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"Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again Some Other Day"


Rain, Rain Go Away | Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden

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Desert dwellers don't chant that children's rhyme.

We welcome any drop of rain that falls during the Sonoran Desert's two rainy seasons. Summer thunderstorms deliver short bursts of heavy, localized rain. Water quickly runs off rooftops and driveways, often rushing away into storm drains. Winter showers tend to be less intense, with rain falling steadily for longer periods, allowing water time to penetrate the soil.

Capturing and retaining rainwater on-site is called rainwater harvesting. In your home landscaping, it can be as simple as creating a few mounds and depressions to channel water to plants. The Demonstration Garden incorporates a variety of rainwater harvesting methods:
  • Rain collected from the roof and other hard surfaces at the water treatment facility is channeled into concrete cisterns (tanks or reservoirs).
  • Overflow is directed into natural swales. Swales lined with river rock provide erosion control and slow water flow, allowing it to penetrate the soil.
  • Rainwater in the landscape flows downhill in many small rivulets which are directed to planted areas.
  • Rock-filled gabion retaining walls stabilize slopes and form level terraces, reducing runoff and allowing efficient irrigation of plants.
  • Gabion retaining walls allow water to flow through the flood plain along Indian Bend Wash during heavy storms.
  • Water is captured in outdoor classroom basins. French drains are located at lowest elevations, ultimately directing overflow to the lake at Chaparral Park.
  • Supplemental irrigation from the SRP lake north of McDonald Road is used to water plants when necessary rather than use treated drinking water.

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