I came across this on Aquafornia yesterday. The article discusses use of rain barrels for rainwater harvesting in places like Illinois and Minnesota, but what about in California, Arizona, and New Mexico where they should be standard equipment on all homes? I'm a big fan of making better use of free resources whenever possible and collection of rainwater provides so many benefits in places where lots of potable-quality water is typically used for outdoor irrigation. Installing water storage can be costly, but if water were priced to discourage its use outdoors, it would become very economical to capture rainwater. And there are a lot of benefits to be derived from just doing some landscape modification to slow runoff from your property and direct it to trees and shrubs, which doesn't cost very much at all.
If you have an interest in learning more about rainwater harvesting there are some great resources on the web, here are a few:
And a local non-profit in Tucson that works with neighborhoods and other organizations on rainwater harvesting projects is Watershed Management Group, found here.