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


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.

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