All living things including, plants, animals and human beings need water to live and to carry out different cellular activities.
Have you ever imagined a day without water?
No, we have not and it is hard to imagine. We all use water for different kinds of day to day activities, such as cleaning, washing, bathing, cooking, drinking and other domestic and industrial uses.
Water is a precious, essential and an abiotic component of the ecosystem. Today we all are heading toward the scarcity of water, and this is mainly because of the lack of water conservation and pollution of water bodies. So, let us not waste a drop of water and start conserving water for further use.
Also read: Water
There are different methods used for conserving water, here let us learn about the rainwater harvesting system.
What is Rainwater harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the simple process or technology used to conserve Rainwater by collecting, storing, conveying and purifying of Rainwater that runs off from rooftops, parks, roads, open grounds, etc. for later use.
Explore more: How Can We Conserve Water?
How to Harvest the Rainwater?
Rainwater harvesting systems consists of the following components:
- Catchment- Used to collect and store the captured Rainwater.
- Conveyance system – It is used to transport the harvested water from the catchment to the recharge zone.
- Flush- It is used to flush out the first spell of rain.
- Filter – Used for filtering the collected Rainwater and remove pollutants.
- Tanks and the recharge structures: Used to store the filtered water which is ready to use.
The process of rainwater harvesting involves the collection and the storage of rainwater with the help of artificially designed systems that run off naturally or man-made catchment areas like- the rooftop, compounds, rock surface, hill slopes, artificially repaired impervious or semi-pervious land surface.
Several factors play a vital role in the amount of water harvested. Some of these factors are:
- The quantum of runoff
- Features of the catchments
- Impact on the environment
- Availability of the technology
- The capacity of the storage tanks
- Types of the roof, its slope and its materials
- The frequency, quantity and the quality of the rainfall
- The speed and ease with which the Rainwater penetrates through the subsoil to recharge the groundwater.
Why do we Harvest Rainwater?
The rainwater harvesting system is one of the best methods practised and followed to support the conservation of water. Today, scarcity of good quality water has become a significant cause of concern. However, Rainwater, which is pure and of good quality, can be used for irrigation, washing, cleaning, bathing, cooking and also for other livestock requirements.
Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting
The benefits of rainwater harvesting system are listed below.
- Less cost.
- Helps in reducing the water bill.
- Decreases the demand for water.
- Reduces the need for imported water.
- Promotes both water and energy conservation.
- Improves the quality and quantity of groundwater.
- Does not require a filtration system for landscape irrigation.
- This technology is relatively simple, easy to install and operate.
- It reduces soil erosion, stormwater runoff, flooding, and pollution of surface water with fertilizers, pesticides, metals and other sediments.
- It is an excellent source of water for landscape irrigation with no chemicals and dissolved salts and free from all minerals.
Also Read: Disappearing Act of Water
Disadvantages of Rainwater Harvesting
In addition to the great advantages, the rainwater harvesting system has a few disadvantages like unpredictable rainfall, unavailability of the proper storage system, etc.
Listed below are few more disadvantages of the rainwater harvesting process.
- Regular Maintenance is required.
- Requires some technical skills for installation.
- Limited and no rainfall can limit the supply of Rainwater.
- If not installed correctly, it may attract mosquitoes and other waterborne diseases.
- One of the significant drawbacks of the rainwater harvesting system is storage limits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you understand by rainwater harvesting?
- Rooftop rainwater harvesting.
- Surface runoff harvesting.
- First, flush.
- It is cost-effective
- Conserves water
- A source of water for landscape irrigation
- It is a simple method and easy to practice
- It reduces soil erosion and pollution of water bodies due to fertilizers and pesticides
- Catchment features
- Quantum of runoff
- The capacity of storage tanks