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Why is rainwater harvesting important to the environment?

The world is developing rapidly and the pace of change is increasing. The world’s ever-expanding population combined with climate change anxieties are changing opinion on the world’s water resources.

Climate change is currently at the forefront of the world’s political agenda at Paris COP21. It’s vital that we recongise the relationship between water and climate. Here we address the question – why is rainwater harvesting important to the environment?

Water impacts our quality of life. The UN has reported a direct correlation between poverty, hunger and water stress. With the world’s climate continuing to increase, so does the risk of drought. South Africa and California are just two examples of where devastating droughts have occurred in 2015.

Severe drought is bad for the ecosystem, agriculture and the economy.  Decreased agricultural production means the cost of food rises. But, drought runs deeper than that, it is also about economic inequality.  Those who live in poverty are those that suffer worst.  Even in the developed state of California it has been reported that racial disparities and political dysfunction are at the heart of the state’s water crisis.

In the UK drought is relatively common, with one happening every 5-10 years. In 2010-2012 England and Wales suffered a prolonged two year drought, making this one of the most significant droughts of the last 100 years.

“Join other eco-conscious homeowners by re-using what falls from the sky”

 

The fact is that the world depends on a reliable, clean supply of drinking water to sustain our health. We also need water for agriculture, energy production, navigation, recreation, and manufacturing. Many of these uses put pressure on water resources, stresses that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. In many areas, climate change is likely to increase water demand while water supplies shrink.

Collecting and Recycling rainwater is a way that many countries can reduce the risk of drought. Find out more about the benefits of rainwater recycling and harvesting.

With the world’s population also increasing at a staggering rate, the possibility of not being able to feed the world is a real one.  It takes 200,000,000 litres per second to grow food for the planet. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that we need to increase agricultural production by 70% to feed the projected 9 billion people expected on the planet by 2050, but how do we produce enough water to fuel this agricultural production?

Increasingly, examples from around the world show that rainwater harvesting for domestic supply can positively address multiple issues regarding safe and reliable water supply, food and even income security, whilst reducing negative impacts on ecosystems.

In the past rainwater harvesting has been dismissed for being too costly, but in fact, the cost of implementation can often be less than other, more traditional engineered public water supply methods. 

Using harvested rainwater means zero energy consumption.  You will be saving money on your household water bills and reducing your carbon footprint.”

 

Installing one of Gutter Mate’s basic Rainwater Harvesting Packages at your home for example, means that you can virtually eliminate the need to use tap water for many outdoor and domestic uses, such as, watering the garden, washing the car, cleaning the windows and mopping the floors. Rainwater can be collected by installing a Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter to your downpipe.

Find out more about how to begin rainwater harvesting. In our post, 4 Steps to Rainwater Harvesting.

Resources
United States Envorinmental Protection Agency,
The Guardian, Rainwater Harvesting is Essential to Feed the World
UN MIllenium Project, http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/
The MET Office, http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/interesting/2012-drought