Stormwater runoff can quickly drain a homeowner’s wallet. The flooding erodes yards, soaks basements, pollutes streams and wastes a precious resource.
But rainscaping — an integrated system of directed water flow and settling basins — can convert those losses into gains by providing new wildlife habitat, beautifying properties and in some cases providing food for the dinner table.
“It’s becoming a pattern of capture and reuse rather than simply moving the water off,” said Pat Sauer, Rainscaping Iowa Program administrator. “There are more options out there than just rain gardens. We’re looking more comprehensively at what can be done on the landscape.”
Numerous state and local groups are holding workshops and providing rebates for residents who add such refinements to their properties as rain barrels, cisterns, permeable paving, settling ponds, green roofs and berms.
“Iowa is providing training for professionals — certified rainscapers — who are designing some of those programs,” Sauer said.
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By Associated Press