Rainwater Harvesting for Future Sustainability
Water is called the elixir of life. It’s the prime source for sustainability on planet earth. Not just for humans, but also for all the life forms, visible and non-visible, water keeps everything smooth and flowing. One of the major sources of pure water is rainwater. Kerala is blessed with a lengthy monsoon in a calendar year. This helps the agrarian sector and water facility sector of the government to run accordingly for the remaining year. In a metro city like Kochi, water usage is increasing on a day-to-day basis. Living in apartments in Kochi, it is essential to look after the basic needs like water.
During the season of monsoon, the excess amount of runoff water is higher. This water can be stored and reused for future purposes, using rainwater harvesting methods. Residents of apartments in Kochi can put practical measures to make the best use of rainwater by storing in heavy barrels or tanks and keep it for the scarce times. The government of Kerala has already made great efforts to promote and encourage this method for higher sustainability. Some top builders in Kochi have already included this feature during the construction time onwards. Your household might be either 2 or 3 BHK apartments, and this rainwater harvesting technique will work functionally for the betterment of your living.
What is Rain harvesting and rainwater harvesting methods?
Rainwater harvesting is the process of storing rainwater during the monsoon season to use it after the season and at the time of scarcity. Generally speaking, it is a process used for collecting and storing rainwater for sustainability.
Rainwater Harvesting Methods includes
One of the best rainwater harvesting techniques used by many apartments in Kochi and elsewhere. The method works with the installation of one or several barrels (open water tanks) on the roof of apartment buildings. The rainwater barrel harvesting method is one of the cheapest ways of collecting rainwater. All that is required for this method are some barrels and placing them in the right position where downpour occurs frequently.
This system is the much-advanced version of the barrel system. Here a comparatively larger tank is used to store the rainwater in open areas. It is helpful to use a gutting system to direct the rainwater into the tank. The system is called Dry system because the water that flows through the pipes from the gutter runs dry when the rain stops.
Unlike in the dry system, the pipes which carry water, stores the rainwater even after the rain stops. Instead of taking water to the rooftop tanks, there will be a tank placed beneath the ground. This way the pipes are constantly running with water and pumps to usage. It is better to check the pipers regularly to see possible leakages.
Other rainwater harvesting techniques focusing mainly on storing the water and using for future purposes. But this technique directly opens for plants and other cultivation to expose directly under the falling rain. Terrace gardens and rooftop agriculture will get more out of this method. The rainwater that falls on the roof, streams down as runoff water, flows directly into the drainage and will be collected in the barrels underneath the ground. Some of the top builders in Kochi follows this method.
The Economic Benefits Of Rainwater Harvesting
Collecting and using rainwater to replace municipal water reduces your water charges. By following this, not just the household or apartments which will be benefitted, but also the government can gradually cut down the amount spent on water treatment and pumping. This water can be further saved for other irrigation facilities and hydroelectric projects. Taking the scenario in Kochi alone, this process, in turn, reduces water service cost to a municipality.
The cost to the community to supply treated water is becoming more expensive every year. The widespread implementation of rainwater harvesting within a municipality’s service area can reduce the long-term water development needs of the city, allowing the city to use their existing water infrastructure investments more efficiently. Designing and installing rainwater collection systems can provide sustainable jobs for the economy of the future. The rainwater harvesting industry can become a leading employer in the green infrastructure movement.
Additional Benefits Of Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater can be used for irrigation purposes, indoor facilities of homes and offices and potable water supply. Rainwater is pure in its form and is considered soft water. While washing clothes and utensils for the household, rainwater reduces the amount of detergent or soaps needed and reduce the money spent on these detergents and soaps. Rainwater from a potable rainwater harvesting system will be properly filtered and disinfected has some of the best tasting water available. It doesn’t have the many chemicals that municipally treated water has such as fluoride or chloramines (chlorine).
Now let's look at certain advantages of Rainwater Harvesting:
Reduces water charges
Ideal source for irrigation water (terrace garden and surrounded plantings)
Reduces groundwater demands
Multiple household purposes
Can control soil erosion
As it was mentioned earlier about the methods of Rainwater harvesting, the commonly and effectively used method is the barrel harvesting system. There are few pros and cons to check before the installation of the barrels, which are:
Pros of rain barrels
The barrels are the easiest ways of collecting rainwater.
They are cheap, especially if they are reused
Since they are being reused, it becomes a great way to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfills
The barrels are lightweight and easy to move around, even by one person
They are easily installed, thus reducing the cost of installation
Cons of rain barrels
The size of the barrel matters. Small-sized barrels are available in the market and by placing it, the volume of water received will be lower.
By joining multiple numbers of water barrels, there are chances of leaking through the joints, which are connected with pipes.
Most importantly, if the barrels are not sealed properly, insects will start to breed and inhabits the water, which results in several water-borne diseases.
Veegaland Homes, from the promoters of V-Guard and Wonderla, said to be one of the best builder in Kerala, promotes rainwater harvesting to facilitate a better living.
The video feature Mr. Bejoy AR, GM Projects and Business Development of Veegaland Homes, explains the importance of rainwater and its preservation. Veegaland Homes Green Cloud apartment tower at Vazhakkala has constructed such a way to collect each raindrop and preserve it. Veegaland Homes use time-tested and sophisticated rainwater harvesting techniques and methods to save water and do the best to overcome the water scarcity in a city like Kochi.