CA (707) 823-9125 

Horizon Turf and Irrigation

Santa Rosa, CA (707) 584-7272

National Storage Tank - Aaron Avila
Santa Rosa, CA (707) 537-7433

Pioneer Tanks
Sonoma County distributor:
Frank (707) 965-3600

Renegade Juggling - stage balls for pre-filters

Superior Tank Company
Bakersfield and Rancho Cucamonga, CA (800) 221-TANK