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Rain Water Harvesting: A Solution To Water Crisis

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Water is an essential resource. No one can live and survive without water. Hence, we should not let the source of the life waste, instead we must store it.

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We can do so by the methods of Rainwater Harvesting. Rainwater Harvesting refers to the process of collecting and storing of rainwater. Rainwater harvesting helps in providing drinking water, water for irrigation, agricultural purposes or for groundwater recharge. It is one of the best solutions to water problem in the areas having inadequate water resources. Rainwater systems are simple to construct.

Usually, rainwater is either harvested from the ground or from a roof. During the rainy seasons, the rain water can be collected and stored in the tanks. There are many methods to harvest the rainwater. Usually, the methods used are: Catchments Areas i. e. the areas which receive rainfall directly. In this, paved areas like roof of a building or unpaved area such as open ground or lawns can be used for the catchment areas. Ground catchment techniques has more chances of collecting water from the larger surface areas.

Storage system: It is designed according to the amount of water that is needed to be stored. Storage system must be sealed and does not leak. Chlorine must be put from time to time to keep the water clean. Conveyance systems which transfer the rainwater collected on the rooftops to the storage tanks and that is done by making connections to one or more down-pipes connected to the rooftop gutters or pipes. The gutters must be made as such that if it rain starts,the dirt will be washed into the down-pipe and clean water comes out. Advantages/Benefits of Rain water Harvesting:

It is one of the best solutions to water problem in the areas having inadequate water resources Reduction of soil Erosion. Improved quality of ground water. Raising of water level in wells and borewells. Reduction in the choking of storm water drains and flooding of the roads. Rain water flows down the hills in the form of small streams which join together to form rivers and lakes. And this is the important and the natural source of water for the living beings. Some of the rain water percolates down the earth until it reaches the hard surface.

There it collects to form a large underground water reservoir. Such water is obtained on digging wells and it is called sub-soil water or ground water. Thus, there are three important natural sources of water besides abundantly available sea water. The sea water being saline can not be sued as such either for industries or for domestic consumption. (a) Rain water or snow water. (b) Surface water (river, lakes, streams, canals, ponds, etc. ) (c) Ground water or sub-soil water wells and springs. Rainwater Harvesting

In urban areas, the construction of houses, footpaths and roads has left little exposed kuchha earth for water to soak in. In parts of the rural areas of India, flood water quickly flows to the rivers, which then dry up soon after the rains stop. If this water can be held back by storage or by reducing speed of flow, it can seep into the ground and recharge the ground water supply. This has become a very popular method of conserving water especially in the urban areas. Rainwater harvesting essentially means collecting rainwater on the roofs of building and storing it underground for later use.

Not only does this recharging arrest ground water depletion, it also raises the declining water table and can help augment water supply. Rainwater harvesting and artificial recharging are becoming very important methods. It is essential to stop the decline in ground water levels, arrest sea-water ingress, i. e. , prevent sea-water from moving landward and conserve surface water run-off during the rainy season. Town planners and civic authority in many cities in India are introducing by-laws making rainwater harvesting compulsory in all new structures.

No water or sewage connection would be given, if a new building did not have provisions for rainwater harvesting. Such rules should also be implemented in all the other cities to ensure a rise in the groundwater level. Realizing the importance of recharging ground water, the CGWB (Central Ground Water Board) is taking steps to encourage it through rainwater harvesting in the capital and elsewhere. A number of Government buildings have been asked to adopt water harvesting in Delhi and other cities of India. All you need for a water harvesting system is rain, and a place to collect it.

Typically, rain is collected on rooftops and other surfaces, and the water is carried down to where it can be used immediately or stored. You can direct water run-off from this surface to plants, trees or lawns or even to the aquifer. Some of the benefits of rainwater harvesting are as follows: I. Increases water availability II. Checks the declining water table III. Is environmentally friendly IV. Imporves the quality of ground water through the dilution of fluoride, nitrate, and salinity V. Prevents soil erosion and flooding, especially in urban areas