The first rain in the Sacramento region in more than 50 days wasn’t enough to end a drought, but one man gathered a little security from his roof on Wednesday.
Dale Shuck is saving rain for a not so rainy day.
He’s using buckets to gather rain runoff from his roof.
“The upper roof comes down and hits this lower one, and then it just drips down into the bucket and you can actually see its still dripping a little bit,” he said.
As riverbeds and lakes in Sacramento are drying up, his water supply continues to fill up one drop at a time.
All he does is keep these buckets under the slant of his roof, and he’s able to gather several gallons every time it rains.
He says during a good storm, he can fill up a 55-gallon barrel in a matter of hours. That’s enough water to last him a couple of months.
“Any little thing can make a difference,” Shuck said.
He also says rainwater is the best kind to use on plants.
“There’s a lot of nitrogen in the atmosphere, and when it rains it pulls that, out and plants need the nitrogen,” he said.
It’s also great for people to use.
“It’s also very soft water, so I’ve actually used it, heated it and used it to wash my hair with, and it makes your hair and skin incredibly soft,” he said.
Having a supply makes him feel more safe during the drought.
“If those two rivers dry up, we’re going to be in real trouble,” he said.
For now, this year’s rain may just be a drop in the bucket, but for Shuck, it’s really adding up.
“Having a 55-gallon barrel of water sitting out here, yeah, it gives me a sense of security,” he said.
Shuck thinks he collected about five gallons from Wednesday’s rain, but he hopes to get about 10 more gallons by Thursday. He says that’s at least enough to water his garden for a week.
The practice of rain harvesting was actually illegal until recent years. It wasn’t until the state’s Rainwater Recapture Act of 2012 that it was legalized. Water rights issues had previously precluded homeowners from collecting rainwater.