Stormwater harvesting refers to rainwater collected from non-roof surfaces, such as parking lots, hardscapes, and landscapes surrounding urban buildings. Managing stormwater in urban environments has reached near crises levels in some cities, as urban sprawl grows and landscapes are paved over with non-porous materials such as concrete and asphalt. Where 50% of a city’s area has been paved, a 1-inch rain event can produce more than 150 million gallons (567,811.8 m3) of stormwater per square mile. Strategies to capture and utilize this water include: landscaping designs to retain water in soil; semi-porous hardscape material; diverting the water to holding tanks or retention ponds for irrigation use; and diverting stormwater to groundwater recharge sites.
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