Personal Environmentalism: Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is exactly what it sounds like, it’s gathering and using rainwater for other uses. It can be used for drinking water for people or livestock, or for irrigation. Despite the reputation Texas has of being one giant desert cities like Austin still get a healthy amount of rain every year. However, there are reasons to preserve and protect the amount of fresh water there is, rainwater harvesting is a more efficient way of people to gather and use water for themselves. It’s actually been theorized that the next great war will be over fresh water, despite our focus on other natural resources in various parts of the world there are severe problems with keeping a constant supply of fresh clean water. Anything that can be done to help prevent the problem from getting worse should be considered.

Rainwater harvesting can produce water that has some contaminants in it, however, modern systems are much better at straining out and getting the pure clean water from the top and leaving the potentially harmful things in the bottom of the tank and out of the drinking water. For those not interested in rainwater harvesting for drinking water, it’s worth contemplating how much water is used in lawn preservation, and that even though Austin gets more rain than people might realize, it can still be hard to keep a yard green with just the natural rain fall. Using rainwater harvesting systems you can gather the rain from the roof of your house and then have it distribute out over a time period to keep the lawn at a consistent level of moisture.

Little things won’t save the world all at once. But the small things we do can have a positive effect. The other thing to keep in mind is that rainwater harvesting can reduce how much you have to depend on the city for water and how much you have to pay for it. Now, city water is usually fairly cheap, and it can take a while for rainwater harvesting to pay for itself, but once again, sometimes life is about making the small things count. This is true even for the green movement. You can petition the town of Austin to pass new environmental legislation, but that’s always hard to get through and can be ethically dicey, on the other hand doing things to your own home doesn’t come with as much baggage. Even if it never pays for itself monetarily rainwater harvesting systems can pay for themselves by helping reduce your environmental impact and reduce the inconvenience of water usage reductions.

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