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Conserving Rainwater

Legend says that over two thirds of our earth is covered with water. But the sad part is that most of it is spread out as saline sea water. Only 3 percent of this huge volume comprises of domestically usable water. Further, this percentage shrinks to less than 1 percent when we talk about drinkable fresh water; that too locked in the ice caps.

In the Middle East, over a dozen countries face problem of unavailable drinking water. In several Asian countries, unavailability of treated water forces the rural women to travel several miles every day and accumulate usable water for their drinking and domestic needs.

This water scarcity leaves us with two major options. Firstly, we extract the ground water and use it responsibly or, secondly, we start conserving the rainwater.

Extracting the ground water, wherever available, is a feasible option but high usage over the past decades has resulted in low water table level. Secondly, in extracting water, energy is wasted which in itself is a scarce resource.

Saving rainwater is one suggestible option. Currently China, Brazil and a few states of India are actually following this practice. A large portion of their water needs is sufficed by the collected rainwater, which is used for drinking, irrigation, livestock and a few domestic chores.

Collecting rainwater isn’t an expensive activity. Depending on the consumption needs, the tank size can be selected. The rooftops designs can be slightly tweaked to make channels which finally empty into the central reservoir.

The major issue concerned is for the quality of rainwater. This issue can be simply tackled by diverting the initial runoff water. Once the cleaner water starts, it is ready for storage. The initial water should not be wasted as well. That can be used for replenishment of the ground water in the form of seepages.

Rainwater is soft water. It isn’t chemically treated like the water which is generally sent to our homes. It contains more minerals and is better for agricultural usage. Being soft, it reduces the consumption volume of detergents used.

And most importantly, it saves water and keeps the water-table level intact.

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