Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for later use. It has a number of advantages and disadvantages, which must be carefully considered before deciding whether or not to implement a rainwater harvesting system. In this article, all the advantages and disadvantages of rainwater harvesting are discussed.

Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting

The followings are the advantages of rainwater harvesting:

  1. Rainwater collection and delivery system installation are quite cheap
  2. This is an easily accessible clean water source
  3. Rainwater is a renewable source, so it does not exhaust our resources.
  4. Modern cities have converted most of their land surface into impervious concrete layers which can cause flooding during heavy rainfall. Collection of surface runoff will reduce urban flooding.
  5. Rainwater harvesting will lessen soil erosion happening due to heavy surface runoff.
  6. Using rainwater for irrigation is cost-effective and groundwater exhaustion is reduced.
  7. Harvesting rainwater is a non-labor-intensive task and requires minimum skills.
  8. It is possible to construct a rainwater harvesting system with locally available materials.
  9. This technology is appropriate for small-scale farmers in remote areas.

Disadvantages of Rainwater Harvesting

The followings are the disadvantages of rainwater harvesting:

  1. The quality of rainwater is not always good enough to drink without treatment.
  2. Rainwater harvesting is not dependable for arid areas that undergo prolonged drought or extensive dry seasons.
  3. A cistern or storage facility has a high chance of getting contaminated if not cleaned and maintained properly.
  4. Maintenance requires funding but it can be compensated by reduced water bills.
  5. Mosquito waterborne diseases- If storage tanks are not monitored regularly, many waterborne diseases can grow and infect the users. Moreover, still, water accelerates mosquito growth.
  6. Due to limited storage, sometimes rainwater can not be collected to the full extent.
  7. The initial setup cost for the rainwater harvesting system is high.
  8. The yield from the rainwater harvesting system depends on the rainfall which is highly variable.
  9. In some cases, the water table can rise too close to the surface, which can lead to problems with drainage.
  10. If not done properly, rainwater harvesting can lead to groundwater depletion.

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