Collecting rainwater can save you considerable time and energy trying to find extra water in a pinch. Using a simple rain barrel will enable you to collect rain water directly and economically before it hits the ground. Why is this important? Rainwater will retain its soft, high quality only if it does not come into contact with soil and rocks where it dissolves salts and minerals.
You need to be aware that even when your collected rainwater does not touch the ground, it could still have airborne pollutants from local industries. Also, never forget it cascades down a dirty rooftop to reach your barrel. So be safe–always boil and filter rainwater before using it for drinking or cooking.