Rainwater harvesting is the process of accumulating and storing rainwater for on-site use instead of allowing it to run off. Rainwater provides an independent and free water supply that offers several ways the water can be used. The following are 5 advantages of harvesting rainwater.
1. Reduces Flooding and Erosion
Harvesting rainwater can help the environment in a number of ways. For starters, it can reduce erosion around downspouts and in gardens. It can also control storm water run-off. Rainwater doesn’t produce scale and corrosion as hard water does. The collection of rainwater may reduce flooding in certain areas as well.
2. Reduces Water Bills
Rainwater harvesting will not only help individuals save on their water bills but can cut costs for entire communities. The cost to supply mains and overall water services can be substantially reduced when many people in one community use rainwater. Having a source of water can also reduce dependence on municipal sources in case the water becomes contaminated. Rainwater can be used as the primary source of water or as a backup source when needed.
3. Reduces Demand on Ground Water
Sources of ground water are increasingly being strained in many areas throughout the world. Digging deeper wells is not only expensive but can cause environmental damage such as collapsing the soil where the water used to be. It only makes sense to use sources of rainwater whenever possible. Harvested rainwater can be stored and then used during times of drought and when the ground water supplies have been depleted.
4. Can Be Used for Non-drinking Purposes
The majority of the water we need is used for non-drinking. Everything from washing clothes and dishes to bathing and flushing toilets require large amounts of water. Rainwater can be used for all of these things. Rainwater is soft and can lessen the need for detergents when washing clothes and dishes. Rainwater can also be used for washing vehicles, bathing pets, and nearly all cleaning that uses water.
5. Can Improve Plant Growth
Rainwater harvesting can also be used to improve plants and gardens. Using harvested water can flush the salt buildup from plants and soil. Harvested rainwater is generally free from several types of pollutants and man-made contaminants. Rain is also free from chlorination. Using water that is this clean and healthy for plants and trees can save money on overall property maintenance and landscaping needs.
While regular maintenance is required, simple collection systems can be constructed that most people can easily build and maintain. Rainwater harvesting and storage can be incorporated in both rural and urban areas and provides many benefits to individuals, communities, and the environment.
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