In the June ARCSA newsletter, Dr. Hari J. Krishna, ARCSA Founder & Past President, Austin, Texas writes:
“My mission for the past 25 years has been to help people become aware of the benefits of rainwater harvesting, and to make the technique as popular a practice as possible. It is with that intent that I founded ARCSA and have been pleased with all the progress we have made, thanks to the efforts of many others who have followed me at ARCSA and contributed greatly over the years.
In 2010, I met with managers of several local big box stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sam’s to encourage them to start selling rain barrels. Most of them did not know what I was talking about, so it was more of an educational process to make them aware, but it still did not yield the desired results. I was told that there was plenty of city water available, and that there was no need to collect rain water. Then shortly thereafter, we got hit with a crippling multi-year drought in Texas, and when water restrictions were imposed, folks began recognizing the value of rainwater. So ironically, the drought helped bring rainwater harvesting into focus. I see a sharp increase in big box stores selling rain barrels. “
The drought that hit Washington state in 2015 has been nearly eradicated due to heavy rains and snow to ring in 2016. According to the the U.S. Drought Monitor, the south-east corner of the state is still in moderate drought, but with a high percentage of Washington’s water supply coming from snowpack accumulations and which statewide are more than 100 percent of normal for this time of year, most Washingtonians are sitting pretty when it comes to water supplies since forecasts for the April-September runoff period are within the normal range.
What does this mean for the future of water conservation in Washington state?
According to its website, “The Water Supply Availability Committee (WSAC) will continue to meet in 2016 to evaluate current and forecasted water supply conditions and to consider whether drought conditions are likely to be in effect spring and summer. This web page is provided to track the meeting information for this group.
The 2015 statewide drought declaration expired December 31, 2015. Forecasts for January thru March 2016 are for warmer, drier conditions as a result of El Niño. Ecology will continue to evaluate conditions and monitor water supplies.”
What does this mean for folks who use water in Washington state?
RainBank had a busy first quarter designing and installing rainwater collection systems in the Puget Sound area and Portland, OR. These were projects where residents and businesses wanted to capture the El Niño driven rains for drinking, irrigation, toilet and/or laundry facilities. Some will use their systems to supplement well or city water, while others are able to go completely off-grid and use rainwater to supply all of their needs.
We don’t have to wait for drought to set our conservation plans in motion. Be proactive and contact RainBank today to learn how you can include rainwater harvesting in your new construction or remodeling project. We work closely with general contractors and architects to design and construct the most efficient, well-constructed system you can find anywhere in the country. We stand by our systems, many of which are still operating after 15 years.
How is it that the ancient practice of rainwater harvesting is just catching on as a hot commodity to make and save money in commercial and residential worlds?
Businesses around the US are learning that in some areas, government is requiring better management of stormwater runoff, which necessitates the development of rainwater use across industries. Not just for drinking, captured rainwater can be used to toilet flushing and even to cool equipment.
At the recent ARCSA annual conference, held in drought-afflicted California, folks with an interest in rainwater harvesting gathered to learn how and why this ancient practice has moved from niche to mainstream. In the clip below, with excerpts from the ARCSA conference, CNBC’s Jane Wells talks about the business of capturing rainwater in California.
So, whether you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person and are seeking products, a Seattle homeowner in a small space wanting to design and install a residential system for lawn watering and laundry, or a commercial business in search of a steel tank to mitigate stormwater runoff, there’s a rainwater solution that can save the environment while saving you money down the road.
As this ancient practice becomes more and more popular, be sure to know your professionals and visit the ARCSA resource guide to ensure your rainwater system is designed and built to the highest industry standards.