What is rainwater harvesting and why is it Important?
Water is our most precious natural resource and something that most of us take for granted. We are now increasingly becoming aware of the importance of water to our survival and its limited supply.
The harvesting of rainwater simply involves the collection of water from surfaces on which rain falls, and subsequently storing this water for later use. Normally water is collected from the roofs of buildings and stored in rainwater tanks. Water can also be collected in dams from rain falling on the ground and producing runoff.
Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting
The collection of rainwater and harvesting it for everyday use has an ample number of exciting benefits. Let’s take a look and discover some of those benefits.
Provides backup source of water
There are many uncertainties in water supply systems. Droughts may lead to shortage of water. Destruction of water supply systems may occur at specific locations. Major repairs and maintenance in water companies happen sporadically. All these variables lead to unavailability of water in your home. So, installing rainwater harvesting system is the best course of action to continue enjoying water supply in case any of the above variables occur.
The collected rainwater can be used for many different purposes around the home. This includes laundry, washing dishes and more. This would prevent groundwater depletion and augment ground water table.
The ecological benefits of rainwater harvesting are immense. An activity like flushing the toilet, for instance, attributes to about 35% of home water usage. Add up the amount of water used to irrigate the lawn, do laundry, wash cars and the total amount water used is simply astronomical. For businesses, more so hospitality establishments that accommodate a big number of guests in a single location, require a lot of water to satisfy customers. Rainwater harvesting will simply help to fill this gap.
The ecological benefit rainwater harvesting systems bring is that there will be a significant reduction in the amount of water used from the mains. This, ideally, means that water companies will not have to artificially pump in water from rivers and lakes. This will help minimize the possibility of rivers drying up. Another great ecological benefit of rainwater harvesting systems is that they help reduced the load placed upon drainage systems, minimizing the impacts of flooding by funneling the runoff water into large tanks for recycling.
Easy to maintain
Rainwater harvesting systems are considerably easy to maintain since they are not utilized for drinking, cooking or other sensitive uses. This means that they will not need installation of purification systems, which are usually expensive.
Rainwater harvesting systems are cost effective, provide high quality water, reduce dependence on wells. The surplus rainwater can also be used to recharge ground water aquifer through artificial recharge techniques.
Reduces erosion and flooding around buildings
Most buildings that utilize rainwater harvesting systems have a built-in catchment area on top of the roof, which is capable of collecting vast amounts of water in case of rain storms. It helps to reduce soil erosion as by capturing rainwater, the flow of storm water is reduced which can also prevent urban flooding. If the water were not collected efficiently, it could have resulted in serious soil erosion and flooding around the house.Requires low upfront capital investment
Installation of rainwater harvesting system is not that expensive, plus it’s a one-time installation, and that’s it. The only routine maintenance required is cleaning out the tank. You will probably hire an expert technician to install the system for you. The technician won’t quote a high price, plus he will offer free advice on the best rainwater system to buy. He will also help out when buying the system to ensure you get the best quality rainwater harvesting system. When you sum up the overall cost of installing the system, you’ll find that it’s actually manageable.
Once you begin using rainwater you will also appreciate a reduced amount of water consumption in the home, thus all of your utility bills will greatly shrink in size. How incredible would it be to slash as much as 50 to 60% off of your water bill each month? No complaints with having additional money in the pocket each and every month.