Seventy percent of available water resources around the globe are used for agricultural irrigation. As the world population increases, so does water use, however, the water resources available are becoming increasingly scarce. Using alternative sources of water, such as rainwater and/or stormwater harvesting, is becoming more and more crucial.
Rainwater harvesting is nothing new and has been used for thousands of years as a simple solution for the supply of water for a variety of uses. It simple terms, it is collecting rainwater, filtering and storing it, before it is pumped to wherever it is needed.
It can be used for irrigation, laundry, flushing toilets and other household tasks, water for livestock and pets, and once purified, rainwater can be used as drinking/cooking water. Restrictions may apply and you should check with your authorities for local regulations. Even if restrictions do not allow for using rainwater as potable water, it can be a substitution for potable water for use in landscaping applications, thus reducing your overall water costs.
Rainwater harvesting offers a number of advantages. Here are a few:
- No complicated equipment and simple to maintain
- Cuts down on water costs
- Can be used for irrigation
- Reduces the demand on groundwater
Typical rainwater harvesting systems include the following:
- Catchment surface: basically, the rooftop or other elevated surface
- Conveyance system: to transport the water collected to storage containers
- Screens: to catch/remove coarse debris
- Storage tanks: to store the water for further use
- Delivery system: usually includes pumps to deliver the water to destination
- Filtration system: removes excess debris to prevent clogging
Keep in mind that systems and individual components differ considerably depending on budget, site conditions, energy limitations, and water quality requirements.
There are quite a few options available and we would suggest consulting with a specialist that can help you find the right system for your individual needs.
Although rainwater and stormwater harvesting differ, they are linked.
- Rainwater refers only to the rain that falls on the roof or other elevated area
- Stormwater is the water that drains off a land area from rainfall