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Rainwater Harvesting & its importance

What Is Rainwater Harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is the simple process or technology used to conserve Rainwater by collecting, storing, conveying, and purifying Rainwater that runs off from rooftops, parks, roads, open grounds, etc. for later use.

Have you ever imagined a day without water?
No, we can not live like that it’s hard to imagine.
We need water for different kinds of day-to-day activities, such as cleaning, washing, etc.
Water is a precious, essential, and vital component of the ecosystem.
A huge amount of water is used for irrigation. That’s why there is an urgent need for water management in the irrigation sector.
Today we all are heading toward the scarcity of water, and this is mainly because of the lack of water conservation and pollution of water bodies.
Reports of several global agencies including the United Nations indicate that if the current situation of water does not change and preventive measures are not taken, then the world will feel a shortage of freshwater by 2050.
So, start conserving water for further use and let us not waste a drop of water.

The rainwater harvesting system is one of the best methods to support the conservation of water.
Today, scarcity of good quality water has become a significant cause of concern.
However, Rainwater, which is pure and of good quality, can be used for multiple purposes like irrigation, washing, cleaning, cooking, etc.

Techniques Of Rainwater Harvesting:

1. Surface runoff harvesting:

In this method, rainwater flows away as surface runoff and can be stored for future use.
Surface water can be stored by diverting the flow of small creeks and streams into reservoirs on the surface or underground.
It can provide water for farming, for cattle, and also for general domestic use.
Surface runoff harvesting is most suitable in urban areas.
Rooftop rainwater/storm runoff can be harvested in urban areas through:

  •  Recharge Pit
  • Recharge Trench
  • Tubewell
  • Recharge Well

2. Groundwater recharge:

Groundwater recharge is a hydrologic process where water moves downward from surface water to groundwater.
Recharge is the primary method through which water enters an aquifer.
The aquifer also serves as a distribution system.
The surplus rainwater can then be used to recharge groundwater aquifers through artificial recharge techniques.
Rainwater in rural areas can be harvested through:

  • Gully Plug
  • Contour Bund
  • Dugwell Recharge
  • Percolation Tank
  • Check Dam/Cement Plug/Nala Bund
  • Recharge Shaft

Although rainwater harvesting measure is deemed to be a desirable concept for the last few years, it is rarely being implemented in rural India.
Different regions of the country practiced a variety of rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge methods.
Some ancient rainwater harvesting methods followed in India include Madakas, Ahar Pynes, Surangas, Taankas, etc.

What Are The Benefits Of Rainwater Collection?

  • Rainwater is a relatively clean and absolutely free source of water.
  • You have total control over your water supply. (ideal for cities with water restrictions)
  • It is socially acceptable and environmentally responsible.
  • It promotes self-sufficiency and helps conserve water.
  • Rainwater is better for landscape plants and gardens because it is not chlorinated.
  • It reduces stormwater runoff from homes and businesses.
  • It can solve the drainage problems on your property while providing you with free water.
  • It uses simple technologies that are inexpensive and easy to maintain.
  • It can be used as a main source of water or as a backup source to wells and municipal water.
  • The system can be easily retrofitted to an existing structure or built during new home construction.
  • The system is very flexible and can be modular in nature, allowing expansion, reconfiguration, or relocation, if necessary.
  • It can provide an excellent backup source of water for emergencies.

Disadvantages Of Rainwater Harvesting

In addition to the great advantages, the rainwater harvesting system has a few disadvantages like unpredictable rainfall, unavailability of the proper storage system, etc. Some of them are listed below:

  • Regular Maintenance is required.
  • Requires some technical skills for installation.
  • Limited and no rainfall can limit the supply of Rainwater.
  • If not installed correctly, it may attract mosquitoes and other waterborne diseases.
  • One of the significant drawbacks of the rainwater harvesting system is storage limits.
2 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Rainwater Harvesting & its importance

I have been collecting rainwater from the barn for 42 years and use it to water the cows. Most years, it is sufficient to supply all their needs from early spring to when it gets down to 19° in the fall. All gravity fed. 🤠👍

Senior Contributor

Re: Rainwater Harvesting & its importance

I'll one up you Craig, I've got a spring that has never, even on the worst drought year, gone dry.  Never freezes.

Guess thats a different subject though.