Build your own and record average rainfall in your community!
How much rain falls on your head in a day? In a month? In a year? One way we can find out and connect to our natural weather patterns is with a rain gauge. Making one at home is easy, and nearly free! Once in place, use your rain gauge to discover how much rain you receive. With this information, you’ll have a better understanding of how much rain you could potentially harvest if you install a rain barrel. Whether it’s 5 inches or 50 inches, every drop counts when saving precious water from becoming polluted runoff!
You measured 1 inch of rain in a week – big deal? When every drop counts, it is indeed! Using a rain barrel, that 1 inch of rain falling on your average 3000 sq ft roof will save over 1800 gallons. If 2 of your neighbors installed a rain barrel, that’s over 5,400 gallons or 1/3 of your backyard swimming pool, to be used for growing veggies instead of becoming polluted runoff. Wow, I guess 1 inch is a big deal after all.
- 1 Liter bottle
- Pen or marker
- Journal or iPhone app (for recording rainfall)
- Using a plastic disposable water bottle you can make a simple rain gauge. It costs almost nothing!
- 1-liter plastic water bottle. With a sharp knife, cut it’s neck on the cylindrical part.
- Invert the top to make a funnel. This funnel will prevent evaporation of water.
- Using your ruler and pen, place a mark every 1/2 inch on the bottle. These will allow you to measure how much rain you received.
- An empty plastic bottle, being light, will fall down or fly away in the slightest breeze. Dig a hole and bury the lower end of the bottle in the ground. This will anchor the bottle in place.
- After it rains, head outside and check your gauge! Record your results.