Backyard Rain Barrels Surge in Popularity Amid Growing Need for Water Conservation

HAMILTON, March 20th, 2018

Ottawa resident, Cana Balay enjoys her backyard garden of roses and summer flowering plants each year, where she uses water, collected in a rain barrel, to keep them well hydrated throughout the growing season. She learned about collecting rainwater in barrels, made especially for that purpose, and purchased one at a local rain barrel fundraising sale. “Instead of coming inside the house and taking water out, we use the hose attached to the rain barrel outside and fill watering cans to water my plants” says Cana. She appreciates being able to use free water to care for her garden and recognizes the added benefit of conserving and protecting local water resources at the same time.

Water stewardship is the main focus of World Water Day, which has taken place annually for over 25 years on March 22nd. This year’s theme, “Nature for Water,” looks to naturally-occurring solutions to the global 21st century water challenges. With environmental damage and climate change magnifying water-related crises around the world, people are experiencing floods, drought, and pollution on unprecedented scales. South Africa is facing extreme water shortages and indigenous communities in Canada continue to struggle with water quality issues. Nature-based solutions (NBS) emulate what already occurs in our world to protect water sources such as replenishing forests and reconnecting rivers to floodplains.

Canadians can use small-scale practices carried out around the house to conserve and protect water sources. Most of us are well informed about the benefits of turning off the tap and taking shorter showers, but fewer people may realize that every rainfall presents its own opportunity for conscientious water stewardship.

Rain barrels, which are becoming increasingly widespread, collect free water from a roof and store it for future use in gardens and for watering lawns, shrubs, and trees. Rainwater is free of chlorine and fluoride typically found in tap water and is often the preferred choice of local residents for their healthy gardens. Homeowners with rain barrels can disconnect their downspouts from sewer systems, resulting in redirection of rainwater to permeable ground surfaces that filter and absorb water. This natural filtering helps ensure a cleaner and replenished water supply for the entire community and prevents rainwater from going into the storm management systems, keeping down water costs and related charges and taxes.

Hundreds of non-profit organizations have utilized rain barrel fundraising sales to support their work in their local communities and the World Water Day message can be supported with rain barrel use. A growing list of 2018 participating non-profit organizations and municipalities is now posted at

About reclaims food grade barrels and re-purposes them as rain barrels. Once used to transport fruits and vegetables, they now offer years of reliable service as rain barrels. Partnering with various non-profit organizations, helps stage truckload fundraisers in communities across Canada with new communities added each week. Several municipalities distribute our newly manufactured rain barrels at a reduced cost to their residents. For more information, please contact Larry Pomerantz at [email protected], 905-545-5577, or visit Please see our rain barrel fundraising video on YouTube.



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