Rainwater Collection and Nine Tiny Feet


I spent the better part of last week traveling to Los Angeles. Visiting that town always makes me think about sustainability and self-sufficiency because the whole place seems so dependent on outside natural resources; although you could probably say that about most big cities. As we drove up and down Interstate-5 past all the dried up farms I couldn’t help but think about how much rainwater my nine square foot concept house could actually capture.

I came up with this slight refinement to the previous design which has a larger single roof surface that spans the interior space, porch, and bay windows. This roof is about 50 square feet and if my math is right this roof would collect about 425 gallons of water per year here in Sacramento, California. An inch of rain on a square foot of roof is good for collecting a half gallon of water. Here in Sacramento we get about 17 or 18 inches of rain each year. So correct me if I’m wrong by 17 x 50 / 2 = 425 gallons of water per year. The water tank in the illustration is 500 gallons.

You may also notice I took the house off the trailer for this illustration. I still plan to someday built this tiny house on a trailer but it seemed that for this iteration it made more sense to leave it out since a 500 gallon water tank would weigh over two tons. Yeah yikes.

The good news is that 425 gallons of water a year would keep one person alive and relatively clean. I’m pretty sure there would not be enough water left over to grow any food except for the few plants that could use the grey water from the sink and shower.

Anyway it’s nice to be back home again, drawing, dreaming, and blogging. Traveling is not one of my favorite things to do. For those of you who enjoy tinkering with Google SketchUp, here is the original file for you to explore. Enjoy!

Nine Tiny Feet – Google SketchUp File





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