Homes and gardens

Why we must harvest rainwater

Factors such as climactic changes happening at a national and global level are causing water levels to fall. Overpopulation has resulted in the increased acquisition and development of land that has resulted in the depletion of our water bodies.

Deforestation has further compounded the deficiency of water, and this causes regional rain to eventually become unpredictable. Several areas are critically affected by a dearth of usable water.

As a result of accelerated property development in our cities, the greatest requirement for critical resources such as water is focused in urban areas. As a consequence, multi-storey residential complexes are being constructed at a rapid speed.

The earth’s surface is 70% water; yet, very little of this is actually usable or drinkable. It is very likely that we will shortly reach a stage when the quantity of usable water present on the earth’s surface won’t be sufficient to satisfy all our requirements.

Rainwater harvesting is the solitary realistic option to counter the growing menace of rapid water depletion. It involves accumulating, filtering and storing rainwater to be utilised for assorted industrial and residential purposes.

Rainwater harvesting used in residential properties, which involves trapping rainwater from roofs and directing it into underground storage tanks or cisterns, can satisfy 50% of a regular family's water needs.

The truth is rainwater harvesting isn’t just a strategy to make maximum use of the natural resource — it also has minimal environmental impact. Urban water supply calls for pumping stations in addition to setting up treatment plants and supply conduits. With the increase in urban population, city planning authorities cannot match utilities in a majority of Indian cities. With bore well shafts going deeper as the hunt for more water continues in our cities, water supply can actually be significantly supplemented by rainwater and decrease the pressure on the usual water supply.

Benefits of the system

When rainwater is harnessed in a housing complex, it can be utilised for assorted non-drinking functions that call for a substantial volume of water.

Rainwater harvesting is equally appropriate for large manufacturing units that use a large volume of water. Such industries can reduce the pressure on groundwater by making use of rainwater.

When rainwater harvesting systems are used by a sufficient number of residential buildings in a city, there is a substantial drop in pressure on drainage systems, thereby reducing the possibility of floods, soil erosion, and surface run-offs.

Rainwater harvesting is a perfect solution especially in low-lying regions, which are usually prone to floods due to over-taxed drainage systems.

The use of rainwater harvesting systems allows groundwater levels to recharge, which in turn aids in enhancing urban greenery.

Set up and usage

Rainwater harvesting systems are simple to set up and operate. There is no requirement of complicated purifying systems which need to be applied to cleanse groundwater, since rainwater is pure. Rainwater collection systems use modern yet extremely simple technology, and their care simply involves occasional cleaning of pipes and the storage tanks to ensure the rainwater gathered is not contaminated.

Installation of gutters and a filteration system is the first step for buildings that lack rainwater harvesting systems. This is to make certain that any other sort of debris or leaves will not find their way into the storage tanks.

Safety precautions include having locking bars or lids to stop the breeding of mosquitoes or other forms of pollution of the stored water. Catchment areas in a city may comprise paved regions for example roads and car parks, where water may be picked for several non-drinking purposes.

Government support

As rain is becoming noticeably scantier, the Government has already started undertaking measures to encourage residential societies, educational institutions, and similar buildings to optimise water use and exercise better principles of water economy.

The rapid, yet necessary proliferation of paved areas and roads in our cities is preventing the proper percolation of rainwater into the ground, and causing water bottlenecks on the outskirts. Establishing regularly spaced rainwater harvesting pits in urban localities is definitely the way to go, and must be implemented in our cities.

Additionally, city authorities must put in greater efforts to educate citizens about the benefits and implementation of rainwater harvesting.

The writer is Chairman – Pharande Spaces

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 9, 2021 5:05:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/rainwater-harvesting-at-home/article17441080.ece

Next Story