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December 2012

New water collection system Lewis University receives money to carry out the project - Thanks to the mini funds program sponsored by Hanson Material Service, Midwest Generation and ComEd, Lewis University received a total of $65,000 to build a system to collect rainwater. The system will collect and store water in a 200,000 gallon tank, previously provided by the water system of the city of Romeoville. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2013. >> more

November 2012

Drought drives rainwater collection across Texas - With no municipal or well-water supply at his home, rainwater harvesting is more than just a way to collect extra water for Billy Kniffen. It’s a way of life. During the drought of 2011, Kniffen and his wife lived off only the rainwater they collected — just 5.5 inches for the year. State and local governments promote rainwater collection with rebates and tax breaks. Texas doesn’t collect sales tax on water collection equipment. The City of Austin offers residential rebates of 50 cents for every gallon of non-pressurized storage and $1 for every gallon of a pressurized system up to $5,000, according to their website. Pressurized systems are usually larger and use pumps.>> more

Collecting Rainwater - 43,000 gallons at a time - Can a tennis court be the answer to our water issue? The challenge of how to irrigate an established, not-so-climate-appropriate garden is being met by an icon of southern California living. Perched on a hilltop in Pacific Palisades is a residential property undergoing a transformation—but you won’t be able to see any of it. This overhaul is happening behind the scenes (and underground). The challenge was significant: how to maintain an established, fully mature garden featuring exotic tropical plants in a city that only gets an average of 14 inches of rainfall a year (and try to save water).>> more

Rainwater Harvesting System Design Basics - Water cannot be created or destroyed. The same amount of water is on Earth today as when dinosaurs walked the planet. Man and nature can only alter the physical state of water, pollute it, or clean it up. The bulk of Earth’s water is saltwater, approximately 97 percent, and unusable for human consumption without costly desalination treatment. Of the less than 3 percent remaining, two-thirds of this freshwater is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. The majority of the balance is coursing beneath the surface as groundwater, soil moisture, or in aquifers. That leaves 0.3 percent of the planet’s freshwater, or approximately 0.007 percent of all water on Earth, accessible for human needs. This water has to be shared for use in irrigation, household and municipal water use, manufacturing, and industrial applications. Obviously, water is a precious commodity that should be conserved and valued. >> more

Rainwater harvesting solution to arsenic poisoning - The geologists at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have said rainwater harvesting is the best remedy against arsenic contamination of groundwater in the city. Arsenic is highly toxic and a known carcinogenic. "People affected with arsenic contamination are advised to maintain a nutritious diet, which is often not possible because most of them are neither health conscious nor can afford the suggested line of treatment because of extreme poverty," said Prof RP Singh of the department of Geology, BHU. Rainwater harvesting involves collecting water from rooftops to cement tanks for drinking, or channeling the rain into shallow bodies or even wells dug for household use. But this will have to be combined with good sanitation practices, he said. >> more

Nanaimo regional district releases rainwater capture guidebook - Into each life, a little rain must fall, and if you live in the Nanaimo Regional District, a guidebook can help provide the ins-and-outs of harvesting one of our most important resources. "The guidebook is envisioned as a practical resource for residents in the region interested in exploring and building rainwater capture systems," said Chris Midgley, manager of Energy and Sustainability, RDN. "It's not a how-to, we're not expecting people to read the book and be able to go out and build a system, but to understand the systems better so they're not going into it blind, they'll know what to look for, what constitutes a well functioning system, and who they may need to bring on board to build those systems." >> more

October 2012

Performance of large building rainwater harvesting system - Rainwater harvesting is becoming an integral part of the toolkit for sustainable water management. This study indicates that office-scale rainwater harvesting systems offer significant water and cost savings, and emphasises the importance of monitoring data. However, despite numerous studies modelling the feasibility of utilising rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems in particular contexts, there remains a significant knowledge gap in respect of detailed empirical assessments of performance. Here researchers at the University of Exeter present the results of a longitudinal empirical performance assessment of a non-domestic RWH system located in an office building in the UK. >> more

When It Rains, It Pours - The City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program partnered with S. Groner Associates (SGA) to launch a rainwater harvesting pilot program in 2010. The program’s purpose was to encourage residents in select cities to install rain barrels at their homes to harvest rainwater, which can be recycled to water gardens and landscaping. It used a combination of proven community-based social marketing practices, such as recruiting early adopters to establish the behavior as a social norm. Twelve months after it kicked off, the pilot program received a whopping 3,033 signups— more than five times the goal of 600. >> more

RAINWATER HARVESTING, HOMESTEAD FOOD FARMING, SOCIAL CHANGE AND COMMUNITIES OF INTERESTS IN THE EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA - This paper draws on a multidisciplinary 5-yr study of rainwater harvesting and conservation practices, homestead food farming and rural production practices in two Eastern Cape rural villages. The unexpected negative dynamics and changing aspects of food insecurity alongside limited and declining homestead garden food production (and rainwater harvesting) and subsequent marginalization are explained. The human capital approach is here understood as one that inevitably entails a sense of knowledge and sustainable development held elsewhere. A more engaged sense of defining and working with human capacities is needed, one which does not solely refer to formal education improvements, earnings and transfers of agricultural skills as positive. Application and development of rainwater harvesting is embedded in the complex and negative, increasingly marginal and compressed singular livelihood attributes that have come to be socially associated with food farming and rainwater harvesting. Food farming and rainwater harvesting is stigmatized as a sign of poverty, HIV/AIDS and abandonment by family, and thus is located in the differentiated and distinctively negative space in the existing webs of local community and village social and knowledge relationships. The paper concludes that this has major implications, and methods aimed at assisting vulnerable families to cope with food insecurity might actually lead to increased vulnerability. Cost $35 >> more

October 2012

Rainwater Harvesting Association warns of dangers in Government review of mandatory water tanks - All Queensland homes will pay up to $23 a month more for their water if the State Government moves ahead with plans to dismantle an existing mandate requiring new homes to include a water tank.New research has modelled the cost of the increased water supply needed to service the population growth over the next 10 years, if new homes do not include tanks. >> more

September 2012

Increase Water Supplies Through Public Financing for Rainwater Harvesting - Develop public financing, such as carbon emission or tax credits, to encourage the design, retrofit and installation of rainwater harvesting systems, green-walls and green-rooftops on buildings. Local rainwater collection infrastructure improves water quality, enhances local water supplies, reduces reliance on imported water and can move San Diego towards a more water-secure future. For all these reasons, public financing to increase local water supplies would be a wise investment. >> more

August 2012

As Santa Fe's per capita use inches up, officials work on new ways to save water, enforce rules - Santa Fe city officials like to brag about the city’s low water consumption, often calling it a water-conservation leader in the nation. However, an aggregate figure called “per capita water use” shows the city did worse by that measure in 2011 than a year earlier. Two residents on the government’s advisory Water Conservation Committee say that’s a sign that the government needs to get serious about identifying new ways to save water and enforcing rules on the books, or Santa Fe risks losing the forward momentum of the last couple decades. “We are trying to start a discussion about hard-wired water savings. There are a ton of things that we could do,” said Doug Pushard, who owns HarvestH2o in addition to serving on the volunteer committee. “It’s not like the toilet retrofit program is over and there are no other good ideas.” >> more

Harvesting system brings rainwater to the faucet - Raindrops on the roof ought to be a sweet sound for the buyer of a North Knoxville house being fitted so that all household water needs will be met by what falls out of the sky. Denis Rochat, president of Rainwater Resources, held a presentation Friday to mark the first such system his company has installed in a home in Knox County. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and other city officials, plus architects, engineers, builders, and others gathered at 4748 Buffat Mill Road, where Rainwater Resources is installing the system in a home under construction by builder Buddy Cooper. >> more

July 2012

Rainwater harvesting can provide all water needed for a home - People have been using rain barrels for years to re-use rainwater, but now a Knoxville man has designed a rainwater harvesting system that he says will provide all the water needed for a home or business. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said she thinks the system will help the environment because when rainwater hits the ground and eventually runs of into the lakes and rivers it's polluted. By capturing and reusing the water before it rushes into storm water pipes, flooding will be also reduced. >> more

Run to Catch the Rain 5K Fundraiser -"Run to Catch the Rain 5K Fundraiser" is an event to raise money for rain catchment systems to provide drinking water to Point Hope Village, in West Africa. Please show your support and help our current water crisis. >> more

Harvesting rain in Colorado takes redirection - "The interesting thing is that we've always been told you can't use rainwater, but there's nothing illegal about collecting rainwater in the landscape, storing it in the soil," says Peck, a founding member of the Front Range Sustainable Coalition. "You can't put rainwater in containers, but are they really helpful? Think about how small an area can survive on rain barrels, which only hold about 30 to 50 gallons." >> more

Polypipe unveils new rainwater harvesting system - Polypipe is responding to the growing need for sustainable rainwater re-use systems with the launch of its Rainstream RXL. Rainstream RXL high volume water storage tanks are available with an optional anti-bacterial lining and have been engineered using the same technology as Polypipe’s Ridgistorm-XL large diameter pipes. The Rainstream RXL tank’s modular design allows any storage capacity to be created and features an integral pre-storage filter - eliminating the need to make connections between the chamber and the tank. >> more

Namibia: Harvesting Rain Water a Cheaper Option- Harvesting rainwater could be the sensible option for people who do not have the financial means to pay municipal water bills in urban areas, or those who simply want to conserve the finite resource. There has been a perception, albeit wrong, that people in urban areas such as Windhoek are not allowed to harvest rainwater during the rainy season. "If residents want to harvest rain water, they are free to do so at their own expense, but such water shall not be connected to any of the municipal supply systems and can only be used for private consumption," the City of Windhoek said. >> more

June 2012

Tucson Water Has New Rainwater Harvesting Rebate- Tucson Water is now offering its single family residential customers a rebate of up to $2,000 for capturing and storing rainwater for plant irrigation and other uses.The new program is called the Single Family Residential Rainwater Harvesting Incentives/Rebate Program. >> more

Rainwater collection saves water treatment costs - The first time I heard the term "rainwater harvesting," I thought, "What on earth is that?" That was in 2002, when I was a recent graduate searching for a job relevant to my bachelor's degree in resource management. Lo and behold, I got an internship with the City of Bellingham to develop and implement a rain barrel pilot project. I was enthusiastic to learn about rainwater harvesting, but still not convinced it was worth the effort. I didn't realize then what a big impact a little rain barrel can have, not only in our own community, but in other countries as well. >> more

Is Rainwater Harvesting Worth It In A Desert? - KUNM, the University of New Mexico community-powered radio station, recently had an entire call-in show on conserving our state’s water resources. One person made the comment that NM should enact laws and policies that make it easier for someone to harvest rainwater for indoor, non-drinking use, such as flushing the toilet or washing your clothes. One of the guests on the show, a well-respected university teacher and water resources expert, responded by saying, “You know it sounds like a real attractive solution, but it turns out to be very expensive.” To prove his point, he explained that he recently bought a rainwater harvesting tank for home use that cost him $500, and that “every time those tanks fill up, which is about three times last summer, I save 60 cents.” No further explanation was provided. I knew rainwater harvesting can be expensive, but I was not convinced that it was not really a feasible conservation tool. I decided to do some of my own calculations. >> more

In Mexico City, Harvesting the Rain Means Water For All - Residents of Mexico City face a resource paradox: their city receives a fair amount of rainfall each year (around 32.1 inches per year, just 5 inches less than Portland, Ore.), but its residents regularly face water shortages. Add to that the flooding the city endures on an annual basis, due to the fact that it lies in a basin that the Seattle Times characterizes as collecting rain “like a giant saucer,” and those shortages seem even more absurd.

Isla Urbana wants to change all that. As a non-profit organization that believes “a scarcity of clean water for humans is an unacceptable injustice,” the organization has a commonsense solution to both water scarcity and flooding: rainwater harvesting systems. To date, it has installed 750 residential rainwater harvesting systems, helping over 5,000 people capture 29,300,000 liters (over seven million gallons) of rainwater for household use. >> more

May 2012

Net-zero building concept makes converts in North Carolina -One of two 1.5-megawatt wind turbines on the roof of BuildSense and Studio B Architecture in Durham on Thursday, May 10, 2012. The 12,000-square-foot building utilizes a lot of green features such as a 32-kilowatt solar array, these turbines, compressed natural gas fuel pumps for company cars, and a 3,000-gallon rain cistern on the property. >> more

What's the best way to store rainwater? - With heavy rainfall drenching parts of the UK and hosepipe bans in place, what's the best way to store water to feed your garden? The concept of capturing rainwater and storing it for later use is well-documented from pre-Roman times, the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association says. It says the practice died away after mains-supplied water was introduced, but with pressure on water supplies the demand for rainwater recycling systems is rising again.>> more

Supertank Rainwater Storage Chosen for “Greening of Virginia’s Capitol”
- Water Reclamation Solutions LLC of Blacksburg, Va., has been chosen to supply the rainwater storage tank for the “Greening of Virginia’s Capitol” by the Virginia Department of General Services (DGS).
The captured water will be used to supply irrigation for the Capitol Square Green Renovation project as well as supplying water for the existing Bell Tower fountain. This “SuperTank” will be an 8,000-gal subsurface cistern designed to collect water from the Capitol Square surface runoff and underdrain flow from the newly installed rain gardens. > >> more

April 2012

Flagstaff City Council OKs rainwater plan, 7-0 - The Flagstaff City Council signed off unanimously on a rainwater harvesting ordinance Tuesday night designed to reduce the amount of potable water used for landscape irrigation. The law applies only to new residential master-planned communities, multi-family housing and commercial and industrial projects. The policy essentially offers builders two choices: 1) Use native or drought-resistant plants and use passive water collection techniques, 2) Use an active rainwater harvesting system that includes some type of storage tank to capture rainfall from the roof. >> more Link to Ordinance >> more

Governor signs bill to test rain harvesting methods, hike instream flow rules - Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill into law Tuesday that authorizes large-scale rainwater harvesting pilot projects and increases requirements for instream flow water rights applications. Senate Bill 1236 authorizes the Arizona Department of Water Resources to conduct large-scale water harvesting pilot projects in Yavapai and Cochise counties, although money is not included.>> more Link to Statue>> more

Buttloads of Water Saved with Novel Rain Harvesting Product – Hall’s Rainsaver Launch New Unique Solution - A revolutionary product that has been in secret development for almost two years, the Rainsaver is now in production and available to purchase in the second quarter of 2012. The company invites no-commitment pre-ordering as initial stocks are expected to move quickly with a special launch offer at >> more

Pool converted into a rain-storing, water-wise tropical garden - Dina and Irl Cramer were looking at the little-used pool behind their Manhattan Beach house when they realized: "It would be really nice to have a garden," Dina said. But rather than simply jackhammer out the pool or bulldoze it full of dirt, the Cramers turned the pit into a case study for how Southern Californians can capture winter rains for use watering the garden. The edges of the pool were ground down, and the rest of the concrete form was retrofitted with a rainwater >> more

City of Chattanooga launching project to repurpose rainwater - Project Rain Barrel, in which Chattanooga youth are learning to build, install and utilize rain barrels, is being launched across the city, beginning with Brainerd District 6 Saturday, April 14, at the Brainerd Farmers Market at Grace Episcopal Church on Belvoir Avenue. The goal is to expand into more schools, recreation centers and businesses as the project progresses.” >> more

Rainwater harvesting growing in popularity - A well driller wasn't among the contractors Bobby Watson hired when he built a new home overlooking Canyon Lake. Like a growing number of Texans, he opted to get water from the sky. “The wells have been bad here,” 74-year-old Watson explained. “The water comes out dirty and ruins your washer and dryer, and they go dry.” Since moving in five years ago, he and wife Martina have never wanted for water during the drought. And, she said, “It's the best-tasting water available.” >> more

Coalition wants to increase groundwater supplies with rainwater; new legislation could help - oard members on a consortium of local governments want to expand local efforts to increase groundwater supplies in the Prescott area. They could get help from two pieces of legislation, including one that Gov. Jan Brewer signed this week. The Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition approved a 1.5-page "Watershed Restoration and Recharge Policy Initiative" Wednesday that has a goal of recharging an extra 20,000 acre-feet of precipitation each year into the aquifers of the Prescott Active Management Area and the Big Chino Sub-basin to the north. >> more

March 2012

Rainwater harvesting structures help improve water table - A terrace spread over 1,000 sq.ft. with rainwater harvesting (RWH) structure can help meet the water needs of two people for a year. Not only that, the structure will also offer surplus water. Assuming that a family of two uses 80 litres a day, it will require around 29,000 litres a year. Whereas, the yield from the 1,000 sq.ft. terrace in a year will be around 36,000 litres, says K. Mylswami, project coordinator, Siruthuli. This is assuming that Coimbatore's average annual rainfall is 647 mm. If the city's residents were to do so, not a drop of rainwater will go waste, he says and points out that his organisation is aiming at encouraging people to go in for RWH structures. >> more

Portable Rainwater Harvesting and Filtration Prototype Supplies Clean Drinking Water - The need for portable water in places far off the grid is a very real one - whether for disaster relief, humanitarian efforts in areas hit by drought, or even just backcountry expeditions for science or pleasure. And while quite a few solutions exist for pumping and filtering dirty groundwater, another possible way to provide clean drinking water is through harvesting and cleaning rainwater, and a prototype for a new device to do exactly that is in the works. >> more

Texas Dispatch: 'Cloud Juice' Is One Man's Solution to the Drought - Despite it's name, the city of Dripping Springs is no match for the Texas drought. But Richard Heinichen, the self-described "mayor" of Tank Town -- a company that sells and installs rainwater collection systems there -- is offering an alternative solution as residents brace for another dry season. In the rugged Central Texas region known as Hill Country, hundreds rely on rainwater as the sole source of domestic water needs, said Heinichen, who is also Tank Town's owner. The company was the first-ever licensed in the U.S. to bottle rainwater, or as Heinichen calls it, "cloud juice." >> more

In the World: How rainwater can meet clean-water needs - At a remote village called Bisate in the desperately poor nation of Rwanda, a clinic faced chronic shortages of water during the nation’s twice-yearly dry seasons. Sometimes there was simply not enough water available even for seriously dehydrated patients to drink, or for health workers to maintain basic standards of sanitation. Collecting rainwater during the rainy periods was the obvious answer, but figuring out how to do so safely and economically was not a trivial problem: How big should the collection tanks be? And how much water should be diverted at the beginning of each rainfall to avoid contaminating the supply with the dirt, dust and animal droppings that accumulate on a roof during a dry spell?>> more

How to use less water at home - Charles and Judy Ainger wash their clothes in rainwater. Living in the dry central belt of England, just to the west of London in Chalfont Saint Giles, they have being trying to save water for years, collecting rain in butts for garden use and showering instead of bathing. Recently, however, they decided to go further, and now have a rainwater harvesting system which feeds one of their loos and the washing machine. >> more

Rainwater: Filling local needs - Some call water “the next oil.” We have limited clean water resources, both in the Southwest and globally, and everybody needs water. Privatization in places like Bolivia showed the world the dangers of putting a price on it, but free marketers believe only price will dampen — excuse the pun — our thirst. Rainwater harvesting is a superb way to protect your homestead from drought, while preventing over-pumping of our aquifers. Rainwater is better for plant life than groundwater, with a few exceptions (near coal power plants). >> more

February 2012

Hearing examiner nixes rainwater harvesting request - Whatcom County hearing examiner Michael Bobbink has denied an appeal by local property owners hoping to use rainwater as the only water supply for their vacation home. Bobbink wrote that unless the water district was “willing to sign a denial of service form or its equivalent,” the county was right in denying their application for a building permit with a rainwater catchment system as their source of potable water. While the proposed catchment system was feasible and met the technical requirements for a potable water system, Bobbink said, Whatcom County Code was clear that if a property is within the boundaries of a public water system it must connect with that system. If the water district is able and willing to serve the property, “hooking up to the public system is mandatory” and a private water system cannot be approved. >> more

Rainwater Harvesting, BMP Fact Sheet #6 - Rainwater harvesting (RWH), also known as rainwater harvesting systems or cisterns, are devices that intercept, divert, store, and release collected roof runoff from rainfall for later use as an alternative water supply. RWH can also be designed to provide runoff reduction benefits. Therefore, it is classified as a best management practice (BMP) for treatment of urban stormwater. Because ogf its dual purpose and benefit, RWH is often classified as a sustainable urban BMP.>> more

How Cities can benefit from Rainwater Harvesting - As America’s expanding urban areas struggle with major water supply shortages and runoff pollution problems, capturing rainwater from rooftops provides a tremendous untapped opportunity to increase water supply and improve water quality, according to a recent analysis on “Capturing Rainwater from Rooftops” by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).s issued by the corporation. The report comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of updating its national standards for controlling runoff pollution from new development and existing paved areas. NRDC encourages the agency to adopt national standards for on-site stormwater retention that will increase green infrastructure approaches such as rainwater harvesting. As a result, communities can effectively transform polluted runoff flowing to our waterways into captured rooftop rainwater used as an on-site water supply resource. >> more

Bangalore Bill for Mandatory Rainwater Harvesting Introduced in Assembly - A legislation making it mandatory to build rainwater harvesting structure by households subject to certain conditions in all the municipal corporation areas in Karnataka was introduced by Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar in the State Legislative Assembly on Thursday. The Bill said every owner or occupier of a building having not less than 2400 sqft of area or owner who propose to construct a building on not less than 1200 sqft should provide rainwater harvesting structure for a storage for reuse or for groundwater recharge within such date as may be notified by the Government and rules issued by the corporation.>> more

January 2012

Rainwater harvesting 101 - From a global perspective, fresh water is becoming an increasingly precious resource. By some estimates, as many as 3.4 billion people around the world will lack adequate and safe fresh water.

It is still easy to take water’s availability for granted here in the United States. However, increasing population, corruption of water by industrial and agricultural activity, steadily receding sources and climate changes onspire to reduce water availability and increase water cost. As a result, “water politics” have come closer to the forefront of public consciousness as people see their water bills rise to a significant household expense, while cities and towns manage aging distribution piping, and utilities seek out water supplies that are increasingly harder to reach. >> more

Jamaica's RWSL Upgrading Rural Water Supplies - Work is also being carried out at the Maldon and Chatsworth primary schools in Maroon Town, St. James, involving a Rain Water Harvesting System, as well as an Ultra Violet (UV) disinfectant which a substitute for chlorine. The rain water harvesting projects, at both schools, are initiatives of the Ministry, n keeping with its goal to ensure that all schools have access to potable water. Rain water harvesting systems are already in place at the schools, but they need upgrading. These projects have been progressing steadily, and should be completed by March 2012. The scope of work includes installing 2000-gallon PVC tanks, constructing concrete tanks and upgrading bathroom facilities.>> more

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