Harvesting rainwater may not solve all of the world’s water problems, but what it can do when combined with a complete water supply strategy is provide an alternative source of freshwater for daily consumption while also relieving some of the demand pressure on municipal water systems. Harvesting rainwater helps preserve valuable groundwater supplies and reduces the impacts of the storm water flows that continue to plague cities around the world.
Although rainwater harvesting can and should be an important piece of a water supply strategy, it represents only a part of an overall plan. A comprehensive water supply strategy should be a three-pronged approach that in addition to rainwater harvesting, includes harvesting and reuse of wastewater and site-generated storm water at grade surfaces, such as parking and driving areas and sidewalks.
In the current water supply paradigm, we pay to bring water in, often from far away or deep places, and pay to get rid of this water once it is used just once. In addition, we pay to get rid of the rain and storm water that comes to us from the skies through our storm water system.