Rainwater harvesting is a method of collecting, storing, and using rainwater for irrigation and other functions. It is a strategy for increasing water available for human use in areas of scarce water resources, and can help to reduce flooding and erosion, and improve water quality. A rainwater harvesting system captures and stores rain that falls onto rooftops, paved surfaces, and other hard surfaces, or into collected containers like rain barrels. The harvested water can then be used for a variety of purposes, including:
Harvesting rainwater is a great way to be more eco-friendly. Not only does it reduce the amount of water that goes down the drain (which means less energy is needed to pump water and treat sewage), but it also helps the environment by adding precious water to the environment. For more information on rainwater harvesting, a great source is the blog Rain Barrel Revival.
In this article we have published an article on rainwater harvesting methods, history, importance, application, current state of affairs in India and a conclusion.
What is rainwater harvesting?
The collection and storage of rainwater for on-site reuse and prevention of runoff is called rainwater harvesting. We can collect it from many places, such as rivers, roofs, etc. and channel it to a well, borehole, manhole, infiltration tank, aquifer, etc.
We use it for watering gardens, livestock, irrigation and domestic use, if handled properly. It is one of the oldest and simplest methods of making households self-sufficient in water.
History of rainwater harvesting
The use of rainwater dates back to the Neolithic period. At that time waterproof containers were built and used to store rainwater on the floors of houses and in villages near the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Arabian desert in the south and Mesopotamia in the east. About 4000 b. Reservoirs have become an integral part of managing household water needs.
There are many examples, such as the Greek island of Crete, where from 2600 BC there was a large number of archaeological sites. Chr. to 1100 B.C. Chr. were large reservoirs to collect rainwater. Rainwater harvesting was a common practice in the Roman Empire, evolving as the empire expanded. Venice relied on rainwater harvesting.
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Coasters for water collection
New methods of capturing rain are emerging, such as the RainSaucer, which looks like an upside-down umbrella. Here rainwater is collected directly from the sky. This reduces pollution and makes rainbowls potentially useful as a source of drinking water in developing countries.
The GroasisWaterboxx, a Dutch invention, can also be used to grow trees with collected and stored rain- and dew water.
They build dams in streams to improve surface water infiltration into the subsurface. Water infiltration near dams is often artificially promoted by loosening the subsurface and overburden with ANFO explosives used in opencast construction. As a result, local aquifers are often rapidly replenished by surface water that is fully utilized during the season.
One of the main goals of rainwater harvesting is to use local rainwater to meet water needs throughout the year without having to make large investments.
Good quality water sources near human settlements are becoming scarce and expensive for consumers. After solar and wind energy, rainwater is the most important natural resource in a country. Every year, huge areas around the world are covered with photovoltaic solar panels.
Solar panels can also be used to collect much of the rainwater that falls on them, and simple filtration and disinfection processes often result in drinking water that is free of bacteria and suspended solids, since rainwater has a low salt content.
More recently, rainwater harvesting from dug wells at low cost has been shown to be a very active means of raising water levels in India.
Benefits of collecting rainwater
Rainwater harvesting provides an independent water supply in case of regional water shortages. In developed countries, it is generally not used in addition to the actual water supply.
It retains water during droughts, can help alleviate flooding in low-lying areas, and reduces the need for wells to maintain groundwater levels. This also contributes to the drinking water supply, as rainwater is largely free of mineralisation and other salts.
Considerable work has gone into developing a life cycle assessment and costing methodology to estimate the magnitude of environmental impacts and costs that can be saved through the implementation of rainwater harvesting systems.
Rainwater harvesting provides an independent water supply in case of water restrictions. In areas where clean water is expensive or difficult to obtain, rainwater harvesting can be an important source of unpolluted water.
In developed countries, rainwater is usually collected as a supplementary source of water rather than as the main source. However, rainwater harvesting can also reduce water costs or overall household water consumption. Rainwater is safe to drink.
In case of drought, rainwater collected in the previous months is often used. When rainfall is low but unpredictable, the use of a rainwater harvesting system is often critical to capture the rain as it falls. Many countries with dry climates use rainwater harvesting as a cheap and reliable source of unpolluted water.
To improve irrigation in desert conditions, earthen dikes are built to retain rainwater and prevent runoff from slopes. Even with little rainfall, they collect enough water to grow crops. Water is often collected on roofs, and reservoirs are usually built for the huge amounts of rainwater.
Application or use of rainwater harvesting systems
Regarding urban agriculture, rainwater harvesting in urban areas reduces the impact of runoff and flooding. It has been shown that the combination of urban green roofs and rainwater harvesting systems can reduce the temperature in buildings by 1.3 degrees Celsius.
Rainwater harvesting for urban agriculture can be an effective way to give thanks for contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: clean and sustainable cities, health and well-being, and food and water security.
The technology already exists, but it needs to be redesigned for more efficient water use, especially in urban environments. In Kenya, rainwater is already being successfully collected for swamps, laundry and irrigation, while in Australia, rainwater is being collected for cooking and drinking.
Studies by Stout et al. on the feasibility of its application in India have shown that RWH is most viable for small-scale irrigation, where income is derived from the sale of the produce, while the overflow is used for groundwater recharge.
2. Domestic use
In China, Argentina and Brazil, people use rooftop rainwater harvesting to provide drinking water, water for domestic use, water for livestock, water to irrigate small plots and to recharge the water table.
In Gansu, China, and in the semi-arid northeast of Brazil, the largest rooftop rainwater harvesting projects are underway. The rural population of Thailand, about 40%, uses rainwater harvesting.
In the 1950s, the government encouraged the collection of rainwater. In the 1990s, after the government stopped funding water tanks, the private sector stepped in and provided private households with several million water tanks, many of which are still in use today – one of the most significant examples of water self-sufficiency in the world.
Rainwater harvesting is mandatory for new construction homes in Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico.
Texas offers a tax exemption for the purchase of rainwater harvesting systems. In the UK, rainwater harvesting systems are often found in allotments and gardens to collect rainwater which is then not used to water the garden.
3. Industrial use
Frankfurt Airport has the largest rainwater harvesting system in Germany. The system saves about 1 million cubic meters of water per year. In 1993, the cost of the system was 1.5 million dm.
This facility captures water from the roofs of the new terminal, which covers an area of 26,800 square meters. It receives water from the underground of the airport in six tanks with a capacity of 100 cubic meters. We use water mainly to flush the toilet, water the plants and clean the air conditioner.
At the Velodrome of the London Olympic Park, rainwater harvesting has been introduced to improve the sustainability of the energy supply. Nevertheless, it was decided that rainwater harvesting was a less efficient use of monetary resources to achieve sustainable development than the park’s blackwater recycling program.
Quality of rainwater harvesting
Rainwater may need to be properly analyzed and used for safety. In Gansu, for example, water is disinfected by boiling rainwater collected in parabolic solar collectors before using it as drinking water.
Although rainwater can be a clean source of water, often better than groundwater or water from rivers or lakes, the way it is collected and stored often makes it polluted and unfit for consumption.
Pre-filtration is a common practice in the industry to keep the system healthy and remove coarse sediments from the incoming tank water. Conceptually, the water supply system must meet the standard for maximum water use.
However, in most developed countries, high quality drinking water is used for all end uses. The provision of pre-filtered rainwater for non-perishable uses such as flushing, irrigation and washing can also be an important part of a sustainable water management strategy.
Rainwater harvesting in India
The programme was introduced in 2001 and is fully implemented in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Posters have been put up all over Tamil Nadu, including rural areas, to make people aware of rainwater harvesting. Website of the TN government.
Within five years it had produced excellent results and gradually all the states had adopted it as a model. After the implementation, Chennai’s water level rose by 50% in five years, significantly improving water quality.
Karnataka: In Bangalore, the installation of a rainwater harvesting system is mandatory for any owner or occupant of a building located in the area where the Bangalore Water and Sewerage System Meter was initiated and constructed. The inhabitants of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan have traditionally been engaged in rainwater harvesting.
Maharashtra : Currently, rainwater harvesting is mandatory in the registration of every new housing association in Pune. In Mumbai, Maharashtra, rainwater harvesting is not mandatory. The Mumbai City Council wants to make rainwater harvesting mandatory for large companies.
Rainwater harvesting is an ecological way to save water. It also raises the water level. The effective use of this method helps us save our planet. I hope you enjoyed this informative article on rainwater harvesting.
This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about suggestions on rainwater harvesting and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the importance of rainwater harvesting conclusion?
Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rainwater runoff for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off into storm drains or streams and be lost to the ocean without being used. Installing a rainwater harvesting system can reduce water usage and lower water bills. It can also reduce flooding, preserve water quality and prevent water shortages. There are many different ways to harvest rainwater, from as simple as collecting it from your roof into cisterns or barrels to complicated systems that irrigate your yard and fill your swimming pool automatically. The best system for your home depends on your needs and the size of your property. Rainwater harvesting is an integral part of natural water cycle management.
Rainwater harvesting is the natural way of collecting, storing, and utilizing rainwater for various purposes. It includes methods for rainwater collection, storage, treatment, and distribution for the purpose of water supply and irrigation. It helps in water conservation, and also prevents flooding by providing vegetative and structural alternatives to the construction of storm and sanitary sewers. It is also an effective way to make use of non-conventional water sources, thus freeing these sources for other uses.
What is the importance of rainwater harvesting?
Education is the most valuable part of life. It is a crucial part of the human life. Education includes not only formal education, but also self-education. It is not enough to study at school, but to learn to learn. To get knowledge is of great importance to everyone, because knowledge is power, the lack of knowledge means weakness and helplessness. Rainwater harvesting is a very important part of both farming and personal life.
The collected rainwater is used to lower the cost of irrigation, lower the amount of fossil fuels used to power irrigation methods, and to provide a source of water for drinking, washing, firefighting, and other uses. There are a few different methods for harvesting rainwater, but the most common are barrel or tank systems. The best part about rainwater harvesting is that it is free.
What is the result of collecting rainwater?
Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rainwater to use for a variety of purposes. Rainwater harvesting for drinking-water supply is a component of water supply in some arid and semi-arid areas where rainfall is abundant. The harvested water is typically used for landscape irrigation; it may also be used for flushing toilets, washing cars and buildings. Rainwater harvesting is also called Catchment Water Harvesting, Rainwater Collection, and Stormwater Harvesting.
Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and storage of rainwater runoff for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off. It is commonly used for irrigation in arid or semi arid areas, and for livestock watering and other domestic uses. It is also a means of water supply in areas where groundwater is polluted or otherwise unpalatable. The amount of rain that falls is variable, so the catchment surface is often of a material and design that maximizes the useful capture and storage of the rain.
The technology used is very similar to that used in artificially created wetlands, but with a more natural flow through the system. The water is typically not potable without further treatment, so it is important to note that rain.