Introduction: Rainfall is a good source of water for both domestic and commercial use. Falling rain is always a welcome sight especially after weather characterized by extremely high temperatures.
What is the Meaning of Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater and putting it to good use. There are different ways in which this task can be accomplished.
Rainwater harvesting refers to the trapping and storing of rainwater so that it can be used at a later time when the need arises. As the rain falls, water is directed to a suitable collection point.
It can also mean collecting rainwater before it infiltrates into the ground and becomes underground water. Harvesting mainly entails gathering something from its natural source.
Rainwater harvesting, from the common definition of harvesting, is a process that involves collecting rainwater and increasing its value by eliminating impurities or directing it to places where its use is highly required.
It’s a practice that has been around for a long time. The only difference is that now better methods have been developed to make the process a great success. New technologies have come into play and are now making the process easier and more efficient.
Methods of Rainwater Harvesting
There are many ways in which rainwater can be harvested. Some of these methods are very effective and can aid in the collection of a lot of water even for commercial activities while others are only suitable for harvesting water meant for domestic use. Every system has its merits and demerits. These are the common methods of rainwater harvesting:
1. Surface Water Collection Systems: Surface water is simply water that accumulates on the ground’s surface. When rainwater falls on the surface of the earth, it usually flows down slopes as it moves towards a point of depression where the moving water can collect. Surface water collection systems enable the collection of ground surface rainwater before it flows to other locations. Examples of such systems include rivers, ponds, and wells. Drainage pipes can be used to direct water into these systems. Water can then be fetched from these sources and then used for other purposes.
2. Rooftop system: These can also be used to harvest rainwater. They can be used to direct rainwater that falls on the roof of a building into containers or tanks. These tanks are usually elevated so that when the tap is opened, water flows at a high pressure. This method of rainwater harvesting is good because the accumulated water is mostly clean and usually requires no further treatment to make it fit for human use.
3. Dams: These are barriers that are designed to trap water. Rainwater can accumulate directly in them or drainage systems can be created to direct water into them. Water collected in dams is mostly used for irrigation purposes or treated and then distributed for domestic use. They can also be used to harvest a lot of water because of the way in which they are modeled. Unlike ponds, measures are put in place to reduce the amount of water draining into the ground.
4. Underground Tanks: These are also ideal for collecting rainwater. They are constructed by digging into the ground and creating a space which is then cemented to reduce water infiltration. The top is also sealed and water is obtained through pipes directed into the tank. To get water out, pumps are used. Underground tanks are wonderful for harvesting rainwater because the rate of evaporation is reduced since they are located underground where sunlight does not really penetrate.
5. Rainsaucer: Sometimes one can decide to collect rainwater directly as it falls from the sky by using a rain-saucer. These look like upside down umbrellas or big funnels. Some are usually attached to a pipe so that the collected water is directed elsewhere. Some people also do a little improvisation by placing the collecting container underground with only the rain-saucer above the ground. It is a simple method yet effective.
6. Water Collection Reservoirs: Water collected through this method is not really clean and may be contaminated. However, it can still be used for crop irrigation. such rainwater is harvested from roads and pavements.
7. Barrage: A barrage is a dam that has several openings which can be closed or opened to control the quantity of water that passes through it. It is usually large and can be used to collect a lot of water.
8. Slopes: Rainwater tends to collect at the bottom of slopes when it flows on the ground. When it rains heavily, water levels can rise to the hill top. This is a simple and natural way to harvest rainwater.
9. Trenches: This is another great way to harvest rainwater for irrigation. When it rains, the water is directed to the farm using trenches. It is one of the traditional methods of rainwater harvesting that is still very much in use today.
10. Rain Barrels: These are also used for rainwater harvesting. They are specifically designed for this purpose and can be purchased from retail stores. Rain barrels are used for harvesting rainwater that falls on rooftops.
Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting
1. Water For Domestic Use: Rainwater harvesting is beneficial because it provides a source of water for domestic use. The collected water can be used for house cleaning purposes, washing laundry and for cooking. When treated, rainwater is good for drinking. It is an easy way of obtaining water for use in the home.
2. Water For Industrial Use: Industries can also harvest rainwater for use in some of their processes. Rainwater meant for industrial use is normally harvested in large scale. Such companies can construct their own dams or have underground tanks to store rainwater.
3. Supplementary Water Source: Many areas experience water shortages during summer due to lack of rain and as a result of the high rate of evaporation. It can be difficult to get a reliable source of water during these periods. Those who sell water may also increase their prices because of the high demand and short supply. Harvesting rainwater is therefore seen as a way of preparing for the sunny days when water is scarce.
4. Cost Effective: We basically harvest rainwater for free because it is naturally occurring. If you store enough water during the rainy season, you may never have to pay for water services again because you’ll have enough supply to last you through the summer. This saves you money by cutting down your monthly expenditure on water bills.
5. Reliable Flow of Harvested Water: Even though harvesting of rainwater depends on rainfall, once stored, the supply of the available quantity is guaranteed. You can have an uninterrupted flow of water from the place of storage as long as the amount harvested has not been exhausted. The same cannot be said when you depend on an outside source to supply your water. There is also the benefit of locational-suitability because the source of water is in your place of stay.
6. Mitigates/Reduces The Impacts of Floods: Harvesting rainwater plays a key role in mitigating or reducing the impacts of floods. When rainwater is directed to farms through trenches or collected in dams, its movement is controlled. This prevents the accumulation of water in one area, something that often causes flooding. Rivers can also overflow and cause flooding in the adjacent areas. The negative impacts of floods are too many and costly. Harvesting rainwater is, therefore, an effective way of reducing the impacts of this natural disaster.
7. Building and Construction: Collected rainwater can be used for building and construction. The process of building a house requires a lot of water. Harvesting rainwater would thus avail water for this activity.
8. Helps In Preventing Water Pollution: Rainwater flowing on the ground surface can carry with it a lot of impurities and toxic substances. When it drains into water bodies, it pollutes them because of these impurities. Harvesting rainwater, therefore, prevents pollution of water bodies.
9. Irrigation: Rainwater is good for farming because once harvested, it can be used for irrigation especially during the summer. One can, therefore, have a thriving farm and realize a bumper harvest.
10. Saves Potable Water: Instead of using clean and treated water for other purposes such as washing and in the toilet, rainwater can be used. This saves potable water which would then be used for drinking and cooking only.
- Pre-filtration to remove impurities would make the harvested water safer.
- The harvested rainwater can also be boiled to kill any germs before drinking it.
- Rainwater should be collected in containers that do not give out toxins when exposed to sunlight.
- Set up the collection points before it starts raining because you can fall ill when you run around in the rain.
Disadvantages of Harvesting Rainwater
1. Additional Expenditure: Treating rainwater to make it fit for human consumption will see you incurring additional expenses. This would not happen when you use water supplied to you by the local council because it’s already treated.
2. Huge Efforts and Resources Required: Constructing a dam or an underground tank is no mean fete. Before you begin harvesting rainwater, you’ll have spent a considerable amount of resources. There are other cheap means but then you’ll not collect a reasonable amount of water.
3. Dependent On Rainfall: You can’t harvest rainwater when it does not rain. This process is therefore solely dependent on the availability of rain which can sometimes be very unreliable. What then happens when the dry spell is prolonged and you don’t have an alternative source of water?
4. Limited Storage: Even if it rains for three months straight, you cannot harvest all that water even if you wanted to. This is because there is limited storage to keep the rainwater.
5. Risk of Contamination: If not preserved with care, rainwater can be contaminated. This can cause several health problems especially when the water is used without first being treated. Waterborne diseases are so many and treating them is very costly.
6. Cleaning and Maintenance: The storage facilities have to be occasionally cleaned and maintained. Cleaning an underground water tank is not easy and maintaining a dam is very expensive. This makes the thought of harvesting rainwater unattractive.
7. Dual Cost: You’ll incur expenses twice because of paying your normal water bills and installing and maintaining the rainwater harvesting system. This will set you back financially in a way.
8. Roof Tops That Contain Chemicals: Some rooftops contain chemicals and impurities that mix with the rainwater. When consumed, this water can affect human health by causing illnesses and other health conditions.
9. Acidic Rain: Due to pollution, sometimes the rain that falls is acidic. Harvesting this type of rainwater is dangerous because of the chemicals contained. Using acidic rain for irrigation can also cause the death of crops because it erodes the quality of soil and creates conditions that are not conducive for plant germination. When the soil has a high pH, plants do not grow properly.
10. Lack of Water for Wildlife: Wild animals get their drinking water from natural sources such as seasonal streams and rivers. They also use them for cooling in the hot weather. Harvesting rainwater reduces the amount of water that flows into these streams and rivers. This affects the ecosystem because some animals are likely to die due to the harsh conditions.
Rainfall is a very important weather phenomenon. It is a source of water and is very critical for the growth of crops and farming. Harvesting rainwater is a practice that has been going on for a while. Many people actually engage in it without even realizing that they are doing so. Because of weather changes, water sources can dry up and in the process impact animal, human, and plant life negatively. Rainwater harvesting is a smart way of preparing for such times because even when the conventional water sources dry up, we can still use the stored water for many purposes. The best part is that this type of water is naturally occurring. Some of the setbacks can be avoided by taking precautionary measures. When we employ innovation and technology, we can come up with better ways of rainwater harvesting and increase the storage capacity.
Category: EnvironmentTagged With: Rainwater Harvesting, Water
Rainwater harvesting involves the collection and storage of rainwater into the natural reservoirs or artificial reservoirs in order to prevent the surface water runoff.
Essay on Rain Water Harvesting
We have provided variety of paragraph and essay on rain water harvesting under different words limit for the students. It is very important topic on which students may be assigned to write essay or paragraph on the rain water harvesting. You can select any rain water harvesting essay given below according to the need and requirement.
Rain Water Harvesting Essay 1 (100 words)
Rain water harvesting is a technique used for collecting and storing rainwater by using various means in different resources for the future use purpose (like cultivation, etc). Rain water can be collected into the natural reservoirs or artificial tanks. Another method of collection is infiltration of surface water into the subsurface aquifers before getting lost by surface overflow. Rooftop harvesting is also a method to collect rainwater. It is of big importance to the people living in the less rainfall areas. They can continue seasonal crop harvesting using collected rain water even in the lack of regular water supply. Whenever it rains, rain water gets collected into the man made ponds or tanks.
Rain Water Harvesting Essay 2 (150 words)
Rain water harvesting is the collection of rainwater into the man made resources or any natural resource like pond, lake, etc at the same place where it falls from rooftops or ground. Two main techniques of rainwater harvesting are storage for future use and recharge into the ground. It can be used for crop harvesting, gardening, toilets, etc. Following are the benefits of rainwater harvesting at individual or city-wide level:
- It helps in reducing the water supply bills especially to the institutions.
- Rainwater recharged to the ground positively affects groundwater quality by diluting fluorides, nitrates and its salinity.
- It contains almost neutral pH and zero hardness which makes it more able to be used in homes, industries, institutions and other commercial establishments.
- It may reduce the stress of public water supply sources.
- Recharge of rainwater to the ground prevents sea-water immersion into the fresh water bodies in the coastal areas.
- It helps in controlling urban flooding if people do rainwater harvesting from rooftops.
- It reduces water demands of people from the municipality thus lessens energy consumption too in distributing water all through the city.
Rain Water Harvesting Essay 3 (200 words)
Rainwater harvesting means collecting the rain water into the natural reservoirs or man-made tanks. It is the technique to collect and store rainwater for various purposes in the future. The most common and easy method of rain water harvesting is the rooftop harvesting. Using this technique we can collect lots of clean rain water in the rainy season. It can be stored for long time for the household purposes like gardening, livestock, and irrigation, etc. Following are benefits of rain water harvesting:
- It helps in reducing water supply loads and electricity bills of municipality, improve free water supply, crop production in rural areas, and thus lead to food security.
- Rain water harvesting system helps in reducing the insecurity of households or individuals in the rural areas.
- It provides easy and low cost water supply in the lack of water areas thus helps in food security and income generation.
Tamil Nadu is one of the states of India and now has been first Indian state where rainwater harvesting has been mandatory. Tamil Nadu state government has declared on 30th of May 2014 to establish around 50,000 rainwater harvesting structures at various places in the Chennai. Till now, approximately 4,000 of the temples in the Tamilnadu have rain water tanks serving at various rituals in temples and help in recharging the groundwater.
Rain Water Harvesting Essay 4 (250 words)
Every drop of rain water is like blessings of God to the people on the earth. Fresh rain water falls on the ground like pearls, so everyone should understand the importance of rain water especially in developing regions and rural areas lack of natural water resources. We should try to collect rain water without wasting through rooftops and along streets run off. We should bring our old traditional harvesting practices using new and effective technologies to make easy water supply in all the regions. As only hand pumps, wells, and other resources of groundwater levels cannot fulfill the potable water need of hundreds of thousands of people.
Rainwater harvesting is the most sustainable and effective way for many years to make water available in the areas lacking water. Rainwater harvesting is very low cost method along with lots of benefits. It helps in various purposes like household works, field irrigation, livestock, agriculture and animal husbandry.
It helps in rejuvenating the groundwater levels in both directly and indirectly manner. Groundwater level can be replenished by rain water harvesting methods of trenches, anicut, dug wells, contour, etc whereas other rain water harvesting methods like underground water tanks, ponds, etc help in reducing the use of groundwater for at least four to six months. It is very effective in the hilly regions and desert regions of the India and other countries. More and clean rain water can be collected in the rainy season by making large and clean water body.
Rain Water Harvesting Essay 5 (300 words)
Now-a-days, people have been depended on the government system of water supply for getting water for their every need. The present scenario of water management and distribution in the cities has been centralized by the government which has brought a big gap of community responsibility in water management. It has slowly but regularly finished the old traditional water harvesting system.
Rainwater harvesting is again a new but old and effective technique of collecting rain water during rainy season for future usage purpose. It is being frequently used in various places of India to overcome the problems of lack of water. Rain water harvesting is the good source of ground water recharge in natural way. However, the ground water level is getting less day by day because of the rapid urbanization and cities development at huge level as well as reduction in percolation of the rainwater to the ground. Rainwater harvesting is the way to reduce the use of ground water as well as maintain its level forever in the future. It is of more importance to the drought regions of India and other countries to supply the demands of water for various purposes. Following are mentioned points proving the fact why to harvest rainwater:
- It plays great role in protecting the ground water decline and improving the ground water table.
- It helps in improving the water quality in aquifers.
- It is to conserve more water and prevent surface water runoff during the monsoon.
- It helps in reducing the soil erosion.
- It is to bring the old tradition of water conservation among people.
Rain water can be harvested in better way using following methods like surface runoff harvesting and roof top rainwater harvesting. Both are very effective methods help in enhancing the level of ground water and fulfill the need of water supply in easy and cost effective way.
Rain Water Harvesting Essay 6 (400 words)
Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rain water in the natural resources or artificially designed resources to prevent water runoff and fulfill the lack of water in future. The quantity of water harvesting is affected by the number of factors like frequency of rainfall, quantity of rainfall, way of collecting rain water, and size of resources to collect water. The ground water level is getting depleted day by day due to various reasons like deforestation and ecological imbalance. Increasing level of urbanization and industrialization constantly increases the demand of water supply especially in the urban areas. It results in the overuse of ground water and thus going low level. The risk of water scarcity in the future has been increased to a great extent and can be life threatening if some effective solutions are not followed.
Water harvesting is very helpful and fulfill various need like recharging the ground water level, reduces electricity bill spend in supplying water and provide easy water supply anytime when required. It is estimated that 1 meter rise in the water level saves around 0.4 KWH of electricity.
Why Rain Water Harvesting is Necessary:
Rain water harvesting is very necessary to be practiced by the people in all regions. It is good to reduce the fear of water scarcity in the future. Following are the points proving the fact that why rain water harvesting is necessary:
- Surface water cannot fulfill the demand of water for various purposes.
- Everyone depend on the ground water for their every need.
- Deforestation, rapid urbanization, rain water infiltration to the sub-soil, etc reasons are continuously decreasing the level of ground water.
- Rain water conservation maintains the level of water in natural water resources.
- It reduces the chance of flooding of water on the roads, reduces the risk of soil erosion and improves the quality of water.
Following are main techniques of rain water harvesting:
- Collecting rainwater to the surface for future use.
- Recharging the ground water.
Collecting rain water to the surface is very effective and traditional technique. It can be done using small ponds, underground tanks, dams, weirs etc. However, ground water recharging technique is a new concept of harvesting. It can be done using dug wells, pits, trenches, hand pumps, recharge wells, recharge shafts, recharge lateral shafts with bore wells, spreading technique (means spread of water to the stream, nala, etc).
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