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If an Arizona resident harvests rainwater, will rebates come?

Cronkite News


Waterharvesting cistern and earthworks at a Tucson home. Tucson and other parched Arizona cities offer rebates for businesses and homes that harvest rainwater, but the practice struggles to gain momentum in the Phoenix Valley.

The ancient method can conserve thousands of gallons of water, reducing reliance on groundwater and other sources. Rebates can motivate people to put in water-collection tanks or landscape design systems to capture rain for indoor and outdoor use, conservation experts say.

Tucson leads Arizona in encouraging rainwater harvesting. Since 2010, city law requires at least half of the landscaping for any new building use rainwater. The city offers up to a $2,000 rebate for rain harvesting systems at homes and businesses that has become more popular over the years. Prescott and Flagstaff also offer rebates.

But in Maricopa County, where about 60 percent of Arizona residents live, experts said none of the 27 cities or towns offer rebates specifically for rainwater collection or storage systems.

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