Rainwater harvesting or rainfall storage reduces household drinking water purchase bills in developing countries. The clear water that was supposed to be trucked in to run the bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and garden with, costing money, can now be saved. If done right, rainwater harvesting or rainfall storage can reduce the monthly bill of an average household in Pakistan by up to Rs 6000, in peak summer months.
Cheapest and Simplest Rainwater Harvesting Techniques
These are the simplest and the cheapest ways to harvest rainwater
Roof Catchment systems
Using PVC piping to route rainwater into plastic cisterns and containers.
Trenches and Swales
Shallow dug channels using escavators and rakes that slow down rainwater flowing down and out of your land.
Metal or Cement Tanks
Low cost Ferrous and Cement tanks can be buried into low lying areas on your property to save rain water to be pulled out using pumps later on.
Bamboos can be used as pipes to direct rainwater into collection points. The good thing about them is that they act as filters too.
Plastic Drums can be placed directly under water sprouts to collect rain water.
Dams and low cost embankments in your property can help re hydrate your plants and trees.
What is Rainwater Harvesting?
The definition of rainwater storage is having a rainwater collecting and recycling system for later use. Rainwater harvesting or rainwater storage in Urdu is بارش کے پانی کا ذخیرہ
Why rainwater harvesting is essential for Pakistan
Pakistan is a water-scarce country. Statistics say that Pakistan has about 2.5 m3 water availability per person per day, where the UN recommends 0.05 m3.
To Stop Water Wastage
The reality is very much different. Due to huge wastage, the vulnerable Pakistani people in rain-scarce areas of Sindh and Baluchistan hardly have a fraction of the official figures of water availability per year.
To bypass incompetent Governance
This is because of mismanagement, ignorance, poor governance, and absentee landlords masquerading as leaders.
Use available water resources
The good news is that we have about 140 MAF (Million Acre- Foot) of water available to us every year, in the rivers, that theoretically, we can use. The 14 MAF we do store is not enough for our water-intensive economy and bunny rabbit population — as we are also the highest water users per person, in the world.
To have sustainable and recyclable fresh water
We also don’t tax water or even agriculture that uses it, so no new dams come online. The rest we drain into the Arabian Sea. This situation is no more sustainable as there is not enough water to go around, in the cities anymore.
To stop environmental damage
Severe environmental damage like deforestation, pollution, unregulated subsoil water use, overpopulation, and poor irrigation techniques are rapidly taking us to a self-created drought.
To mitigate natural calamities
With unpredictable rains and monsoons’, Mother Nature is not getting us out of this ditch.
Local solutions to water scarcity
As the water in our limited large dams cannot be brought to every citizen’s doorstep, each household has to fend for itself. Rainwater harvesting will reduce this wastage. It’s about time we ourselves do something about it and harvest rainfall.
Rainwater Harvesting in Pakistan
Block all exits of rainwater
out of your property. Just make sure the water doesn’t seep into your foundations or your basement.
Build holding ditches and embankments
to slow down rainwater running outside into drains. The idea is to pool water in your lawn or backyard to help the earth absorb some of it.
Underground aquifer, wells, and water bores can be replenished by directing rainwater into pits around your property. The idea is not to let a single drop of rainwater flush out into the street.
For that, we need to dig a 4 ft. x 4 ft. ditch at the lowest point in your property, line it with a mix of cement gravel, sand, topped with a polythene cover. This is called the rainwater catchment system. A ditch lined with gravel, sand, and charcoal can clear out most of the contaminants of rainwater. The total cost of this effort would be Rs 1500 tops.
Roof Top Water Coolers
As Pakistan’s average temperatures are forecasted to rise 5 0 Centigrade ( do read Pakistan is burning with heat), by the next decade, that means the existing surface water has to be protected with shrubs, trees, and bushes. So plant more shady trees ( do read springtime is tree plantation time) around the soak pit to cool off your property
You can route the collected rainwater over your overheated rooftop
Price of Rainwater harvesting system
A rainwater elementary system would cost a total of Rs 50,00. This is how it’s done. Place holding containers, barrels, or water tanks right beneath roof drains to collect and harvest rainfall. A better idea would be to collect the drain water splashing around your tank with a polythene sheet placed on top, like an inverted umbrella.
One 1000 liter Plastic tank costs Rs 9000. There are cheaper ones too. A nylon net over the neck of the tank would keep out physical contaminants like leave and twigs. A more dense net can even clear out sand from entering the tank.
Statistics say a 1000 square foot roof would collect 600 gallons in a one-inch rainfall. This is a lot, considering the average rainfall per year is between 50-100 inches.
Several tanks can be filled by interconnecting them with pipes on the top half.
Once you have the basic system of pipes, elbows, joints, diversion, funnels, and tanks in place, you can increase the number of tanks by elevating the first one and feeding the rest through gravity.
A filter costs Rs 15000 every three months
While you are at it, it’s not a bad idea to divert all the used water from the sinks and bathtub into your toilet flushes, plants, and lawns.
Uses of rainwater
Rainwater can be also be consumed by boiling it and filtering out sand. Simple muslin cloth can act as a perfect filtration system.
One water tanker hired to fill in your ground tank at home costs Rs 1500 per 2000 liters. So, in comparison with this, you’d be profitable with your rainwater harvesting equipment after the sixth rainfall.
On top of that, the additional water in the aquifers’ that you replenished would be a bonus.
As predicted, this year’s monsoon would be short and less intense. So, now is the right time to install your rain harvesting equipment to enjoy in comfort for the rest of the year.
Rainwater ph is 5.6 and recommended drinkable water ph range is 6-7. This doesn’t mean rainwater is bad. So, store it, boil it and drink it. If you have come here for Rainwater holt and sexton or funeral home Bowdon, you can exit now.