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This fact sheet is one of a 15-part series on urban stormwater management practices.
Please refer to definitions in the glossary at the end of this fact sheet. Glossary terms are italicized on first mention in the text. For a comprehensive list, see Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication 426-119, “Urban Stormwater: Terms and Definitions.”
Rainwater harvesting (RWH), also known as rainwater harvesting systems or cisterns, are devices that intercept, divert, store, and release collected roof runoff from rainfall for later use as an alternative water supply (see figure 1). RWH can also be designed to provide runoff reduction benefits. Therefore, it is classified as a best management practice (BMP) for treatment of urban stormwater. Because of its dual purpose and benefit, RWH is often classified as a sustainable urban BMP.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
September 6, 2013