Rainwater Collection Methods
Water is a basic necessity. Without it, there would be no life in earth. Because of its importance, people need to have unlimited supply of water. But since there is an increasing population, fresh water supply can be depleted concurrently as there will be high rate of use. And as you use water being supplied from your water company, the cost of usage has dramatically increased because of inflation. As a result, more and more people are finding alternatives to augment their fresh water needs at home or for irrigation purposes. Others would have to find methods to conserve water.
One of the methods people have thought about is the use of rainwater. This method isn’t something new. Rainwater Harvesting is one of the many practices that helped people in ancient times meet their water needs. In this method, people collect rain water into jars or big containers and store them for future use. In fact the simplest method of collection would simply involve the use of banana leaf and collection of water is on the coconut husk. But the latter example does not have the capacity to endure bigger volumes of water.
But there are other systems that you can apply in your home. Some of them will allow you to pool rainwater to augment your daily water needs; while the other methods can be beneficial to the water reservoirs. So if you want to make use of rainwater or contribute to the preservation of water quality and continuous fresh water cycle; read the following sections and learn how the various methods of rainwater collection works for domestic use.
The first type is the collection surface. In here rain water is collected from areas like the roof. Water then is transported into tanks or plastic containers and is stored for later use. For the roof system, the gutter is used to convey water to any storage vessel. Before the water is stored, various treatment methods are incorporated to prevent further contamination of water. Examples of these methods are first-flush and filtration systems.
The second type of collection method is the ground catchment. If you want to store large quantities of rainwater this method will be your option. In here, a catchment area is created. Water comes from mountain slopes and is then filtered with use of a simply system composed of large rocks. Then the water flows into the reservoir, where then it is collected and readied for use upon demand.
The third method is the subsurface dyke. In here, the dyke is created to prevent ground water from flowing. The purpose of such is to increase the water levels in the water reservoir.
The last method that will be tackled is the groundwater recharge. This is otherwise known as the deep percolation. In here, rain and snow is used to recharge ground water. It works like septic systems where water moves on a downward motion, passing through the soil for percolation and makes its way to the groundwater.
Rainwater collection is a very important practice. Some of the method allows you to use the water immediately. While you may not benefit directly from other methods, you can however contribute to the improvement of water quality found on natural aquifers. Any responsible homeowner should learn all these methods as this has tons of environmental benefits. Aside from that, you can help restore the natural flow of groundwater that can sustain the needs of the rising population for a long, long time.
Why Water Conservation Is Important
Water conservation is important. Not everyone knows or believes this however. Here are some of the plain simple facts about this natural resource and some steps that every person should be taking to reuse it. Although water makes up the majority of this planet, only about two percent of the water on earth is fresh water. Of that two percent, only half of it is available for human use. The other part is frozen as ice at the polar ends of the earth. Some people might wonder why we haven’t run out of water considering the small amount available to us. The reason is simply because the world’s water is a closed system. By that I mean that the water on earth is continually cycling: water evaporates into the sky, falls as rain or snow, melts into rivers and oceans, and evaporates again. We are in no danger of running out of water. Even with only one percent available, there is plenty for our needs. So, why the big fuss over water conservation?
The issue has to do with location. For example, when you sit down to dinner tonight, somewhere in the world is a starving child. Is there enough food in the world for this child? Of course, but the issue is location. It’s the same thing with water; while some locations have an abundance, others have a limited amount and that is why conservation is so important. What is the water situation in your area? Do you know if there has been enough rainfall for the past year? Are there “voluntary water restrictions” during certain parts of the year or are you charged more for using a certain amount of water for parts of the year?
Conserving water is not as difficult as you might think. The truth is that even very minor changes can save a lot of water. For example, turning off the water while you are brushing your teeth or having a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap for cold water can save hundreds of thousands of gallons in a year and really doesn’t change your lifestyle all that much. The key to conserving water is just to be aware of the waste. Think of it like this: water is as precious as diamonds. If your faucet was dispensing diamonds, you wouldn’t let them just flow down the drain would you?
Ten Things Kids Want Us to Know About Trash in the Ocean
Fourth-graders in New York City conducted cleanups at a local beach and tallied every item they found on Ocean Conservancy’s data card, an experience shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.
The young citizen scientists learned about the myriad ways marine debris threatens ocean health, and created graphs to show the sources of these man-made items.
They shared their findings with us, and we’d like to share them with you. Here are just a few of their observations, presented just as they’ve written them:
Jocelyn’s drawing says “no” to trash on the beach.
1. I was heartbroken. Pollution is ruining the beauty of beaches around the world. -Jocelyn
2. Waves lap at the shore and horseshoe crabs swarm like bees on land and sea. The only thing that distracts you from this beautiful scene is the garbage. Toys, food wrappers, clothing, you name it! -Clara
3. On Plumb Beach I saw two cigarette liters. You might think that’s not so bad but they still had oil in them. -Karin
4. Some things that are making all these things go on beaches are that people through things into lakes, rivers and oceans, and those things travel around the world and end up on shores and on beaches. -Juliet
5. We found a steak knife, condoms, cigarettes, cap lids, straws and much more. If the fish here ate the wrong thing then we eat it, we get sick. -Payton
6. There are waves of trash arriving on Plum Beach. -Kiara
7. There were dangerous things there, like needles used to inject drugs into your body. Please try to help us find a solution! -Nicholas
8. Birds are lovely, and die from us. When they see a lot of trash, they don’t think once, they just eat. Then are poisoned. -Oliver
9. We found 1 strapping band. 2 ropes. 3 oil cans. And 2 fishing nets. We also found a fire extinguisher! Please do something about this! -Carolyn Ann
10. I don’t want to sound like I’m bossing people around but you guys have got to step up and get tough about this stuff. -Jack
We agree; people everywhere need to “step up and get tough” when it comes to marine debris. Cleaning up is not enough, and the children know it. They suggested solutions they hope we adults can put into practice, simple steps like making sure trash cans are available on beaches, or covering storm drains with screens to prevent litter from streets and parking lots from traveling to the ocean.
Ocean Conservancy is working hard to raise awareness about this pollution problem and inspire science-based solutions to prevent it at the source. But we can’t do it alone. We need these fourth-graders — and everyone else — to support the worldwide movement to stop trashing our ocean.
In wake of BP spill, will we save our oceans?
By Vikki N. Spruill
Just over a month ago, the ocean burned. The images of BP Deepwater Horizon in flames have led us to question both ocean industrialization and the anemic state of conservation. Not long ago,
however, Americans were swept up in a wave of environmentalism spurred in part by two very different events.
First, in 1956, Jacques Cousteau released his film, T-he Silent World, upon an unsuspecting and soon awestruck public. Though hard to fathom now, few humans had ever glimpsed the beauty, grace and mystery just a few feet below the ocean’s surface. The second, in 1969, came when Cleveland’s Cuyah-oga River caught fire. The image of a polluted river in flames was seared into the national consciousness. The United States would go on to pass the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other important protections.
The ocean has inspired millions, but our understanding of it is as shallow and shrouded as ever. Only the most intrepid divers descend below 150 feet or so. By 330 feet, sunlight fades. From
there down, past the gushing BP well at 5,000 feet, the ocean is cast in darkness, but life exists to the very bottom.
A month of anguish
Many people think the ocean is unknowable — out-of-sight is out-of-mind. Communicating against such complacency is the greatest challenge of ocean conservation. As BP Deepwater Horizon shows, in images as grotesque as Cousteau’s were gorgeous, we cannot let the ocean’s mystery lull us into inaction.
Oil has been jetting into the Gulf of Mexico for more than a month now. One month of fear for coastal communities. One month of anguish for a nation. The quantity of oil will be left to the scientists and lawyers, but if new estimates are right, it could be as much as an Exxon Valdez every four days.
Unlike the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, however, the oil from BP Deepwater is coursing into mile-deep, near-freezing waters that may be changing the
spill’s character. Only recently did scientists discover a 10-mile plume below the surface. Such plumes could soak up oxygen needed for sea life to
survive and deal a crippling blow to fisheries, wildlife and the economy.
Oceans sustain us
The presence of submerged oil might explain why what we see falls short of expectations of what an oil disaster looks like. Then again, much of what lies beneath the ocean’s surface defies expectation. In those unseen depths is the source that sustains us with the food, oxygen and the climate we need to
Now, more than ever, we need a new awakening of ocean environmentalism in America. We cannot let out-of-sight, out-of-mind shape public consciousness. We must stop polluting. We must
stop exploiting. We must understand that, while the Gulf is under direct assault, the ocean’s broader demise threatens every one of us.
Just over a month ago, the ocean burned. Will these images inspire a new generation of ocean activism? Or will America stand silent as the silent world crumbles?
How we answer these burning questions could be key to the very future of life on planet Earth.
Vikki Spruill is president and CEO of Ocean Conservancy