The Best Rainwater Harvesting Methods

Green Lifestyle
// June 29, 2016
Harvesting Rainwater

It’s no secret that water is a limited resource, one that is so very crucial to our survival. If you count the ways and times you use water even in one week, you would have quite a list in your hand.

As such, it becomes our responsibility to not only use this resource diligently but also to invest some time in rainwater harvesting. Even if our efforts are conducted at a smaller scale, they can still make a difference if we remain consistent.

Before we get started on the techniques, though, let’s find out what Rainwater Harvesting is. It aims to reduce or minimize runoff of rainwater so that it may be collected for reuse.

rooftop rainwater harvesting

Need for Rainwater Harvesting:

  • To combat the scarcity of water.
  • To control the declining  groundwater.
  • To utilize the rainwater for sustainable development.
  • To improve the quality of groundwater by dilution.
  • To increase agriculture production.
  • For ecological development.

harvesting rainwater

Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting:

  • In areas with restricted main supply, it is a crucial technique to carry out for day-to-day activities.
  • It also adds to reservoirs of potable water, as rainwater is relatively free of salinity.
  • It is an excellent way to manage urban water systems that tend to be erratic, especially in cities that experience high drought-like temperatures.
  • It positively impacts the environment, creating more sustainable ways of living.
  • It is most necessary for activities like gardening and agriculture where a significant amount of water is required on a daily basis.
  • Finally, it is not a complicated process and can easily be carried out in a home environment.

methods of rainwater harvesting

Techniques of Rainwater Harvesting:

There are numerous techniques for rainwater harvesting, but the following three methods are the ones used most often. They work on the same principles but differ in equipment and aesthetics.

1. Rain Water Barrels:

  • The most commonly followed method of rainwater harvesting, it simply involves setting up a collection barrel near the downspout of a runoff gutter.
  • It is the easiest to implement, as these barrels are usually freely available in all communities.
  • It doesn’t take up too much space, as the barrels are compact.
  • However, their capacity isn’t very large, and they may overflow quickly, causing wastage.

water barrels

2. “Dry” System:

  • It is a variation of the rain barrel, regarding the size as it involves a larger storage volume.
  • The water pipes are said to dry up as they empty all their contents into the storage tank.
  • This method is ideal for regions with occasional yet highly powerful thunderstorms.
  • It is a reasonably cost effective way to implement, while the maintenance isn’t too difficult either.
  • But the tank needs to be placed right next to your house.

methods of rainwater harvesting

3. “Wet” System:

  • This system works by locating the collection pipes under the surface and connecting numerous downspouts with gutters. Thus, the rainwater fills the underground pipes and eventually rises to a storage tank that it is connected to.
  • This means that the tank need not be located near the house.
  • It also provides a large surface area to collect the water.
  • Though this is a relatively expensive method of rainwater harvesting.

harvesting rainwater

Apart from these, Rooftop Rain water harvesting in urban areas can be done through:

  • Recharge Pit
  • Recharge Trench
  • Recharge Well
  • Tubewell

Rain water harvesting in Rural areas can be done through:

  • Gully Plug
  • Contour Bund
  • Check Dam/Cement Plug/Nala Bund
  • Gabion Structure
  • Percolation Tank
  • Ground Water Dams/Subsurface Dyke
  • Recharge Shaft
  • Dugwell Recharge

Armed with this knowledge, you can now begin with rainwater harvesting and start making a difference!

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