14 September 2012
The Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting in a Modern World
Picture yourself on a hot summer day…is water involved? Does your damp skin feel the cooling effect of a light breeze? Maybe you’re thirsty and sipping on a glass of lemonade, ice cubes bobbing at the surface. Perhaps you are at the beach, listening to the waves crash onto the shore, or you’re in your backyard hearing the sprinklers on the lawn. Yes, water is involved. Water, in all of its forms, is one of the most essential substances on Earth and provides the opportunity for life. We, as a society, take water for granted. Every day, if you want water, all you have to do is walk to the nearest sink and turn it on. There is no thought as to where that water comes from, or the fact that it may not be there forever. Our everyday consumption behaviors such as showering and clothes washing can have a significant impact on the environment. Imagine a future where water is scarce and restricted. How would you survive? All over the world regions with sustainable ground water balance are shrinking every day. This can be due to depletion because of overdraft, salinization from inadequate drainage or pollution from agricultural and industrial activity. In Yemen alone, ground water extraction is expected to exceed recharge by 400 percent. Aquifers in Mexico are declining at an average rate of 1.79 to 3.3 meters per year (Shah, Molden, Sakthivadivel and Seckler, 2000). At such an alarming rate of recession, it is important to find another alternative source of water to help recoup some of the ground water supply. For this reason I do believe that rainwater harvesting is a viable option to substitute ground water extraction in some regions and to help replenish ground water. About 70% of the Earth is covered with water, and 96.5% of that is part of the oceans. Only a small portion of the Earth’s water is fresh water. 1.7% is below ground and 1.8% is above...