Judiciously Using Harvested Rainwater In Apartment Complexes

We don’t need more convincing to believe that water scarcity is becoming a painful reality around us. Water is the very essence of nourishment for all living things on our planet and hence, its shortage might as well be a death sentence for all of us. With fear of water shortage getting stronger each day, it is no big surprise that people are coming up with more ways to conserve our freshwater supply. Of all the methods we have in place, rainwater harvesting has gained much popularity. And why wouldn’t it be popular. It collects the purest form of natural water (precipitation), is fairly easy to implement and it can be in some cases, consumed without subjecting it to various treatments.

Before We Begin

How rainwater harvesting is implemented is a whole other topic which we already addressed, by the way. You should read that too. The crude summary is that there will be a system with a catchment, a transportation network, a filter and finally a storage container. Water collected in the storage container is then used for various domestic purposes or to replenish ground water sources like borewells. But like we said, if you live in an apartment and would like to have a rainwater harvesting system in place, please go through our article.

So for now, let’s take a look at some of the use cases of harvested rainwater in large, urban apartment complexes.

Use Wisely, Use Well

That the water we harvest must be used judiciously needs no special stress. If we do not do that, the collected water will only be wasted once again and then we’ll have to go through the entire cycle of harvesting it once again to get our hands on it.

In apartment complexes, especially the larger ones in urban areas, the number of people living together is quite large and so their water consumption as a whole will naturally be quite high. Which means that there is much room for waste. So here are some ideal uses of rainwater in apartment complexes which will not only reduce wastage, but also improve the efficiency of the water consumption behaviour of the community as a whole.

1. Car Washing

Believe us when we say this, the amount of water that is used up for cleaning vehicles, is simply jaw-dropping. Even if you wash vehicles just once a week, it still requires a commendable quantity of water. Which is all well and good because we can’t really go around in filthy vehicles. Car washing needs to be done and there is no argument about it. However, nobody said that we can only use pristine, crystal clear water for it. It’s not like the vehicle is going to die from consuming impure water! Rain water that has been harvested is good enough for this purpose.

2. Toilet Flushing

Again, no need for pure, distilled water to flush toilets. Using corporation supplied, treated water for this purpose is pompous and largely unwise. It is said that 27% of water usage in any home is for flushing/cleaning toilets. Imagine how much treated water we could save if we used harvested water in our restrooms!

3. Fire Protection

This is something that gets sidelined or even overlooked when we consider use cases for harvested water. Typically, fire hydrant lines are drawn from the main water supply because that is one source that almost always is full or at least sufficiently filled. Because fires are safety hazards, some folks consider it a big risk to draw water for fire hydrants from rainwater tank because there is a possibility that there isn’t enough water. Which is true in some cases. However, if you live in an area that receives plenty of rainfall and if you do manage to harvest quite a bit of it, having this as a source to power fire hydrants is a good idea. As long as you have a basic filter system and a pump that is powerful enough, rainwater is a good source to put out fires.

4. Water Features & Gardening

Most contemporary gated communities have water based aesthetic elements like fountains and artificial falls/water bodies. As long as people don’t touch them too much, using harvested rainwater which has been subject to sufficient purification is a wise way to reduce usage of treated water.

Like with aesthetic elements, water used for gardening ( which ultimately just gets absorbed by the soil and then by the plants) rainwater seems like a better option than treated water. In fact more natural the water, the better it is for plants. Water in its most natural form is the best source of hydration for plants. You could use harvested water to power sprinklers or even replenish the borewells which in turn could be used for gardening and other similar purposes. It would be a colossal wastage of corporation water if it was used for tending to plants. Nope, we’re should be using rainwater to nourish the greens!

5. Composting/ Waste Treatment

If you do have a waste treatment plant or a system to compost all that waste the community generates, it is going to require copious amounts of water. Again, corporation supplied water is out of question because it is a sheer waste. This is yet another use case that harvested rainwater could fit beautifully in.

Tell Us Your Ideas!

So there you go. This was our list of best uses for harvested rainwater. This is however, not the only things you can do with collected water. So if our readers have any more ideas to contribute, we would be more than happy to take them and credit you for it in a separate blog piece.

That’s all for now dear readers. Do stay tuned for more informative articles from us. Until then, stay safe and save water! Cheers!

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About the Author: Ambili Mukundan

Wordsmith in the making!

1 Comment

  1. I think it was a good article but we must consult water conversion experts from local and international experts regarding conservation . At least we have old fashion wells and drain
    the rain water that fall on our roof and have a pipe system th drain them into the well .
    that itself can provide us with enough water for our need in this complex All our watering
    of our plants should be on drip irrigation.This task should be entrusted to a sub-committee
    and discussed in a general meeting .

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