Reasons to harvest rainwater

People often choose to harvest rainwater for economic and environmental reasons, but there are other reasons too. Let’s take a look at reasons to harvest rainwater, here are some of the benefits:

Reduce the use of mains water

The bigger picture is that the cost of mains water is increasing. As taxpayers, we are paying towards the building of dams, installing pipes and water treatment plants to get water into our homes, and then paying ever-increasing sums to use that water. The fewer people that are reliant on these systems, the lower the demand placed on them and the less money they will cost. When we reduce the need to use mains water, we are saving money on municipal water. We will also be less affected by any water restrictions that are put in place to combat excessive use of water.

Health Benefits

We all know that municipal water contains additives, but unless we pay a lab to test the water coming from the tap, we are unsure what is in it. Rainwater, on the other hand, is a lot more likely to be purer. This means that it can be further filtered for drinking.

Rainwater is also the best for your plants, and it’s also good for filling birdbaths, water features and aquariums, and topping up pools.

Economic return on Investment

A properly designed rainwater harvesting system can supply all a home’s water needs, including drinking water. Once a system like this is paid off, there are only a few maintenance costs. But nothing like paying for water every month. Even if you only use collected water to do laundry and flush toilets, it can save a lot of money on your monthly water bill.

To figure out what a system is going to cost, you first need to understand your needs. You also need to understand your environment (including the amount of rain in your area). Furthermore, you need to get a cost on a proper system – either one you can install yourself, or one that is installed by a supplier. Once you have the cost, simply compare the ongoing water costs with a once-off installation cost. You will probably be surprised at how soon you could be getting free water!

READ MORE: Learn more about saving water in your garden here

Add value to your property

In our magazine we have often talked about a garden being an asset that can increase your property value. Now we can say that having a properly designed rainwater harvesting system in place can also potentially increase the value. This is owing to both its ‘Green Credentials’ and the fact that a potential buyer or renter would be saving monthly water bill costs. Now, if your garden asset can be kept watered with rain water, it’s an extra bonus.

Water security

Perhaps the most important reason to harvest rainwater is the global problem of water security. Because we need water to survive, it is sometimes used as an economic and political tool that can lead to conflict. and ultimately human loss of lives. It’s a massive subject, but let’s just say that as a population we need to safeguard access to an adequate quantity of water of an acceptable quality to sustain us and our fellow humans. We also need to protect against water pollution and prevent water-related disasters that could affect peace and stability. A great start is individual households saving water. And obviously, the value of a rainwater harvesting system in times of drought is priceless.

To read more about water security, visit the United Nations Water website www.unwater.org/

The Gardener