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A guide to rainwater harvesting

rainwater harvesting guide

Most of us, have either read about rainwater harvesting or made science projects about the same. Yet, the system isn’t used to people in our country to save water.

Rainwater harvesting systems are used to collect and store rainwater for human consumption. Simple rain buckets and sophisticated constructions with pumps, tanks, and purifying systems are both examples of rainwater gathering systems. The water can be filtered for use as drinking water and utilised to irrigate lawns, wash automobiles, wash clothes, and flush toilets. Rainwater harvesting systems can supply homes and businesses with water for use during dry seasons. Water scarcity is a major issue in many densely populated places.

Rainwater harvesting plays a very crucial role in recharging the ground water. With roads, and tall buildings, the recharge of rainwater has been an issue in various metro cities.

Metro cities floods with very little rain, and yet cities have water scarcity. One of the ways to recharge the ground-level water is Rainwater harvesting.

Odisha Government Project

Recently, the Odisha government has also introduced a scheme named: ‘Community Harnessing and Harvesting Rainwater Artificially from Terrace to Aquifer’ (CHHATA).

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Between 2022–2026, a total of 373.52 crore litres of water are expected to be harvested under the scheme.

With a budget of Rs 270 crore, the project would be carried out by the department of Water Resources’ (DoWR) current workforce.

Although it has been projected that the average cost of each water harvesting device on the roof of a government building will be Rs. 4.32 lakh.

On the other hand, in rural regions, the cost would be closer to Rs. 3.06 lakh per building.

What tools do I need? 

The rainwater harvesting system mentioned below is the simple way to have rain water stored for use.

  1. Water catchment like a barrel where water is gathered, stored, or refreshed.
  2. A system of transportation that transports the water collected from the catchment to the storage/recharge zone
  3. Filter used to remove pollutants, storage tanks, and/or various recharge structures are examples of first flushing devices, incase you plan on using this water for drinking

There are other methods which can be accommodated. Now, it is even recommended to include rainwater harvesting system during the design, and construction of the building.

How do I do it? 

The simplest rainwater collecting systems consist of a means to collect the rainwater (which might be as straightforward as a roof). Second, a means to direct the water (such a gutter). Third, a location to store the water (like a barrel).

Water gathered from a system this simple would only be acceptable for basic uses like watering a garden, putting out fires, or as grey water — like toilet bowl water — because it lacks filtration and proper storage.

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While switching to rainwater harvesting, one needs to also consider its drawbacks. Not every location gets the same quantity of rain. Rainfall is also difficult to forecast. Therefore, in locations with little rainfall, it is not wise to rely solely on rainwater for all of your water needs. In locations with abundant rainfall, relying solely on rainwater gathering is appropriate. Also, the length of time it will take for a rainwater harvesting system to pay for itself cannot be predicted. Additionally, depending on the size and sophistication of the system, the initial installation cost may rise. Rodents, mosquitoes, algae growth, insects, and lizards can contaminate rainwater collection systems and the water that is collected. If they are not adequately managed, they could end up serving as breeding sites for several species.

However, if done properly, its benefits outweigh the drawbacks. It will also be beneficial to the environment in the long run. 

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