Adopt Rainwater Harvesting to Fight The Climate Change Effects
Why Should We Care About Rainwater Harvesting
Despite being one of the most important resources for humans’ survival, water shortage affects more than 40 percent of the global population. It’s something we all need to survive; yet roughly over a billion people in the world don’t have access to a reliable source of the clean drinking water.
Where there is no surface water, ground water is deep, inaccessible due to the hard ground conditions or where water is too salty, acidic or unfit to drink, something must be done to meet the unique water scarcity issue. But in areas that have regular rainfall, the most appropriate alternative is the collection of rainwater called Rainwater Harvesting. Rainwater harvesting in simple words is a process or activity of collection and storage of rain water. In other words, it’s the process of accumulating and storing of falling water of the rain for future use.
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It’s the ancient, simplest and the most economical way to source water for a variety of usages like drinking, irrigation, cleaning, laundry and for other household purposes. It can be further used to recharge groundwater and air conditioning for a village in a hot season. In case of drought and severe water crisis, the harvested water of rain can act as a rescuer. As an independent water supply, the harvesting will help you in reducing cost when the price of clean water is rising, day by day.
Rain water harvesting is the best way to address the shortage of water. And if treated properly, rainwater is safe to drink. Save water to increase the availability of water.
Why rainwater should be harvested
- To conserve and boost the storage of ground water
- To reduce water table depletion and maintain the required level
- To improve the quality of ground water
- To arrest sea water infringement in coastal areas
- To avoid flood and water stagnation in urban areas
Advantages of Rainwater harvesting
- Relatively cheap materials can be used for construction of containers and collecting surfaces.
- Construction methods are relatively easy
- Low maintenance costs and requirements
- Collected rainwater can be consumed without treatment, if a clean collecting surface has been used.
- Cost effective – huge saving on increasing water bills
Artificial recharge of groundwater
Rainwater harvesting is one of the most effective mechanisms to maintain water level in the ground through rainwater recharge process. It also can be used to increase the present level of ground water.
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There are many ways to do this. Here’s how you can implement rainwater harvesting using a recharge pit. To begin work on the pit, first dig a pit. The pit should be of two meters in breadth and four meters in depth. Then fill it with stones, coarse aggregates and sand. To protect your pit, cover it with a wire mat and routinely clean the upper surface of the sand. This helps the water drench into the ground easily. In the areas where the rain-water gets collected, you should use pipes to direct the water to the recharge pit.
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Precautions to be taken while harvesting
Supplies can be contaminated by birds and animal droppings on catchment surfaces and guttering structures unless they are cleaned and flushed before use. Poorly constructed water jars and containers can suffer from algae growth and invasion by insects, lizards and rodents. They can act as a breeding ground for disease vectors if they are not properly maintained.
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Land-based Rainwater Harvesting
Land-based rainwater harvesting is one of the best solutions to the water scarcity problem. It entails the collection of water and subsequent storage in tanks or directly within the soil profile. The harvesting contributes to the reduction of soil erosion and flood occurrence, while enhancing groundwater recharge. This harvesting system can help increase agricultural activity manifolds and can ensure help in dealing with drought.
- Water collecting surface
Rainwater can be collected from the roof. Tiled roof or roof sheeted with corrugated mild steel is preferable since they are the easiest to use and provide cleaner water.
- Guttering structure
The rainwater is collected in guttering places around the eaves of houses. Low cost guttering can be made up from galvanized mild steel sheeting, bent to form ‘v’ and suspended by galvanized wire stitched through the thatch or sheeting.
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- Down pipes
Down pipe is joined with the gutter at one end and the other end is connected to filter unit of storage tank. PVC or GI pipe are commonly used for down pipe. Bamboo can also be used wherever available and feasible.
- First flush pipe
A first flush arrangement is made to avoid the entering materials such as debris, dirt, dust, bird dropping, and leaves collected on roof into storage tank. This is a simple and manually operated system with a valve below T junction
- Filter unit
It is a container or chamber filled with filter media such as coarse sand, charcoal, coconut fire, pebbles and gravels to remove debris and dirt from water that enters tank. The filter unit is placed over the storage tank.
It is used to store water that is collected from the roof through filter. For large quantities of water, the system will require a bigger tank with cylindrical, rectangular or square in shape constructed with cement or concrete, bricks or stones etc.
Rainwater harvesting is need of the hour to minimize the increasing impact of the climate change. Frequent drought in various parts of the world is a grave cause of concern for the humanity. Also, the phenomenal increase in the human population, across the globe, is depleting the fresh water level in the groundwater table. It’s high time; we install the rainwater harvesting system in our houses, routinize its maintenance, and create awareness among our respective communities to harvest the rainwater.
“If there is a magic on this planet, it is contained in water “– Loren Eiseley