Tag Archive for 'rainwater harvesting'

Water Pressure

Photo: Ethiopian boy drinks water

Drawing deep from a new well, Soti Sotiar is among a lucky few: the 10 to 20 percent of rural Ethiopians with access to clean drinking water. Photograph by Peter Essick

“Among the environmental specters confronting humanity in the 21st century—global warming, the destruction of rain forests, overfishing of the oceans—a shortage of fresh water is at the top of the list, particularly in the developing world. Hardly a month passes without a new study making another alarming prediction, further deepening concern over what a World Bank expert calls the “grim arithmetic of water.” Recently the United Nations said that 2.7 billion people would face severe water shortages by 2025 if consumption continues at current rates. Fears about a parched future arise from a projected growth of world population from more than six billion today to an estimated nine billion in 2050. Yet the amount of fresh water on Earth is not increasing. Nearly 97 percent of the planet’s water is salt water in seas and oceans. Close to 2 percent of Earth’s water is frozen in polar ice sheets and glaciers, and a fraction of one percent is available for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use.”

“Gloomy water news, however, is not just a thing of the future: Today an estimated 1.2 billion people drink unclean water, and about 2.5 billion lack proper toilets or sewerage systems. More than five million people die each year from water-related diseases such as cholera and dysentery. All over the globe farmers and municipalities are pumping water out of the ground faster than it can be replenished.”

“Still, as I discovered on a two-month trip to Africa, India, and Spain, a host of individuals, organizations, and businesses are working to solve water’s dismal arithmetic. Some are reviving ancient techniques such as rainwater harvesting, and others are using 21st-century technology. But all have two things in common: a desire to obtain maximum efficiency from every drop of water and a belief in using local solutions and free market incentives in their conservation campaigns.”

Read More: National Geographic

PAKISTAN: Harvesting rain, restoring dignity

“Tharparker District in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan, is among the most arid regions in the country. Limited rainfall, brackish underground water and the private ownership of wells by an elite minority have made access to potable water very difficult for much of the district’s 900,000 mostly rural inhabitants.

“However, an innovative project by local NGO Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP) in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Sindh is helping alleviate Tharparker’s drought problems.”

read more: AlterNet

EPA proposes rainwater-trapping rules for D.C.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Wednesday to require “green roofs,” rain barrels and other measures that trap runoff at new and redeveloped buildings in the District, making the city a test case for an ambitious effort to stop pollution from flowing into rivers along with the rain.

“The EPA’s plan, contained in a proposed permit for the District’s storm-sewer system, would require developers to trap 90 percent of the water that falls on a plot during a storm.”

“In the EPA’s plan, “you’re using water on site as an asset, rather than a waste product,” said Jon Capacasa, director of the water protection division of the EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office. He said the changes were part of a larger effort, begun with a presidential order last year, to improve the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. “The local water bodies need these levels of [storm water] control to be healthy,” he said.”

read more: Washington Post

Harvesting Oregon’s bumper crop — rain

(news photo)“Why are we using chlorinated, treated water for watering our plants and yards and flushing our toilets, when we could get 70 percent of the water from rain captured from the roof?” wonders Klock, senior resource conservationist for the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District.

“A typical 1,000-square-foot roof in the Portland area can capture 30,000 gallons of rainwater a year, he says.

“With more people moving into the Portland area, and agriculture a major industry in the Willamette Valley, the amount of available ground water is diminishing.”

read more: Estacada News

Not Just a Drop in the Bucket

“A new report released last fall by consulting firm McKinsey & Company declares that by 2030, the world’s water demands will have increased by 40%. Add to that the fact of rising seas, droughts, and shrinking water sheds, and cities across the country are starting to respond with some particularly innovative solutions tailor-made to their varied water needs.”

read more: URBAN RE:VISION

Adapting to Climate in Africa

“Throughout history, African African societies have experienced various climate-related events and pressures. But over the last 30 years both drought and floods have increased in frequency and severity. The continent is now burdened with nearly one-third of all water-related disaster that occur worldwide every year.”

read more: jotoafrika