Rainwater Harvesting - An Ultimate Solution for Future Water Crisis
Why Rainwater Harvesting is the ultimate solution for the future water crisis that mankind is about to face? Here we have discussed basics of Rainwater Harvesting, why to use it and how can we implement it for our benefits
Why Do We Need Rainwater Harvesting?
The scarce availability of potable or drinkable water is something that has been a concern for all since the last few decades. One of the major causes for this scarcity is the rapid changes of the climatic conditions – which may include but are not limited to a global rise in temperature or global warming and overpopulation, to name some. The last few years have seen quite a few major water reservoirs drying up and this kind of water imbalance has heavily altered the salinity of soil. Potable water has been made uselessly or, in other words, been thoughtlessly wasted by all of us. As a solution to the consequent harm this might do to the world, rainwater harvesting is the only way to avoid a future water crisis.
This it is evident that rainwater harvesting plays a crucial role in ensuring sustainable development. Considering the scarcity of water and the rate of groundwater pollution, rainwater harvesting can be a savior. While on the one hand this would reduce the burden on using ground-water along with reducing the exhaustion of non-renewable resources, it would also save the future generations from the scarcity of fresh water.
What Is Rainwater Harvesting?
Simply explained, rainwater harvesting refers to collecting and storing surplus rainwater for future use. This happens predominantly during the monsoon season so that the maximum amount of rainwater can be stored for future use. Many countries, especially countries like India have certain arid rural areas that are subject to multiple spells of drought throughout the year. It is in times like these that the harvested rainwater fulfils its purpose of providing sufficient potable water to the residents of these drought-stricken areas.
The amount of water harvested, however, depends on factors like the amount of rainfall received by a place, soil type, etc. Keeping in mind the fact that despite being renewable, water’s availability is scarce, rainwater harvesting might be the only way of saving us from an impending global water crisis.
Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater Harvesting has proved to be one of the most effective and sustainable methods of preserving potable water for supply to places in rural areas that might need it.
The first advantage is definitely the additional source of water besides the main supply source that is a huge help for developing countries with severe climatic conditions.
Earlier, the lack of sufficient potable water led people to depend heavily on groundwater. This has led to significant depletion of groundwater in many places. Rainwater Harvesting can relieve some of the pressure put on groundwater sources and hence become environmentally sustainable. Levels of groundwater fall drastically when water is continuously drawn from the groundwater table. And it is not possible to avoid using water for multifarious reasons relating to human consumption. But harvesting rainwater actually provides an alternative source to draw water from, which allows the groundwater table to recharge and refill.
Geographical factors like floods, soil erosion, and stagnant water bodies are also avoided with the help of rainwater harvesting. What’s more, it even improves the quality of fresh water available on land because it prevents impure water from running into fresh water bodies.
How is a rainwater harvesting system built?
The best thing about using rainwater harvesting as a system to conserve and store water is how simple it is to set up a system. Whether you want to fill up your pool, or water your plants, or simply store up some water for use in the bathroom or the kitchen, rainwater harvesting is the easiest way to consume water without taking away more from mother earth.
The first step in harvesting rainwater is determining the potential in your area. Rainwater can be effectively harvested best in regions that receive plentiful rainfall and conducive relief. To calculate your rainwater harvesting potential, multiply the surface area available for collecting the rainwater with the annual precipitation in your region.
Besides, you also have to determine the layout of your residence or the building where you want to practice rainwater harvesting. The placement of the catchment, the pipes, and all other ancillary organs of the rainwater harvesting system need to be aligned in a manner that minimizes rainwater wastage or runoff.
Setting up the storage is the next step. Where you store your water and the hygiene conditions in your storage can affect the effectiveness of your rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater storage might be a challenging process if you fail to follow the necessary steps. You will also need a filtration or sedimentation system in place. Rainwater will bring little debris and particles with it, even if it hits the catchment directly. Of course, if the ultimate objective is potable water, then this rainwater will need to be filtered and made suitable for use. The filtration step is extremely crucial step especially if you plan to use it for consumption. Considering the pollutants in the air, consuming unfiltered rainwater may lead to diseases. However, there are several ways to filter rainwater and reduce the contamination. Once you complete this step, consuming it is absolutely safe.
For a more or less accurate estimate of the volume necessary for the storage, it would be a good idea to peruse rainfall and precipitation data over the last few years. Also, a clear idea of what the harvested rainwater will be used for can prove very useful. This basic research can help you reach the closest approximation of how much rainwater your catchment will need to accommodate.
After you have the fundamentals in place, all you will need to do is make the necessary technical installations. Rainwater harvesting can be a huge way to do your own bit for the planet.
Due to on-going depletion of natural water resources, increasing population and pollution, saving rainwater would serve as a lifeline for us in near as well as long-term future.
N.S.& Associates / Vivaan Water & Enviro Solutions are leading rainwater harvesting consultants from Mumbai pioneering in the field of water management and various rainwater harvesting services for more than two decades. Our award-winning rainwater harvesting company have successfully completed more than 5000+ rainwater harvesting projects across Pan India. We are simply committed to the cause of water conservation and making India self-dependent in fresh water resources.