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RAINWATER HARVESTING METHODS FOR URBAN AREAS

Increasing pressure on water bodies in urban areas to meet water demands for households and commercial entities in urban areas has led to the rise of shortages and rationing. As a result, individuals and businesses are constantly being forced to find alternative ways to meet their water needs in order to become self sufficient and less susceptible to changes in water supply and increase in prices occasioned by rising price of inputs to treat and process water. One of the better and more sustainable ways that people have discovered to sort out their water problems is rainwater harvesting. This method, which is affordable and easy to use, is helping people around the world to collect and store water to meet their daily needs, and easing the burden on local government and other water bodies tasked with the job of supplying water to people in urban areas. The following are a few of the most effective rainwater harvesting methods that have proved most effective in urban areas:

  1. Rooftop Catchment

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This is among the oldest rainwater harvesting techniques and dates back to ancient times before the advent of modern water technology, when people had to utilize available surfaces to collect and store water during the rainy season for future use. Rooftop catchment involves the use of several components including a catchment surface, conveyancing pipes, storage tank and a distribution network. To maximize collection, roofs are usually slanted although flat roofs may also be used as long as the conveyancing pipes are placed in strategic positions. To ensure that water collected is clean enough for use, a filtration system is put in place and collection surfaces must be kept clean.

  1. rainwater-factsGroundwater recharge

Groundwater recharge refers to the process of replenishing water resources under the ground such as wells, boreholes and aquifers. It can be done directly or indirectly. Direct groundwater recharge involves allowing water to percolate through the soils surface and into underground sources such as aquifers. Other direct methods include subsurface recharge which use man made recharge wells to deliver water to deep aquifers. Indirect methods include the use of pumps to transfer water from surface bodies such as lakes and streams into underground sources. In addition, artificial aquifers may be created in order to boost underground water reserves.

  1. Land catchment

This method uses a series of drain pipes to collect water from land surfaces and into underwater storage tanks. It allows for maximum collection of runoff and provides water that is mainly used for sanitary purposes and in gardening since it is not very potable.

People living in urban areas will have to find alternative ways to meet their water needs in the face of increasing urban populations, climate changes that lead to less rainfall and an increase in the costs of chemicals needed to treat water to make it safe for human use. Fortunately, rainwater can provide adequate quantities of water to households and businesses and help them avoid the disadvantages associated with shortages and rationing. You can find more information on the various methods you can use to harvest rainwater online through the Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute.

3 most famous names in the history of permaculture and organic farming

Permaculture is a way of life, i.e. a system of principles and rules which greatly exceeds the boundaries of agriculture and gardening, although many people nowadays restrict it only to these areas of human activity. This elaborate set of rules is focused on preservation of non-renewable resources and our complete environment, by copying or mimicking patterns and designs found in nature. It can be applied to various fields of modern society interactions, like natural building, engineering and economy.

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Many people are deeply touched by the whole situation with natural world and are actively engaged in the battle for protection and sustainable usage of resources. This “battle” for a better and healthier lifestyle started all the way back in 1900s when people began to oppose the unstoppable growth and dominance of increased industrialization. Pollution, global warming and similar eco-problems were being more and more present in the media, and those levels of awareness reached their peak during the 1960s. Soon after that, in 1978 two Australian experts published the book called “Permaculture One” which marked a great step forward in the efforts to save our endangered world.

Several names have deserved the utmost respect for their hard work and continuous attempts to make permaculture available to anybody, and although some of them worked before the official establishment of the movement, they are included here, because they influenced the younger generations and were active in the field of organic farming.

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David Holmgren

Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008): Japanese philosopher and one of the most important names in the field of organic farming. His book “The One-Straw Revolution” (1975) left enormous impact on experts all over the world, and was sold in more than one million copies on more than 20 languages. He travelled extensively all over the world, giving lectures and receiving numerous awards for his work and teaching.

Bill Mollison (1928- ): Australian professor, author and scientist who is considered “the father of permaculture” since he co-founded the system with his student in 1978. He later founded “The Permaculture Institute” in Tasmania and created the system of leadership and training courses.

David Holmgren (1955- ): Australian writer and environmentalist with long history in activism and permaculture. Together with Mollison he coined the term permaculture and is also considered one of the founding fathers. During the years, he held many courses on this topic and wrote numerous publications and books. Ecovillage “Fryers Forest” in Australia is his most significant contribution to practical permaculture.

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Other honorable mentions definitely have to include names like Geoff Lawton and Toby Hemenway who are well-known authors on subject of permaculture, or Rudolf Stainer and J.I Rodale who are pioneers of organic farming and have also wrote notable publications, or the modern-day activists and fighters for Mother Nature, like Vladislav Davidzon who founded a popular design school (“Regenerative Leadership Institute” in 2004) and since then provides high-quality courses on the topics of sustainable living, renewable resources, waste recycling, economical elements of permaculture and many more.