Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with Rainwater Harvesting
In a world that’s becoming more environmentally conscious, most people know the basics. Recycle where possible, don’t waste power and keep a low carbon budget. Yet, what about other natural resources such as water? For an ideal solution, more and more of us are looking up to the sky for the answer through rainwater harvesting.
Rainwater is a free, natural resource, so why not make the most of it? Why pump water through various pipes when your own garden can provide for you? If you haven’t considered collecting rainwater, perhaps these benefits will change your mind.
Rainwater harvesting makes sense
It fulfills a variety of purposes
At its most basic, rainwater is ideal for feeding hungry plants and vegetables – they often appreciate it more than the chemical-induced tap water – but a simple tank and water pump can be the start of so much more. You can use it to clean dishes, flush the toilet and, with the right filters, even drink it. It really is an investment that offers as much as it can if you’re willing to make the initial investment. Just how much can rainwater harvesting accomplish? It has already achieved large scale success in difficult climates such as Pakistan and the Philippines, helping both farmers and locals to use water all year around.
It’s Good For Your Health
Do you know what’s in your tap water? The chances are you don’t but many countries often put chemical preservatives and other agents in the water – case of Flint, Michigan unfortunately comes to mind. Rainwater, however, is surprisingly clean in comparison. Try washing your dishes in rainwater and notice the lack of streaky smears you normally get? This is the difference a change of water makes, so which would you like to consume or come into contact with more?
It Works All Year Around
Rainwater harvesting does, of course, require rain. Yet that doesn’t mean it’s just great during the wet season. You can, for instance, save water for dry spells and manage your usage to keep a low reliance on tap water. Likewise, it will also work well during the winter. Snow melts into water, and as long as you ensure your pipes and tank don’t freeze, your system will be right there to collect it! Whether it’s hot or cold, rainwater is most likely available in your area, so don’t think it isn’t an option. Just store water when it rains the most and you can build a reserve for any dry spells in the summer.
A True Financial Investment
The more you use rainwater, the more you’ll save. Each time you choose to use it over the tap, that’s a cost that would have been added to the bill. It’s surprising how much money is wasted on showers, toilet flushes and just leaving the taps on a little too long. Furthermore, as a property investment, it’s an instant appeal to new buyers. Water rates across the world are estimated to rise, so access to free resources makes your home all the more desirable as a result. If you ever choose to sell your home, your harvesting investments will add value to the property.
It Doesn’t Interrupt The Rain Cycle
The rain cycle, as we’re all taught in school, is a simple process and harvesting rainwater for yourself is not going to disrupt this precious natural pattern. After all, you’re using the water yourself before it naturally evaporates, sinks into the ground, or deposits into the storm drains. Collection merely adds an additional step to the flow whereas pumping water from a reservoir, on the other hand, encourages the opposite. Using water from a large company hinders the environment – in recent history, we’ve seen droughts in California and hose pipe bans in London, all due to an excessive demand on water. Harvesting lets you make the smart choice while taking personal responsibility for your own natural resource.
It Helps You Feel Better
Finally, what’s wrong with a little investment for the soul? Utilizing rain water enables you to decrease your reliance on tap water, become more environmentally friendly and even save money. All of this should help you feel better about your current position and motivate you to make even more positive changes in your life.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to enjoy when investing in rainwater harvesting. Whether you’re looking to protect the environment or simply save some money on the monthly bills, there are enough short term and long term advantages to make rainwater collection an option worth considering.
Tim Sparke is the CEO at 4pumps.com, Australia's largest online pump supplier. For several years, he has been an active advocate of organic farming and sustainability. He has a passion for writing and is responsible for writing the 4pumps blog.