Water conservation, recycling and rain harvesting

Water conservation, water recycling and rain harvesting are all concepts that are interlinked. What they have in common is that when applied practically, the payoffs are plentiful. Water conservation and water recycling greatly benefits the household budget, the environment and long-term water security. What do the different concepts mean and how can they be practically applied?

Water Conservation

Water conservation does of course relate to the practice of ‘conserving water’. The notion of conserving water is inclusive of several parts working together. These range from an awareness of water saving hacks in daily life like fixing leaks and taking shorter showers to the investment in a water saving asset like a water tank and rainwater harvesting system.

Rainwater Harvesting

The most fundamental step for successful water conservation is to invest in a rainwater tank. A rainwater tank is essential for catching every single drop of rain and conserving it for later use. Rainwater harvesting offers several benefits, one of them is that when a rainwater harvesting system is put into practice, our dependence on mains water is drastically reduced. As a result, economic benefits to our household budget are reaped as rainwater is free.

When the demand for potable water from mains and the wider water table is reduced, the need for future water infrastructure investments is reduced, resulting in cost savings to both society and its citizens. Therefore, rainwater harvesting is an essential part to an integrated water solution, offering multifaceted benefits. And if these arguments were not convincing enough – just think of the health benefits! Rainwater is water in its purest form as it is not treated with chemicals as is the case with the mains water.

A rainwater harvesting system is made up by various parts which are interacting; rain, roof and collection, tank, pump and rainwater uses.  The ideal rainwater tank for rainwater harvesting is a poly water tank or a steel liner tank of high quality.

Small actions – Big Impact

There is a multitude of small actions that makes a huge impact if we make a habit of them. Did you know that a dripping tap, even if ever so slowly, can waste up to 20, 000 litres a year? The drain on your household wallet is as invisible as the leaking tap. And as easy to fix.

Check out some little changes you can make here to save water in our 101 Water Saving Tips!

How much water does your household use? Use Bushmans Water Calculator.

Want to do an audit on water usage? Look here for more info on water saving tips.

Water Recycling

Stormwater is rainwater that could, or was not, absorbed into the ground but instead found its way into the gutters of buildings or as ran-off of any hard surface area. This water can be recycled if managed appropriately. In fact, with increasing population growth and denser population areas, stormwater is a real water supply alternative. A major component of stormwater management entails the use of stormwater retention and detention tanks. These allow for water runoff to be secured and used for later use, as well as distribute water when it is needed.

Another benefit of stormwater management is it cost savings potential in that it reduces the pressure on infrastructure. Stormwater management significantly reduces the force of water runoff during intense rainfall events or flooding. This in turn mitigates the risk of flooding, benefitting local communities.

Stormwater management and recycling of water are critical, not the least for our long-term water security. Bushmans have written a White Paper on the topic – Managing Stormwater Runoff and The Real Benefits to the Community and Environment. The paper is outlining the correct management of stormwater, discussing the benefits to the environment and our local communities. Furthermore, the paper offers a detail definition of what stormwater management is and the significant consequences of stormwater if not managed correctly.

Read more here for the best practice of utilising stormwater as an efficient water supply option

Read the White Paper here

Author: H Lindholm