Rain Barrel Owners: Meeting the Programming Needs of the Unique Extension Audience
two rain barrels against the wall of a house
view on EDIS


rain barrrels
water conservation
audience segments

How to Cite

Ott, Emily, Paul F. Monaghan, Wendy Wilber, Lynn Barber, and Karissa Raymond. 2018. “Rain Barrel Owners: Meeting the Programming Needs of the Unique Extension Audience: AEC634/WC297, 3/2018”. EDIS 2018 (2). Gainesville, FL. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-wc297-2018.


Rain barrels make it easy for households to practice water conservation. Extension programs for rain barrel construction, decoration, and giveaways can raise awareness for (and encourage use of) this technology. This 9-page document will provide insight into the behavior and attitudes of rain barrel owners so that Extension professionals may gain a better understanding of this unique audience. Written by Emily Ott, Paul Monaghan, Wendy Wilber, Lynn Barber, and Karissa Raymond and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, March 2018.

view on EDIS


Angima, S. (2014). Rainwater harvesting for use in the garden. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/files/project/pdf/em9101.pdf

Backacs, M. E., Haberland, M., Mangiafico, S., Winquist, A., Obropta, C. C., Boyajian, A., & Mellor, S. (2013). Rain barrels: A catalyst for change? Journal of Extension. 51(3). Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2013june/rb6.php

Backacs, M., Haberland, M., & Yergeau, S. (2013). Rain barrels part IV: Testing and applying harvested water to irrigate a vegetable garden. Retrieved from https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/fs1218/

Boyer, M., & Dukes, M.D. (2015). Estimated water savings potential of Florida-Friendly Landscaping activities. AE515. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae515.

College of Charleston Office of Sustainability. (n.d.). So you're installing a rain barrel system! Helpful tips from the office of sustainability [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from http://sustainability.cofc.edu/documents/Rain%20barrel%20tips

City of Portland Environmental Services. (2011). How to Manage Stormwater: Rain barrels. Retrieved from https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/378190

Dukes, M., Miller, G. L., & Haley, M. B. (2005). Residential irrigation efficiency assessment monitoring: Final report (SJ2006-SP15). Retrieved from: ftp://secure.sjrwmd.com/technicalreports/SP/SJ2006-SP15.pdf

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program. (2009). Florida-friendly landscaping™. Retrieved from http://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/

Forsyth County Extension Services. (2015). Forsyth Creek Week Rain Barrel Sale! North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T Cooperative Extension [Fact Sheet]. Retrieved from http://www.rainbarrelprogram.org/fcc

Hartup, W., & Ellis, D. (2007). Rain barrels. North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State University [Fact Sheet]. Retrieved from https://guilford.ces.ncsu.edu/files/library/41/rainbarrel-2008.pdf

Kinkade-Levario, H. (2007). Examples of first flush diverters. Retrieved from http://cals.arizona.edu/cochise/waterwise/first_flush_diverters.pdf

Kloss, C. (2008). Managing wet weather with green infrastructure municipal handbook: Rainwater harvesting policies (EPA-833-F-08-010). Retrieved from http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/upload/gi_munichandbook_harvesting.pdf

McKenzie-Mohr, D. (2011). Fostering sustainable behavior: Community-based social marketing. Retrieved from http://www.cbsm.com/public/world.lasso

Mendez, C.B., Afshar, B.R., Kinney, K., Barrett, M.E., & Kirisits, M.J. (2010). Effect of roof material on water quality for rainwater harvesting systems. Retrieved from http://greywateraction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Effect-of-Roof-Material-on-Water-Quality-for-Rainwater-Harvesting-Systems.pdf

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (2015). Stormwater re-use and rainwater harvesting. Retrieved from http://stormwater.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/Stormwater_re-use_and_rainwater_harvesting

Monaghan, P. F., Warner, L., Telg, R., & Irani, T. (2014). Improving Extension program development using audience segmentation. WC188. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc188

Ott, E. S., Monaghan, P. F., Israel, G. D., Gouldthorpe, J. L., & Wilber, W. (2015). Rain barrel owners as a piece of the water conservation puzzle: Segmenting Extension audiences using their landscape water conservation practices. Journal of Extension. 53(2). Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2015april/pdf/JOE_v53_2rb5.pdf

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations. 5th ed. New York, NY: Free Press.

Rutgers University Water Resources Program. (2014). Projects and programs: Rain gardens and rain barrels. Retrieved from http://water.rutgers.edu/Stormwater_Management/rainbarrels.html

Southwest Florida Water Management District. (n.d.). Recycle the rain: A how-to for installing a rain barrel. Retrieved from https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/rainbarrel/

Stern, P. C. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 407-424. Retrieved from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,uid&db=aph&AN=3997994&site=ehost-live https://doi.org/10.1111/0022-4537.00175

Stormwater Coalition of Albany County. (2010). Guidance manual for homeowners: Managing stormwater runoff using green infrastructure. Retrieved from http://www.stormwateralbanycounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/GuidanceManual_Homeowners_DwnspoutDisc_RainGarden_RainBarrels1.pdf

Tennessee Yards & Neighborhoods. (n.d.). Rain barrels make good sense. https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W276.pdf

Texas Water Development Board. (2005). The Texas manual on rainwater harvesting. Austin, Texas. Retrieved from http://www.twdb.texas.gov/publications/brochures/conservation/doc/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf

UF/IFAS Extension. (2008). Solutions: Sustainable living. Retrieved from http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/sustainable_living/

Warner, L., Martin, E., Lamm, A., Rumble, J., & Cantrell, R. (2015). Encouraging landscape water-conservation behaviors #1: Tailoring programs to Florida residents who use irrigation in the home landscape. WC199. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc199.

Warner, L. & Monaghan, P. F. (2013). Using audience commitment to increase behavior changes in sustainable landscaping. WC154. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc154.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.