Right as Rain Pt. 2: Even More Reasons to Harvest Rain

Right as Rain Pt. 2: Even More Reasons to Harvest Rain

Jun 13, 2008 |  by  |  Water Conservation  |  Share

Just to go a bit further into the argument to harvest rain – although hard numbers on how it can positively impact the environment would help make a stronger case, I think the following videos and links provide some pretty solid first hand evidence that it can make a difference environmentally.

Basically, we’re using water faster than Mother Nature can replenish it naturally. So we’re depleting our aquifers and a lesser proportion of water is being returned to them. Typically the water is discharged into rivers and streams carrying with it various levels of pollution, rather than recharging the aquifer it came from.

Anyone questioning the practice of rain harvesting first needs to have a solid understanding of the hydrologic cycle or more simply put, the water cycle. I prefer simple explanations so the Groundwater Foundation’s Groundwater and the Water Cycle article for kids works for me, but they also have a more detailed adult section as well.

Then there is this excerpt from Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA), an NSF science and technology center that really gets at the question, “Why should we conserve water?”

“Excessive use of water has the following adverse effects on our society, economy, and environment:

(1) More dams must be built, destroying wilderness areas and reducing streamflow.

(2) The water infrastructure requires increased maintenance for pipes, sewers, and treatment facilities.

(3) Agricultural uses can contribute to erosion, salinity and increased desertification.

(4) Water bodies such as rivers, wetlands, and bays are degraded from the high levels of water extracted and from the polluted runoff that feeds into them.”

And here’s a video of Dr. Kent Butler from University of Texas explaining the benefits of rainwater harvesting:

Finally, a couple links (here and here) on Garden Rant (one of the best garden blogs out there by the way) that focus on the use of rain barrels and their effectiveness. The first includes a large number of first hand testimonials worth reading.

I’ll be digging even deeper into the rain collection issue and will attempt to post some research on the topic in the near future.

Oh, WAIT! Can’t forget this video that breaks down the basics of groundwater…man, this is how all education should be delivered…reminds me of Schoolhouse Rock from back when I was a kid.

Featured photo credit: vin60

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