Methods of Rainwater Harvesting

Water is one of the most important natural resources for human beings. Without water, the life of every living creature will be unbearable. We use water for irrigation, drinking, transport, industry and for the production of hydroelectricity. Distribution of water has become centralized in the present scenario. Most people depend on the government for water supply, which has resulted in the collapse of traditional water harvesting system and disruption of community participation in water management.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

The term rainwater harvesting is being used frequently these days, but, the concept of rainwater harvesting is not new. Rainwater harvesting is the deposition and accumulation of rainwater for reuse, rather than allowing it to run free. Rainwater harvesting is the oldest and simplest methods of self-supply of water for the household.

Why should one harvest rainwater?

There are many reasons to harvest rainwater. Some important reasons to harvest rainwater are mentioned below.

  • It reduces soil erosion.
  • It helps to maintain the groundwater table.
  • It helps to conserve surface water runoff during monsoon season.
  • It beneficiate water quality in aquifers.
  • It motivates the culture of natural resource conservation.

Methods of Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is one of the most effective methods of water management and water conservation. There are various methods to collect rainwater. Some methods of rainwater harvesting are described below.

Rainwater Barrel

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to harvest rainwater is to install barrels at home. One can simply install a barrel underneath the downspout of the guttering so that the rainwater that falls on the rooftop is funneled into the barrel by a polymers of PVC pipes. This water can be used for different domestic purposes like cleaning and also for irrigating the garden.

Dug well recharging

Dug wells can be used as recharge structures. In this process, rooftop rainwater is diverted to the dug wells after passing it through a filtration bed. The dug wells should be desalted and cleaned regularly to enhance the recharge rate.

Dry system

It is one of the well-known methods to harvest rainwater. In this method, a large container for water storage is situated just a few steps from the house. Compared to the rainwater barrel, this container provides a much larger storage capacity. Here the gutter is diverted to channel the water into the container. It is one of the cheapest ways to harvest rainwater.

Wet system

The wet system is the exact opposite to the dry system of rainwater harvesting. This is because the pipes here are always full of water as they are located underground. In this method, numerous pipes are connected to multiple downspouts and are channeled to a storage tank underground. Compared to the dry system of harvesting rain water-wet system is costly to install.

Green roof

In this method instead of storing the rainwater in a container, the water is directly directed in the garden or green roof to enable plants to use the water instantly. A lining should be laid on the roof for its protection and the drainage system should be taken care of. Installing a green roof will also add an insulator to the house and cushion the roof from damage.

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