Water is one of the most important natural resources. without water, life on earth would not be possible. One of the ways we can conserve water is by harvesting rainwater. Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for future use. There are many benefits to rainwater harvesting. In this article, the key importance of rainwater harvesting is discussed.
Importance of Rainwater Harvesting
The followings are the importance of rainwater harvesting:
1. Depletion of Fresh Water Sources
71% of our planet is covered in water. But only 3% of water is freshwater of which a massive 68% is located in the glaciers, out of human reach. Limited fresh water sources, due to extensive use, are already exhausted. This calls for immediate actions to preserve water. Using rainwater for various purposes will divert the pressure from groundwater depletion. Harvesting rainwater is a part of the green movement.
Coastal areas are undergoing salinization of groundwater and surface water due to groundwater exhaustion. Salinity hinders crop growth and disrupts ecological balance. Using rainwater for irrigation in coastal areas will save both agriculture and ecosystems.
3. Arsenic Pollution
Usage of arsenic-polluted water causes various skin diseases and cancer. Harvested rainwater can be used as an alternative to the arsenic-polluted water of the affected areas.
4. Dry Season
Drought-prone areas face water scarcity during dry seasons. Monsoon-dependent agriculture also falters in the dry season. Moreover, climate change causes inconsistent rainfall. Collected precipitation in the monsoon can be used during the dry period. Rain also replenishes aquifers during monsoon.
5. Unavailability of Clean Water
Highly contaminated water from industrial areas is harmful to humans, aquatic species, and plants. Collected rainwater can be used in these areas.
During intense rainfall, runoff from the catchment area often causes floods. This can be prevented by harvesting rainwater and recharging groundwater.
7. Heat Island Effect
The heat island effect is the phenomenon of increased temperature in urban areas. This is caused due to the replacement of natural surfaces by concrete and asphalt. The effect of heat islands can be reduced by using harvested rainwater for cooling.
8. Water for Fire-Fighting
In case of fire, a large amount of water is sprayed to control it. This water is generally taken from a water body such as a river or lake. This water can be replaced by harvested rainwater.
9. Water for Livestock
Livestock needs a large amount of water for drinking and other purposes. This water can be supplied from harvested rainwater.
10. Water for Various Other Purposes
Harvested rainwater can be used for various other purposes such as washing cars, watering plants, etc.
- What is Rainwater Harvesting?
- Methods of Rainwater Harvesting
- Uses of Rainwater
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Rainwater Harvesting