Defeating the drought: The many benefits of rainwater harvesting

Dams that were once full of water, ready to supply the country’s water needs in an instant, now stand empty, leaving the country with very little water this summer season. The Western Cape stands at 125 days of water before the dams are completely dried up. While this is the state of our country right now, there are things we could have done and can do this coming winter to reduce the demand on our local dams.

Rainwater harvesting has been used for centuries as a method to capture and reuse water with the earliest recorded rainwater harvesting taking place in 6000BC where Romans would build cisterns connected to aquaducts to run water for drinking and irrigation. Our parents used rain barrels to harvest rainwater off the roof which was later used to water the herb garden.

The need to harvest rainwater has not decreased, especially in the current state that we find our environment in. A ninety-three (93) square meter roof can harvest approximately 2366 litres of water for every 25mm of rain. At this rate, a 93 square meter roof could collect up to 37 000 litres in our winter seasons. With water becoming scarcer in the dry months, this is something that all households and even businesses should have considered and should be considering moving forward.

By harvesting rainwater for your household or business, you decrease the demand on the dams. If 50% of households invested in harvesting, South Africa could potentially avoid getting into a state of drought again. It is not only up to the department of water to take care of our water needs but it is up to every person to also ensure they are contributing to the conservation of water and using the methods available to limit water overuse and wastage.

To find out more about a rainwater harvesting system, contact Johan and Mark at GutterScience by going to the contact page and sending them a mail, or giving them a ring.

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