The accumulation and deposition of water to be used for future purposes is collectively termed as rainwater harvesting. This rain water that is harvested can be used for a number of purposes for irrigation, livestock and other agricultural activities. Moreover, it can also be implemented at homes for regular household activities as well. This procedure is normally inculcated in developed countries as an alternate to the regular water supply. Also, in remote areas like villages, the rainwater harvesting is practiced extensively in order to meet demands of people residing in that area.
Also, the quality of water that is obtained through this process is said to be more pure when compared to the surface water. Yet, this water can also be contaminated by several factors like bird feces and other debris. Therefore, it must be treated before usage .The best thing about setting up a rain water harvesting plant is that it can be done by a person with minimal skills as well. Therefore, even a common man with some decent knowledge about rainwater harvesting can do it.
Rainwater harvesting was first done in Baluchistan and Kutch.From then onwards, this gained immense popularity and was implemented around the world with the growing population. In countries like Brazil and China, there are rooftop rainwater harvesting plants that are setup for several agricultural, household and also a way to replenish the ground water levels. Another amazing fact is that, in Bermuda, every new construction is supposed to have a rain water harvesting plant implemented as well. Even in India, this has been practiced in several regions like Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.
Why is rainwater harvesting so important?
1) Prevents floods:
A rainwater harvesting plant can store rainwater and prevent the public drains and roads from being over flooded with water. When the rainwater is stored in the tanks, there is a lot of water that is prevented from being wasted. This will reduce the risks of flooding and will also enable every house to acquire the water that is required by the residents of the community.
2) You can save money:
Rainwater harvesting is the most efficient and economical way to store water. Every home can setup one of these plants and store water for their personal use. Even your water bills will simultaneously slide down and will save you from any extra costs. The regular activities like car washing or water required in the garden areas can be easily met with the water stored in these tanks.
3) Minimum maintenance:
There is very little maintenance that is required for these plants. The self-cleaning filters in these plants need to be checked for a minimum of once per year. Since they do not require any extra costs for the maintenance, they can be said to be extremely affordable.
4) You can save water:
Rain water harvesting is the best way to start saving water in your homes. The water that is wasted or let into public drains can be stored strategically in tanks that can be used later by a community or individual homes. This way you can save a lot of water and use it free of cost. Even in cases of droughts, the water stored can be used as the main source. This way, the water from the rivers can be also protected from any strain. Thus saving water can help you to protect the environment and the ecosystems as well.
5) Help save your appliances:
The rainwater that is stored in these tanks contains very little amount of lime scale. Hence, your home appliances like washing machines, would not be at stake. In fact, they can also have a longer life span by using water that is directly obtained from rain. The zero hardness of water prevents any further hassles.
Since there is very little infrastructure that is required for the setup of the plant, it can be used for irrigation as well. This reduces the extensive usage of fuel-based machines. Also, they can be setup in rooftop areas for efficient water storage and collection.
7) Reduction in the usage of ground water:
By using the stored rainwater, we can reduce the training of rivers and also the extraction of ground water. Furthermore, it can prevent the rain water depletion and help in the conservation of it as well. Storing rain water will also ward off problems dealing with water scarcity.
8) Reduces soil erosion:
Soil erosion is a major problem that occurs in situations like the flooding of rain water. By collecting rainwater on rooftops or other catchment areas, we can protect the soil from getting eroded. This problem of soil erosion mainly occurs in low lying areas. By setting up rainwater harvesting plants it these areas, such hassles can be prevented. Furthermore, the pesticides and other chemicals that flow along with the rain water towards the rivers and lakes can also be prevented. This will eventually result in cleaner rivers and also cleaner water stored in the harvesting tanks.
Rainwater harvesting has several advantages when implemented in urban as well as rural areas. Nearly three-fourths of our planet is just water alone. Yet, we are unable to use this for our personal purposes. There have been several areas which have been combating with the water crisis and later sought help from the strategy of rainwater harvesting. Even today, the rural areas use rain water to be the primary source of water since they do not have any other major source of water supply.
Though rainwater is very useful and has a lot of positive impacts, it does have its own drawbacks too. Since the rainfall is generally unpredictable, we cannot wholly depend on this water especially in urban areas where the demand is more. They can be best used as an alternative. Moreover, rainwater harvesting can be successfully implemented and used in areas with heavy rainfall only. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be of much use. Also, we may not be able to store all the water especially during heavy rain falls. There will still be a part of the rainwater that will flow towards the public drains as the storage tanks will not be able to hold all the water. This will restrict the storage only up to a certain level.
The positive impacts of setting up these plants seem to be more convincing and will also help use to protect the environment. So, we need to implement these plants in our communities and start saving water right away.