Great Potential Lies Within Large-Scale Water Harvesting
On dry continents such as Australia, the harvesting of water is crucial in ensuring water security.
Rainwater tanks are common in rural Australia and water harvesting is an important part of most newly-constructed buildings in both urban and rural settings through the Green Star rating system, but Australians are still letting too much of the precious resource go to waste. Due to reliance on the municipal water system, most urban homes do not collect rainwater. Yet a portion or possibly the entire requirement of the home’s fresh water can be collected, reducing reliance on city resources.
The Australian Rainwater Industry Development Group (ARID) says the average Australian household has the potential to harvest 60,000 litres of rainwater each year. By decreasing reliance on municipal water, it reduces the need for new dams to be built and alleviates the stress on established dams.
Capturing ground runoff and water from the roof are both potential sources of household water. Residential buildings are only part of the equation. Guenter Hauber-Davidson, managing director for the Water Conservation Group and one of Australia’s leading rainwater harvesting experts, says approximately 30 per cent of the country’s water consumption in urban areas is non-residential. “Through water efficiency measures, twenty-five per cent of this demand could be reduced,” he said.
In the commercial sector, implementing a rainwater harvesting scheme can greatly reduce the water crisis across Australia and ensure water security well into the future.