Rainwater Harvesting and Swales with Tate Smith

Rainwater harvesting using rainwater collection systems and swales with Tate Smith.

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Tanks

Walt Davis






[Content protected for Lifetime, Yearly, Monthly members only]

[Content protected for Lifetime, Yearly, Monthly members only]

Excel File on making Rainwater Harvesting calculations (right click to save as)

If you’d like to participate in Tate’s research project, here is his email.

Colorado rainwater harvesting laws including info on rainwater barrels

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  • Tate Smtih

    Just as a note. It is still illegal to catch water off of your roof and store in barrels in Colorado. So be aware if you live in the state that it is illegal.

    If you would like more information on what you can do with roof water outside of catching in barrels, please send me an email and I can sure give some more information about it.

  • Greg Schwab

    Chris I did enjoy Tate . Thanks for having him on I have done diviting on a fairly large scale in a old dry land bean field that grew up in native pine trees. We dug out trees 10 feet tall leaving the smaller ones to grow with a tree spade 40 inches deed and 40 inches wide dug a little water harvesting ditch on contour on either side throwing the dirt in the hole to about half full ,in one year the holes were full of soil and the remaining trees grew to market size much faster so I know it works I think when you plant water in the ground it will take a deep rooted plant to get it gatherd up like a tree or a grazable shrub . Greg

  • Stephen Brass

    Chris, i am a little confused. I have been using ADA (animal days per acre) when i figure out how much forage i have left and how much forage growth i get. To get a ADA i take Animal units times days grazed divided by acres grazed. How is an AUD (animal unit day) different? and how do i calculate an AUD?


    • Tate


      You are actually using the AUD in your calculation for an ADA. To calculate the AUD, just use your ADA equation but leave off the acres part. That will give you AUD’s.

      So if you graze 100 cows for 5 days. Your pasture received 500 animal unit days of grazing. Lets say that pasture is 1000 acres. In those five days you have grazed 2 Animal Days per Acre.

      An Animal Unit Day is simply another way to explain how many pounds of forage are being removed from the ground. Just like an Animal Unit Month (AUM) which most range professionals use. The AUD is breaks it down to the day which makes it easier for people who use pastures on the day scale rather than the month scale.

      An Animal Unit day of grazing is equivalent to 26.6 pounds of forage removed per day by one animal. An Animal Unit Month is equivalent to 800 pounds of forage removed per month per animal. These numbers are based on a 1000 pound cow. So as the weight of your animal increases or decreases, the intake will do the same.

      There is also variation in the intake of an animal day to day based on the temperature, where that animal is in the reproductive cycle, type of forage, moisture content of forage etc. etc. There will never be a good answer for exactly how much your cow is removing each and every day. These are just averages.

      Hope this helps!