What is rainwater harvesting and why is it needed?
Currently, supplies of clean water in many parts of the world are under great pressure, and there are serious concerns about water shortages. Among the reasons for this are growing urbanization, high levels of personal consumption (up to 150 liters of water per person per day) and the inevitable pressure of climate change. Thus, the need for sustainable water services and rethinking our water use has never been more important!
In response, many countries are implementing integrated urban water management strategies that are being adopted as part of a more holistic approach to managing the urban hydrological cycle. Here is a good example of rainwater harvesting, a core element of integrated water management. It can also play a vital role in reducing pressure on water utilities and infrastructure, making cities more resilient to the effects of climate change. Architects, planners and planners now have a social and environmental responsibility to consider rainwater harvesting as part of a range of sustainable options to bring sustainable energy, water and other green infrastructure to the hearts of society.
What is rainwater harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting or rainwater harvesting can be defined as the collection and storage of rainwater until it is distributed as runoff. A stormwater storage system typically collects water runoff from a roof surface and delivers it to a storage container. This is a very productive process in nature. In its simplest form, a source of water is formed where rainwater is collected, which can be used for many purposes. The quality of the stored rainwater is also usually high. As such, the toilet siphon can be used for a wide variety of non-smoking purposes, including laundry, garden watering, and car washing. It can also be processed to be made into potable water in large facilities. The best part about rainwater is that it is free of salts, minerals, and other natural/man-made contaminants.
How is rainwater harvested?
The main rainwater harvesting methods can be listed as follows:
- Stock harvest: Rainwater is collected in natural reservoirs/reservoirs or seeps into underground aquifers before surface water is lost to runoff.
- Rainwater collection on the roof: Rooftop rainwater harvesting involves diverting and re-storing some of the rainwater that hits the roof of a house. The collected water is diverted to a stored feed pit; The quarry water is collected in a groundwater reservoir/aquifer in the area and gradually replenished.
- Dams: Dams are barriers designed to retain water. Rainwater may accumulate directly in them, or drainage systems may be created to drain water into them. This method is mainly used or processed for irrigation and then distributed for home use. The way they are modeled can also be used to collect a lot of water. Unlike ponds, measures are taken here to reduce the amount of water discharged into the soil.
- Underground tanks: Underground tanks are built by digging into the ground and creating a cavity which is then cemented to reduce water seepage. The upper part is also closed and water flows from the pipes directed to the tank. Pumps are used to pump water. They are great for collecting rainwater, they are placed underground where sunlight does not penetrate, which greatly reduces the risk of evaporation.
- Rain plate: In this technique, rainwater is collected as it falls directly from the sky using a rain plate. They look like upturned umbrellas or large funnels and are usually connected to a pipe to allow the collected water to be diverted elsewhere. Sometimes a collection container is placed underground, and only a rain cover is above the ground. This is a simple but effective method.
- Water collection tanks: In this case, rainwater is collected from roads and sidewalks. The water collected by this method is not very clean and may be dirty. However, it can still be used to irrigate crops.
- Slopes: When rainwater runs down to the ground, it collects at the bottom of the slopes. This is a simple and natural way to collect rainwater.
- trenches: This is another traditional method of harvesting rainwater for irrigation that is still widely used today. When it rains, water is diverted to the farm through ditches.
- Rain barrels: Rain barrels have been specially designed for this purpose and can be purchased at retail stores. Rain barrels are used to collect rainwater falling on the roof.
Benefits of rainwater harvesting
Now you know about rainwater recycling. Still, how to collect rain waterwe tried to answer. Fine What are the benefits of rainwater harvesting? Why should we use rainwater harvesting methods? Here are their answers!
1. Easy maintenance
The use of rainwater harvesting methods provides society with certain benefits. Rainwater harvesting allows us to make better use of our energy source in the first place. This is very important as drinking water is not easily replenished and it helps to reduce waste. Rainwater harvesting methods are based on simple technology. The total cost of installation and operation is much less than that of water treatment or pumping systems. Its maintenance requires very little time and energy.
2. Provides autonomous water supply
Rainwater harvesting provides an independent source of water where clean water is expensive or difficult. In developed countries, rainwater is often collected for use as a supplemental water source rather than the main source. However, rainwater harvesting can also reduce overall usage.
3. Reduces water bills
Water collected by rainwater harvesting methods can be used for a variety of non-potable purposes. For many families and small businesses, this results in significant reductions in water bills. On the other hand, industrial-scale rainwater harvesting can provide the necessary amount of water to run many processes smoothly without the need to deplete nearby water sources. It also reduces the burden of soil erosion in some areas, allowing the soil to develop again. It can also be stored in cisterns for use when water supplies are at an all-time low.
4. Suitable for irrigation
There is no need to build new infrastructure for the rainwater harvesting system. Most roofs act as a working catchment area that can be connected to a harvesting system. It also reduces the negative impact on the environment by reducing the use of fuel-powered machinery.
Rainwater is suitable for irrigation and garden irrigation as it does not contain many of the chemicals found in groundwater. Storing large tanks of collected water can also be a great idea for areas where wildfires are common in the summer.
5. Reduces the need for groundwater
With the growth of the population, the need for water is constantly increasing. As a result, many residential colonies and industries use groundwater to meet their daily needs. This leads to the depletion of groundwater in some areas with severe water shortages. Rainwater harvesting allows better maintenance of the groundwater level.
6. Addition to drought
Many countries, especially those experiencing drought, use rainwater harvesting as a cheap and reliable source of clean water. Because the rainwater collected in recent months can also be used during dry periods.
7. Reduces flooding and soil erosion
During the rainy season, collecting rainwater in large storage tanks helps reduce flooding in some low-lying areas. In addition, soil erosion and pollution of surface water with pesticides and fertilizers from rainwater is reduced, which means cleaner lakes and ponds.
8. Provides drinking water
Rainwater keeps the environment green and makes it livable. Because it is not affected by salinity or groundwater contamination, it can be used for drinking if it is properly collected with a properly sized system and equipment.
Famous examples of rainwater harvesting in the world
Now you know about the benefits of rainwater harvesting… Despite the serious risk of water scarcity on our planet, many countries today are investing more in rainwater harvesting methods. We can list some famous examples of rainwater harvesting in the world as follows:
- Frankfurt Airport in Germany has the largest known rainwater harvesting system.
- Texas does not tax sales of stormwater equipment to encourage people to use rainwater harvesting methods. It also allows you to drink the collected rainwater.
- 40% of the rural population of Thailand collects rainwater for animal husbandry, agriculture, drinking water, restoration of underground resources.
- Oklahoma passed a law called “Water by 2060” to support rainwater projects.
- In Santa Fe, the state capital of New Mexico, new homes must have a rainwater harvesting system.
Sources: Kingspan, saving energy in the future.
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