Rainwater Harvesting: Develop a Water Harvesting Model for the Neighbourhood | WWF

Rainwater Harvesting: Develop a Water Harvesting Model for the Neighbourhood

Rainwater harvesting refers to the collecting of rainwater, mostly on a roof, from where it flows through gutters into a collection tank. In other words, it refers to a storage system-could be either above or below the ground-that collects, stores and distributes run-off of rain or snow from roofs.
Why rainwater harvesting?
In areas where water supply is problematic or water resources are scarce, rain harvesting is a good solution. It reduces the use of treated municipal water for uses such as landscaping, toilet flushing and laundry; reduces the need for well drilling; and reduces peak storm water volume.

Rainwater harvesting can provide clean water-supply for a small community. Especially when pipelines are too expensive to set up and one central well or pump cannot be used all around the year, a rainwater catchment system is a workable solution.

Some advantages of rain harvesting:
  • Easily accessible
  • Set-up costs are low, with construction easy, materials low-cost and maintenance cheap
  • Sustainability is higher
  • Easily adaptable to different types of communities

Components of a rainwater harvesting system

A rainwater harvesting set-up is composed of a water-collection system, a storage cistern and a water distribution system. It mainly needs:
  • Rain, and plenty of it preferably
  • A catchment area
  • Gutters or pipes
  • Storage tank
  • Filter (can be a simple metal screen filter or slow sand filter or even more sophisticated types if required or available)
  • Pump or pressure tank for distribution