Rainwater Harvesting – an untapped Urban Solution

Updated: Sep 6, 2018

There is a certain irony that 71% of the Earth is covered with water yet much of this water is not potable water. With a rise in population, many geographies have become water-stressed.

Multiple steps must be taken to reduce the water-stress across the world. From better water management to more efficient water storage, many solutions are being explored. However, if there is one solution still waiting to be tapped into - it’s rainwater harvesting. According to a NASA Report: “The team found rainwater harvesting provided for nearly 20 per cent of the average indoor demand overall” and “Rainwater harvesting provided sufficient water source for vegetable irrigation, which demands less water than indoor use.”

Rainwater harvesting is the perfect decentralized collection system to meet the rising demands for freshwater in modern times.

The Idea of Rainwater Harvesting

The need for rainwater harvesting began with agriculture. Finding a predictable water source was crucial. People dug wells, ponds, and tanks with high embankments. They built dams along the rivers to make reservoirs for flood preservation.

India was quite an expert at this and the Romans took it to the level of aesthetic aqueduct engineering. Many weather-beaten pockets of the world have been doing it too.

Collecting rainwater during long voyages meant less rationing for sailors. Many captains made elaborate rainwater harvesting arrangements on board their ships.

Stocking up on water, however, has its problems such as germ-breeding and spread of disease. Even sailors on long voyages had to throw away putrid water from their wooden barrels. With the right precautions, and techniques, these issues are avoidable. That makes rainwater harvesting a permanent promise of fresh water supply. Every country is encouraging it in a big way to meet the challenges of water crisis head on.

Challenge of Rainwater Harvesting

The biggest challenge of rainwater harvesting is the limitation of space. The common method for rainwater harvesting is to dig an open ground and allow water to collect there. However, the urban landscape faces a space crunch. Instead, a growing concept of sustainable development to harvest rainwater in the urban jungle is required. For that, we have to think outside the box.

Are we ready to think outside the box?

Readiness comes from urgency. Nowadays, it’s all about sustainable cities. The traditional western concept of urbanization will have to give way to this decentralized collection system.

The M. Vishvesvaraya Rain Water Harvesting Theme Park in Bangaluru is a great forum for showcasing and educating city folks on possibilities. Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply is second in line to build one soon.

At ThinkPhi our simple, innovative designs enable collection of rainwater. We created a family of combo devices that provide shade, water catchment, solar panels for night lighting and water filtration, storage tank, all rolled in one. It can be used as a car parking shade or an alternative tensile roofs.

These bonus benefits include:

  • The canopy is non-porous and prevents water from seeping through

  • There is a fine mesh of the same technical fiber material on top, opposite curvature keeps off leaves and other debris

  • The flow rate through the filtration system is 500 liters per minute

  • During heavy rains, excess water flows out from a hole above the filter

ThinkPhi’s 1080 performs a simple task and does it well. It offers shade and harvests rainwater. When it’s not the monsoon season, the canopy can convert sunlight into solar power. It’s perfect for the urban environment. 1080 can be used in parking lots, playgrounds, parks, and any other such space. If you are interested in tapping into rainwater harvest, reach out to ThinkPhi.. We’ll be glad to help.

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