Rainwater is just as crucial today as it has ever been in the history of humanity. Plants, animals, humans, the soil, and the entire ecosystem rely on it. For this reason, it is imperative that we learn how to collect it. Technology has allowed societies everywhere around the world to use a highly advanced rainwater collection system.
However, more communities continue to rely on simple and easy concepts to do that. In 2020 and beyond, no person should be struggling to collect rainwater. Some systems are easy enough to put in place without a huge financial outlay, as you are about to learn below.
Different Off-Grid Scenarios for Using Rainwater Collection Systems
Globally, millions of people have put measures in place to harvest rainwater. Most of them collect it for their day-to-day use. In many locations, residents have no choice than to collect and use rainwater. Most of them look forward to the rainy season. A significant number of them yearn for a few millimeters of unexpected rainfall, especially during the dry seasons when taps are devoid of any hint of water. In distant homesteads, rural places, and small villages around the world, we see people turning to rainwater because they have no reliable water supplies via the normal channels that their colleagues in the cities enjoy.
Furthermore, many residents have no way of trekking long distances to the local rivers, streams, ponds, dams, or wells to fetch water. To them, collection of rainwater remains the only viable option. What is more, the fact that rainwater supplies them with fresh clean water just adds icing to the cake. With a reliable collection system, you would be able to create your own supply of fresh water that runs right into your house to meet all your water needs. More importantly, such a system is a godsend because it reduces the expenses you would normally incur paying energy bills.
Rainwater collection does not have to be a matter of necessity either. Countless people around the world collect rainwater as a matter of preparation. They do it just in case something interferes with the normal water supply. Secondly, more people are warming up to the idea of isolated living in off-grid buildings, which would not be possible or practical without a sustainable supply of fresh water. Preppers and survivalists are here to stay and it seems so is their desire for fresh water. Seasonal droughts also make it imperative to collect rainwater in preparation for the coming hard times.
Do you live in a place known for broken and damaged main water pipes? Are the reservoirs needed for fresh water supply flooded and in a horrible state? In many cities around the world, it is becoming increasingly common for the main pipes supplying water to residential homes and commercial properties to develop problems. Sadly, many times local authorities are unable to solve these kinds of problems efficiently. In such instances, do you wait for them to get their house in order? Here, it would be wiser to rely on the rainwater collection system that you created to meet your needs until the broken main pipes are fixed.
Benefits of Rainwater Collection
Are you wondering if you really need to invest in rainwater collection system? The reality is that you need such a system as soon as possible. That is because of the amazing benefits that rainwater provides. For starters, you get free supply of pure and clean water. Consequently, it saves you from paying huge water bills.
In some cases, depending on your circumstances, rainwater might be your only source of water; hence, forcing you to invest in an effective system for collecting and using it to meet your domestic needs. You would also be reducing the demand on ground water, which is getting increasingly scarce around the world.
When people talk of water, the mind quickly rushes to our drinking needs. However, most of the water used is for non-drinking purposes. For example, we use more water for bathing and washing dishes/clothes than we drink, especially at the personal level. The fact that rainwater is soft makes it ideal for non-drinking uses.
Its softness eliminates the need for expensive and possibly harmful detergents. Additionally, the harvesting of rainwater also improves plant growth by flushing the buildup of salt in soils and plants. Its benefits include the role played in reducing erosion and flooding too.
Rainwater collection has several geographical benefits as well. For example, in some parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, rainwater is the only source of pure, clean, water that most communities can access. Those staying in remote locations far away from large municipalities that guarantee their residents supply of clean water like regular clockwork have only the rainwater to look forward to. Whether you are in the large or small islands of Puerto Rico or Australia, the demand for large barrels and containers used for collecting rainwater is higher than ever before.
Today, the world has changed technologically to a point where weather forecasters can accurately predict how much rainfall your area is likely to receive in the next 24 hours or fortnight. It is now possible to rely on national and regional weather or rainfall statistics to know how much rain to expect. Once this happens, residents in such places erect a rainwater collection system to harvest as little as 0.48 inches of rainfall. In other areas, it is common to receive as much as 11,871 millimeters of rainfall in a year. For such, you would need a reliable collection system.
Unexpected Benefits of Collecting Rainwater
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, a good rainwater collection system guarantees unexpected advantages too. As stated earlier, people collect rainwater for various reasons. For example, you might be collecting yours for immediate use. However, somebody else in a different part of the country or world might be harvesting it for non-immediate use.
It is fine to collect it even if you have no intentions of reusing the water any time soon. In some instances, you might have installed a perfect collection system yet you are guaranteed round-the-clock supply of clean fresh water through the main city pipe.
Even if you no longer need the collection system, it would prove highly beneficial in your environment. For example, sudden and drastic downpours could cause flash floods that damage infrastructure or cause loss of life and other kinds of losses around you. The impact of the deluge could reduce significantly in areas full of collection systems.
To personalize this further, the surge of storm water would never find its way into your yard, garden, or property thus helping you to avoid costly damages. If you live in wet climate, sequester some of the rainwater before purging it once the soil dries, as this could save you from torrential floods.
Experts believe that the world is running out of fresh water fast. This has huge ramifications for societies worldwide. The threats to civilized societies around the world are too dire to contemplate. Fortunately, the world can address this problem by harvesting rainwater regularly. Installing an effective rainwater collection system could be your way of ensuring that the world does not rush ever too close to the edge. Seawater is still in plenty but as you know, it is not drinkable. Additionally, seawater is hard water, which requires using more detergents and filtration to wash clothes.
Efficient use of water has improved substantially in the recent past. That is because of highly efficient devices that we now use around the world. However, efficiency has its limits and the world is veering close to the edge in this regard. Consequently, there is now a need to rethink our use of water efficiently.
More importantly, it is time we all started thinking of alternative sources of water to augment the little there is. The harvesting of rainwater remains one of the world’s most sensible solutions here. For this reason, it behooves societies, individuals, organizations, and governments around the world to embrace the collection of rainwater.
Potential Disadvantages of Harvesting Rainwater
A few concerns have been raised about rainwater collection systems. Arguably, the main issue remains the collecting rainwater safely and securely. Many jurisdictions have imposed regulations to be followed to ensure that the collection is done systematically, especially for domestic use. For example, you are required to use only licensed and approved technicians to install the systems. Without rules, everybody would be doing this haphazardly, which would then create more problems than it strives to solve. Therefore, make sure that you follow the laws put in place by your government or the local authorities.
Furthermore, a bit of common sense is highly called for to ensure that the system collects clean water. For example, you have to check the cleanliness of your roof to avoid a situation where all the debris found thereon flows with the rest of the rainwater into the collection system.
Check if your gutters are also devoid of algae and any other harmful organism. Some naturally occurring bacteria are bad news for such a sensitive system too. On top of that, you have to install a system that does not allow rainwater to sit stagnant for long hours thus attracting mosquitoes or any other type of water borne problems.
What to Do After Harvesting Rainwater
You must have a plan for the rainwater that you are collecting. Therefore, it is important to know what to do with all that water. Untreated water is useful if you intend to use it for non-drinkable tasks. However, in such instances, you have to make sure that it does not mingle with the drinking water.
Otherwise, you would have to deal with a myriad of deadly and costly waterborne diseases. It is fine to use such it in watering your garden, especially during the dry seasons or when supply from the main pipes run out. In addition to that, nothing stops you from redirecting such water to the garden waterfall or your fishpond.
Birdbaths and bird feeders would benefit from the rainwater collection system as well. Your backyard swimming pool needs such water too. Therefore, redirect your rainwater to these portions of your property to cut down the huge energy bills that threaten your peace of mind. Your flower or vegetable garden could benefit greatly from the rainwater that you harvested. The fact that rainwater has no chemicals such as chlorine that are readily available in tap water makes it suitable for gardening. Use it for the foods that you are growing in the backyard garden.
Feel free to use rainwater for landscaping as well. Once you have harvested enough of this water, hire a professional landscaper to transform your garden or property into something that you are extremely proud to call yours. Not just that, but the rainwater could prove a godsend for all your lawn watering needs as well.
It would save you from taking the car to a professional car wash center, an act that allows you to save tons of money. Use it to wash your car or the family pet instead of consuming too much tap water and increasing your water bills. It is worth stating that rainwater is soft thus unlikely to damage the paint job on your car.
Our Final Thoughts
As long as you put the right measures in place, you can use rainwater in your house. Examples of a good rainwater collection system worth installing at home include barrel at the downspout, dry collection system, and wet collection system. Choose one that suits your piece of property well.
Nevertheless, you would be witnessing a massive reduction in your energy and water bills once you have a good system in place. A good system offers you peace of mind while protecting the environment too. It also ensures that we do not exhaust the source of fresh water that the world seems to be depleting faster than anyone can say rainwater.