Do you know that up to 60% of the human adult body is water?
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and lungs are about 83%. The skin contains 64% water while muscles and kidneys are 79%. Even bones are a watery 31%.
With that said, here are some important facts about current limited global water availability:
783 million people do not have access to clean drinking water
One half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water borne disease.
64% of households throughout the world rely on women to get the family’s water when there is no water source at home.
Globally we use 70% of our water sources for irrigation and only 10% for domestic use.
Water is a limited resource; it is not infinite. What each of us does in the world and how we live affects our water supply. We can make a difference. We can take steps globally to protect our water resources by simple conservation techniques.
Education is the key to protecting the water supply in developing countries and industrial countries as well. Non-profit organizations such as Bank on Rain are spreading the word about rainwater collection and teaching conservation techniques to those who do not have a clean source of drinking water.
Ken Blair, president of RainBank Rainwater Systems is a lifetime member of ARCSA. The Mission of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world.
Ken has also achieved the status of Accredited Professional, Systems Inspector, and is ARCSA’s Northwest Regional Representative.
Even with the current drought, some water districts, municipalities and counties in Washington are still not on board with collection of rainwater for potable usage.
With the newly released water supply predictions from Seattle Public Utilities stating that a 30% reduction in available water within the next 35 years is likely, counties and municipalities in Washington State that do not currently allow for potable use of collected rainwater should reconsider this position.
Both Pierce and Snohomish County water districts have yet to allow rainwater collection for potable usage for residential use. The cities of Bellevue and Sammamish, even though part of King County, which for several years has allowed rainwater harvesting for potable use, continue to refuse rainwater collection as a potable source of water for a single-family residence. Both county’s water districts, along with Seattle Public Utilities are part of television advertising campaign asking customers to take shorter showers and only do full loads of laundry and dishwashing.
Is this their solution to the growing problem of water availability? I recently met with the water district in Pierce County at Pacific Lutheran University about a possible project for sustainability including rainwater collection for a dwelling on campus, to be used as an example of potable use. The purpose was for students to gain experience about rainwater harvesting in a real life . A representative of the water district told us it would never happen as long as he was in charge.
I recently represented a customer in Sammamish who was pursuing rainwater collection for non-potable use (toilet and laundry facility) for five new single family residences and was met with significant opposition by city officials. Multiple meetings with the city resulted in the customer giving up his pursuit. Instead, the houses will be totally dependent on the city water supply.
Snohomish County’s smaller water districts have resorted to purchasing water from the city of Everett during this drought because of their water supply running extremely low this summer. But yet, the county still takes the stance of not allowing residential potable usage of collected rainfall. What we’re talking about is rain that could be collected during rain events to help supplement a burdened city water supply.
Most counties in Eastern Washington, even though extremely affected by the drought, have yet to adopt rainwater collection for potable use.
It is time for these districts to become educated in the benefits of rainwater collection and allow customers to become their own purveyors of their own water. To be held hostage by the water districts because of revenues is not only wrong, but it also intensifies the water shortage issues we have experienced and will continue to experience.
Potable water collection has Seattle residents singing in the rain.
It’s a tight fit in this backyard, but RainBank Rainwater Systems always anticipates and appreciates the opportunity to rise to a water collection challenge! A bonus is, given the drought conditions, that this Seattle customer will soon have drinking water, supplied by rain.
Under the watchful eye of RainBank’s engineering’s Chad Lindsly, the first of two 5,000 gallon, potable water tanks are put into place by Extreme Excavation.
The system will provide this Seattle residence with quality potable water for whole-house use. “We should be collecting water by end of next week”, explains Chad.
RainBank Rainwater Systems continues providing its customers with top of the line installs in the Seattle area offering design built potable rainwater harvesting systems.
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