Rainwater Harvesting

As industries continue to boom and technology continues to advance more and more people are starting to see the beauty behind what technology can do. The efficiency it can provide, the amount of money it can save, etc. has inspired people around the world to continuously look for ways to make our life easier and cost effective. With the advancement of industries, we also see an improvement in the many innovative ways to reach convenient solutions in a way that helps our environment, instead of harming it. Technology with heavy machinery and factories can be great in mass production and increasing costs, but it also has its drawbacks. Technology and the advancement of industrial factories and businesses have led to dangerous risks for our environment. As our industry accelerates forward, so does another movement known as the green movement. The green movement is a movement that simply looks for innovative ways to help people and the environment at the same time and water production is no exception to such a movement.

Drinking Water Production and its Effect on the Environment

Water Production

One of the most common ways for people to get in their daily water intake, resorts to using up water bottles. Water bottles are sold everywhere and bought by everyone because they make the habit of drinking water, easy and convenient for all. Yet water production and water bottles have also paved the way for serious environmental havoc. The water bottle industry is at an all-time high right now with about 50 billion water bottles being consumed each year and about 30 billion (meaning roughly 60%) of water bottle being used within the US. The process of creating these water bottles are actually very harmful to the environment and depletes our natural resources at high levels. For starters, it takes about three times the volume of water to manufacture one water bottle than it does to fill it. That is a lot of water being taken out of our environment and used at incredibly high levels (keeping in mind that water resources are not that easy to replenish). About 17 million barrels of oil are used each year to produce water bottles, which is about enough oil to keep a million cars fueled for a whole year! (Also keeping in mind that oil is a nonrenewable resource so once it is gone, it is gone forever). The Earth Policy Institute factors that the amount of energy used to pump, process, transport, and refrigerate our bottled water is about the same amount of energy provided by 50 million barrels of oil a year! There is no doubt that the industry of water bottles and the idea of convenience, has greatly diminished our lack of respect for the environment and the resources it provides us with! In addition, many water treatment plants utilize strong chemicals to rid the water of harmful microorganisms. These chemicals are used and released into the environment, which then causes serious damage to the animals and plants around the water treatment plant. All in all, it is quite safe to say that water production can have some serious effects on the environment and many groups and organizations are looking for a way to provide people with safe drinking water that will keep people healthy while also keeping our environment in mind.
The Green Movement is Stepping In
Many people are actually very much unaware of the serious implications that water can actually have on our environment. This makes sense because at the end of the day we like to think that water is natural and a part of our environment, so using water shouldn’t hurt our environment simultaneously. This is true. We should be able to enjoy water and also enjoy the fact that we aren’t killing the world around us while trying to keep ourselves alive. Many people see the importance of this as well and it is this understanding that has led to the green movement. A movement focused on key environmental issues and disasters, developing solutions to the problems that our environment face daily. The problem of water production and the impact it has on the environment is one issue that is quite difficult to solve. We need water. There is no doubt about that. Yet we cannot get rid of the water treatment plants that use a variety of methods to make the water in our environment safe for us to drink. We use harsh chemicals because we know that they get the job done. Attempting to use less harsh chemicals can indeed reduce the impact on our environment, but it makes our water less safe to drink, putting us at a risky trade off that we need to solve. Thus, many environmentalists have been constantly researching ways in which we can still have fresh, clean drinking water readily available to us with as much minimal environmental impact and thus is born a new method known as rainwater harvesting.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

 Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is actually a very simple concept. It is simply collecting runoff from a structure or other impervious surface for the purpose of storing the water for usage later. It normally involves collecting and harvesting the rain from a roof by allowing the rain to collect in gutters that will channel the water downward and into a storage vessel. The complexity of rainwater harvesting can be as complex as you choose it to be. It can either work to collect rain in a rain barrel or be created in a way that it harvests the rainwater in large cisterns for the purpose of supplying your own household demand. The great thing about rainwater harvesting is that it can be used for a myriad of things from home purification to drinking water, landscape use, stormwater control, wildlife and livestock watering, in home use (such as washing and cooking), as well as fire protection. The way in which you plan to use your water can vary depending on your needs, but the ultimate goal of rainwater harvesting is to provide an effective way to bring water to people around the world while cutting demand for water and creating a low environmental impact.

The Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting

There is a myriad benefit that rainwater harvesting can actually provide you with. You wouldn’t realize it at first but this alternative method can actually bring in a lot of advantages to your household and water supply in a way that makes rainwater harvesting a serious and wonderful option to consider. The practice of using rainwater harvesting systems has been around for thousands of years and this practice has continued to grow in practice. It has become the primary source of clean drinking water for many rural areas and limits the concept of needing money to have access to water. Here are some benefits one can reap from a rainwater harvesting system.

Provides Access to Clean Drinking Water
For many rural or poor areas, access to drinking water is an overwhelming concern. The supply of water in a household is based off whether someone can afford it or not. People shouldn’t have to have a copious amount of money to have access to basic resources crucial to survival. Rainwater harvesting makes access to drinking water more accessible for those in poor areas in which their water is greatly contaminated and they cannot afford to purchase clean water from a filter or store. Rainwater harvesting eliminates this problem and allows people from all over the world to have access to water they need for cooking, cleaning, irrigation, and drinking purposes.

Reduces Your Water Bill
Another great advantage to rainwater harvesting is that it greatly reduces your water bill. Here in the US water adds up. We are so used to having water readily available to us to the point that we use up so much of it and then become incredibly shocked by the pricey water bottle that gets sent our way. Rainwater harvesting can help save those extra dollars and keep them in your wallet. By choosing to collect the groundwater you can then use that water towards cooking, cleaning, irrigation, or more. This means you reduce the amount of times you turn your hose on, your sink, and your bathtub, leading to an overall cheaper water bill to pay off! It can also help out small businesses who do not have the extra money to be spending on utilities. Rainwater harvesting on an industrial scale can actually help with providing the necessary amount of water for businesses to run efficiently without ever having to deplete any water resources nearby.

Save Up Your Water
Some areas of the world are in a serious drought! People do not have the luxury of wasting water or using as much of it as they want, at least not without serious future consequences. With a rainwater harvesting system, one can now conserve the water that they would use to wash their car, water the garden, wash the dishes and clothes, and so on.

The Water is Clean
A lot of people are opposed to the concept of drinking rainwater, but the truth is people have been doing it for centuries. The reason being that despite misconceptions about groundwater, groundwater is actually free of contaminants. Now many people would ponder how such a thing could be true considering that our water naturally becomes dirty when it starts to mix up with nature and the environment around us so naturally rainwater would be no exception to this rule. While this is the case, it is important to note that with the rainwater harvesting system, one is actually trying to collect the rainwater before it comes in contact with the environment. The systems catch the rainwater before it sits around in nature and becomes filled up with its contaminants. Therefore, it actually is very pure for drinking. If you have some worrisome thoughts about it than just simply boil the water before you use it or throw it in a filter system. The water will surely be clean enough for safe drinking by then!

It Keeps the Environment Clean
Rainwater can also do a superb job at keeping the environment’s lakes and ponds clean. The reason why our environment faces such a serious problem with dirty lakes and ponds is due to the fact that rainwater runoff comes in contact pesticides and fertilizers that are put into the ground. This water then comes in contact with our surface water which then makes the lakes and ponds in our environment contaminated with all those pesticides and fertilizers floating around. This completely destroys animal life as well as lowers the percentage of water that we can use for drinking water. By choosing to rainwater harvest, one can allow for runoff to not come in contact with surface water, decreasing the risk of dirty ponds and lakes.

Reduction of Storm water Runoff
In addition to reducing storm water runoff to prevent contamination by pesticides and fertilizers, lowering storm water runoff can also prevent floods and soil erosion. The effect of a storm’s runoff can lead to damaging floods that can destroy homes and businesses and create a serious disaster to people. Collecting that rainwater decreases the risk of flood and eliminates all the hazards that come with it. In addition to this it can also decrease how much soil erosion can take place by storm water runoff water. This is important because soil erosion leads to loss of topsoil which is the most organic and nutrient rich soil out there.

Storm water
It has become routine for us as a society to be hesitant about trying new things. A lot of people are afraid of change and prefer to stick to what they know even if they know it is not good for them. Indeed, making the change is hard, but it is a change that will make an incredible difference on humanity and the environment. The change can change the lives of future generations and impact the world they live in. Choosing to research and understand alternatives to problems we see happening around the world is one step towards a brighter and sustainable future.

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