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Less Floods, Less Waste, and Increased Efficiency: Quality Rain Harvesting Systems

By Tabatha Tidd Subscribe to RSS | June 26th 2012 | Views:

“More than one-half of the world’s major rivers are being seriously depleted and polluted, degrading and poisoning the surrounding ecosystems, thus threatening the health and livelihood of people who depend upon them for irrigation, drinking, and industrial water.” This is an excerpt from Ismail Serageldin’s speech in the Water Forum held in the Netherlands in 1999. He was the chairman of the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century and was stressing the fact that there is a need to use and conserve water more properly.

Rain is a phenomenon that helps many communities around the globe recover from the threat of river degradation and water shortage. Many tribes perform rituals to rain and, through the years, people have been developing ways to maximize the use of the small amount of water available to them. Recent studies show that even regions considered to have a relatively long wet season annually have experienced lengthened dryness or drought. With the adverse effects of global warming, these phenomena can be expected. They are not particularly helpful to regions that need extra water to survive.

Rainwater collection systems are tools one can use to collect and store rainwater. Even though there are simpler ways to collect rainwater, the more advanced systems are quite appealing for home and business owners as they basically take less space and store more water. Some of these systems also have filters, so the stored water is cleaned in the process. If you want to go for the simpler procedure, you can put a plastic or metal barrel at the opening of your gutter’s downspout. Once it rains, the water will just flow from your roof, through the gutters, and into the barrel.

A more complex rain water harvesting system involves the use of a large underground water chamber, where rainwater from the roof will be directed to. Downspouts are still used, but they are extended to the water chamber. These chambers can hold 60 percent more water than a standard barrel water butt, which can hold up to 350 gallons of water. Storm chambers don’t occupy much space because they are underground, unlike barrel water butts.

How exactly does collecting rainwater help the environment? Rains cause floods and run-offs, which negatively affect the soil of gardens and even the foundation of a home, especially when there are only a few or no trees around. An efficient rain harvesting system greatly lessens the amount of water that goes into the streets, preventing floods and other soil or garden problems.

With a rain water harvesting system, you can reuse precious water and lessen the amount of water wasted yearly. For more information about rainwater harvesting systems, please visit

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