Tag Archives: water conservation

Water Conservation Through Rainwater Collection

Federal Way Washdown_RainBankLLC_webThe most common use of rainwater collection is for non potable use. Irrigation, water features, wash down, toilet, and laundry are all non potable uses that can have a positive effect on water conservation. A properly designed and installed rainwater collection system will provide enough water to support these desired uses with less impact on our water supply.

Rainwater is essentially free of pollution, so it can be stored without much more than screening. Storage can be underground, above ground, metal, plastic, or fiberglass. If irrigation is the desired use, keep in mind that approximately .623 gallons per sq ft of planting, per week is required for the healthy growth of plants, therefore storage volumes can be a concern in design due to space and costs. Conveyance can be gravity if there is enough head. Head is .4 lbs per foot of elevation. A pressure pump might be necessary to achieve the desired pressure needed. Sediment filtration for a simple irrigation system should be all that is needed to ensure emitters and soaker hoses perform as expected.

Water features such as fountains can recirculate the water being used, so very little storage would be required. Sediment and carbon filtration would be needed to keep pumps and nozzles working properly. A carbon filter would be helpful to keep odor to a minimum.

Wash down facilities can use rainwater collection and save money on their water bills by using rainwater collection as the rinse water. With enough storage, a large fleet can be washed with recycled wash water and rinsed with collected rainwater. Again, sediment and carbon filtration would be the only filtration needed. Wash down of equipment, whether construction or farming, can benefit from rainwater collection.

Toilet and laundry facilities for residential and commercial applications are becoming more popular with new construction. Rather than infiltration, which is mandated, why not use that water. Simple pumping and filtration of stored water is all the treatment needed. A return on investment can be achieved within a few years.

There are a wide range of uses for rainwater collection. With a little bit of imagination you might come up with a use for rainwater collection that could save you money.  

What is Your Water Footprint?

drop-of-water-361104_1280According to National Geographic, the average American lifestyle is kept afloat by about 2,000 gallons of H2O a day—twice the global average.

Have you ever calculated your water footprint? Do you know how much water you use?  Do you know how much it costs in dollars? Do you know that how much water you use and how you use it impacts the environment?  In a recent article by Scott Tong, the author surveyed folks to see how much water they estimate the average person/family uses per day.  Then he measured how much water his family of five uses. The results were a surprising.

There are also hidden ways we use water that we don’t always take into account.  As reported by National Geographic, nearly 95 percent of your water footprint is hidden in the food you eat, energy you use, products you buy, and services you rely on. 

If you want to calculate your water footprint and learn ways to save water in your household, click here for the Water Footprint Calculator from National Geographic.

How Much is Water (Conservation) Worth?

How Much is Water WorthHow much is water worth?

The question in itself is a huge discussion among corporate leaders and governmental agencies throughout the world. With increased demands of growing populations, droughts which plague many regions globally, and the lack of conservation, many are asking “how do we protect a common resource throughout the world, while providing a necessity of life for all of its inhabitants?” According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “We have a genuine, burgeoning, boundary – crossing crisis over water.” PepsiCo. CEO Indra Nooyi says “The world water crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our age.”

Companies are concerned as farmland suffers and the demand for water mounts. What is the solution? According to Fortune Magazine, “Some say: make people pay more for the most precious commodity on earth. “When water has no value, even low cost technology will never get implemented on a large scale.”  Furthermore, the article deems that water is so inexpensive that there is no incentive for conservation. Water needed for drinking, cooking, farming and basic life supporting necessities needs to be available to all, while there should be limits on non-essential use of water with cost increases to offset conservation practices and technologies.

The city of San Diego, which has experienced a drought not seen before in our lifetime, is investing money in large scale desalinization systems, paid for, in part, by a tiered water pricing system. While many think this to be controversial, the need is there, without some sort of rethinking how we manage our water supplies, there will be little water to manage.

While rainwater collection is not going to be the final answer to water conservation, it certainly is a simple step that can be adopted relatively inexpensively, and with positive results on a small scale. Think about the money that can be saved by our municipal water districts which can then be redirected to other methods of supplying water. If the city of San Diego, as well as other cities, would realize the value of water and encourage rainwater collection on a larger scale, we could conserve over half the amount of water being wasted for non-essential use.