Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulating and storing of rainwater for reuse before it reaches the aquifer. It has been used to provide drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation, as well as other typical uses. Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses and local institutions can make an important contribution to the availability of drinking water. It can supplement the subsoil water level and increase urban greenery. Water collected from the ground, sometimes from areas which are especially prepared for this purpose, is called Stormwater harvesting. In some cases, rainwater may be the only available, or economical, water source. Rainwater harvesting systems can be simple to construct from inexpensive local materials, and are potentially successful in most habitable locations. Roof rainwater can't be of good quality and may require treatment before consumption. As rainwater rushes from your roof it may carry pollutants, such as mercury from coal burning buildings, or bird feces. Although some rooftop materials may produce rainwater that would be harmful to human health as drinking water, it can be useful in flushing toilets, washing clothes, watering the garden and washing cars; these uses alone halve the amount of water used by a typical home. Household rainfall catchment systems are appropriate in areas with an average rainfall greater than 200 mm (7.9 in) per year, and no other accessible water sources (Skinner and Cotton, 1992). Overflow from rainwater harvesting tank systems can be used to refill aquifers in a process called groundwater recharge; though this is a related process, it must not be confused with rainwater harvesting. There are several types of systems to harvest rainwater, ranging from very simple home systems to complex industrial systems. The rate at which water can be collected from either system is dependent on the plan area of the system, its efficiency, and the intensity of rainfall (i.e., annual precipitation (mm per annum) x square meter of catchment area = litres per annum yield) ... a 200 square meter roof catchment catching 1,000mm PA yields 200 kLPA.

Basic configuration .

has become an effective method for ground water conservation by means of rain water harvesting technologies. reducing storm runoff is especially important. Storage tanks should be covered to prevent mosquito breeding and to reduce evaporation losses. usually of acceptable quality for household needs and renewable at acceptable volumes. contamination and algal growth. Subsurface dike A subsurface dike is built in an aquifer to obstruct the natural flow of groundwater. It produces beneficial externalities by reducing peak storm water runoff and processing costs. A 35. thereby raising the groundwater level and increasing the amount of water stored in the aquifer. bird droppings etc. because excess runoff during heavy storms leads to the discharge of raw . In municipalities with combined sewer systems. though somewhat dependent on end use and maintenance. as it will be contaminated with dust. In India and US rooftop rainwater is collected and stored in sump. The first flush of rainwater after a dry season should be allowed to run to waste. The subsurface dike has been demonstrated to be a feasible method for conserving and exploiting the groundwater resources of the Kerala state of India.Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater from a roof into storage via an arrangement of gutters and pipes. Advantages in urban areas Rainwater harvesting can assure an independent water supply during water restrictions that is. Roof gutters should be large enough to carry peak flows.003 litre rainwater harvesting tank in Kerala Groundwater recharge Rainwater may also be used for groundwater recharge. 2003). The dike is now the largest rainwater harvesting system in that region. Rainwater harvesting systems require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep the system hygienic. where the runoff on the ground is collected and allowed to be absorbed. The subsurface dike at Krishi Vigyan Kendra. adding to the groundwater. Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University with the support of ICAR. despite forecasted climate change (CSIRO.

pesticides. Na. Rainwater harvesting systems are simple to install and operate. System sizing It is important that the system is sized to meet the water demand throughout the dry season. Generally speaking. Urban population in India has grown almost five times in five decades from 1951 (62. . In the Gansu province for example. provide low-cost disinfection options for treatment of stored rainwater for drinking. Not long ago. Moreover. the size of the catchment area or roof should be large enough to fill the tank. SOx). it is often not considered suitable for drinking without treatment. harvested rainwater is boiled in parabolic solar cookers before being used for drinking. windblown dust. Quality As rainwater may be contaminated due to pollutants like microscopic germs etc. So-called "appropriate technology" methods.08).sewage from outfalls when treatment plant capacity cannot handle the combined flow. SO4). Rainwater harvesting in urban communities has been made possible by various companies. India is rapidly urbanising. animal and bird faeces.44 million) to 2001 (286. Rainwater harvested from roofs can contain human. Mg. Running costs are negligible. Municipalities have been stretched to their limits to find water for the growing urban populations. and they provide water at the point of consumption. most of our cities were self sufficient in meeting their water needs from the extensive urban water bodies to supply water to citizens. Cl. particulates from urban pollution. there are many examples of rainwater being used for all purposes — including drinking — following suitable treatment. Urban Water Supply Demand for water is growing in most cities as every urban citizen requires almost double the amount of water that a rural citizen requires. and dissolved gases (CO2. and used in a way appropriate to its safety. Their tanks provide an attractive yet effective solution to rainwater catchment. such as solar water disinfection. In Brazil alum and chlorine is added to disinfect water before consumption. The water may need to be analysed properly. High levels of pesticide have been found in rainwater in Europe with the highest concentrations occurring in the first rain immediately after a dry spell. and inorganic ions from the sea (Ca.. NOx. mosses and lichens. K. Today these water bodies have completely disappeared. Groundwater is being extracted by the government as well as the private parties. However. the concentration of these and other contaminants are reduced significantly by diverting the initial flow of water to waste as described above. the size of the storage tank should be big enough to meet the daily water requirement throughout the dry season. In addition.

The main factor in persuading the Colorado Legislature to change the law was a 2007 study that found that in an average year. Chennai saw 50 per cent rise in water level in five years and the water quality significantly improved. residential well owners that meet certain criteria may obtain a permit to install a rooftop precipitation collection system (SB 09-080). There are many ancient water harvesting systems in Rajasthan which have now been revived. rainwater catchment is mandatory for new dwellings in Santa Fe.  In the United Kingdom water butts are often found in domestic gardens to collect rainwater which is then used to water the garden. In New Mexico.  In Tamil Nadu.  In Rajasthan. Elephanta Caves and Kanheri Caves in Mumbai rainwater harvesting alone has been used to supply in their water requirements. the British government's Code For Sustainable Homes encourages fitting large underground tanks to new-build homes to collect rainwater for flushing toilets. domestic water. Some of these ponds are centuries old and are treated with great reverence and respect.  In Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. 97% of the precipitation that fell in Douglas County.  Until 2009 in Colorado. However. the houses of the Diola-people are frequently equipped with homebrew rainwater harvesters made from local. washing clothes. rooftop rainwater harvesting is being practiced for providing drinking water.Around the world  Currently in China and Brazil. Since the implementation. Up to 10 large scale pilot studies may also be permitted (HB 091129). Professor Micheal McGinley established a project to design a rain water harvesting prototype in the Biosystems design Challenge Module in University College Dublin. water rights laws almost completely restricted rainwater harvesting.  In the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar. Now. This reduces by 50% the amount of mains water used by the home. never reached a stream—it was used by plants or evaporated on the ground. India rainwater harvesting was made compulsory for every building to avoid ground water depletion. watering the garden and washing cars. .  In Beijing. In Colorado you cannot even drill a water well unless you have at least 35 acres. in the southern suburbs of Denver. the groundwater is saline and communities rely on mud-lined rainwater ponds to meet their drinking water needs throughout the dry season. some housing societies are now adding rain water in their main water sources after proper treatment. Gansu province in China and semi-arid north east Brazil have the largest rooftop rainwater harvesting projects ongoing. water for livestock. a property owner who captured rainwater was deemed to be stealing it from those who have rights to take water from the watershed. water for small irrigation and a way to replenish ground water levels. It proved excellent results within five years and every other state took it as role model.  In the Indus Valley Civilization. organic materials. India rainwater harvesting has traditionally been practiced by the people of the Thar Desert.

the groundwater is saline and communities rely on mud-lined rainwater ponds to meet their drinking water needs throughout the dry season. watering the garden and washing cars.  In the United Kingdom water butts are often found in domestic gardens to collect rainwater which is then used to water the garden. washing clothes. Professor Micheal McGinley established a project to design a rain water harvesting prototype in the Biosystems design Challenge Module in University College Dublin. This reduces by 50% the amount of mains water used by the home. the houses of the Diola-people are frequently equipped with homebrew rainwater harvesters made from local. 97% of the precipitation that fell in Douglas County. water rights laws almost completely restricted rainwater harvesting. in the southern suburbs of Denver. Now. However. residential well owners that meet certain criteria may obtain a permit to install a rooftop precipitation collection system (SB 09-080). The main factor in persuading the Colorado Legislature to change the law was a 2007 study that found that in an average year. never reached a stream—it was used by plants or evaporated on the ground. a property owner who captured rainwater was deemed to be stealing it from those who have rights to take water from the watershed.  In Beijing.  In the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar. rainwater catchment is mandatory for new dwellings in Santa Fe. Some of these ponds are centuries old and are treated with great reverence and respect.  In Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. Up to 10 large scale pilot studies may also be permitted (HB 091129). In New Mexico. .  Until 2009 in Colorado. In Colorado you cannot even drill a water well unless you have at least 35 acres. some housing societies are now adding rain water in their main water sources after proper treatment. organic materials. the British government's Code For Sustainable Homes encourages fitting large underground tanks to new-build homes to collect rainwater for flushing toilets. Elephanta Caves and Kanheri Caves in Mumbai rainwater harvesting alone has been used to supply in their water requirements. In the Indus Valley Civilization.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful