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Mediterranean-Inspired Yard in Austin, Texas Idea to steal: Save water in a cistern. In the backyard of a hillside estate in Texas, the landscape architect engineered a simple but highly effective way to store and use water from roof runoff. A lofted steel water channel set at a slight slope transports water from the roof gutters to a large cistern. The lofted channels double as an attractive backyard feature. Mediterranean Exterior by Root Design Company.com Root Design Company.com Capturing runoff water that would otherwise be wasted and channeling it to beds is a great way to help reduce your landscape water use. Depending on how much rain your region receives, you may be able to save enough water to irrigate landscaped beds, a raised-bed kitchen garden or a container garden. by Root Design Company.com Root Design Company.com The key to managing runoff successfully is knowing your region’s rainfall patterns. For example, arid regions like Austin often have periods of drought followed by heavy rains. One would need a large enough cistern to hold water from the rainy season to use in the dry season. Conversely, for climates like those on much of the East Coast and in the Pacific Northwest, which receive regular rainfall year-round, you could use a smaller rain barrel to store water for short periods between showers and redirect excess water into a rain garden. Is a Rainwater Cistern Right for You?