Why Use Rainwater?
There has never been more pressure on our surface and groundwater supplies due to population growth, urbanization and changing climate patterns. We believe firmly that the way to ensure that our communities have enough fresh water to keep pace with demand is through conservation and the identification of alternate sustainable water supplies. This is where rainwater comes in. The average roof in coastal BC sheds hundreds of thousands of liters of water per year, most of this between November and April. Rather than channeling this water away as quickly as possible, we can create onsite systems to allow it to be used for beneficial purposes. Capturing, filtering, storing and distributing rainwater for use is referred to as Active Rainwater Harvesting. The practice has a long tradition and many advantages.
In our region, rainwater provides a viable alternative to wells and public water utilities. Storing water for use during seasonal dry periods can relieve pressure on other water systems during times of peak demand. This can help to prolong the operational life of a well or reduce reliance on municipal water supplies which are often restricted for many months of the year.
Centralized water systems consume considerable amounts of energy to create pressure needed for distribution. Depending on site-specific needs, many rainwater systems can operate via gravity or with a small pump.
improve water quality
Capturing water during rainfall events reduces immediate runoff. This means there will be less stormwater to manage and less potential for surface water to pick up contaminants as it flows quickly through municipal stormwater or other drainage systems. Harnessing rainwater for beneficial use in homes, businesses and landscape slows down and cleans water, which has a positive impact on water quality in our local waterways and beaches. Because it reduces peak runoff volumes, rainwater harvesting can also prevent flooding and erosion.
Build water independence
With rainwater harvesting, you can create a private reservoir to be used in any way you see fit. Having a large supply of water on hand may be very useful in an emergency. It can also provide you with a supply of water that will be there for you when other supplies are restricted or unavailable.
In many cases, a rainwater harvesting system will be less expensive over time than drilling a well or using trucked-in water. While it can be difficult for rainwater to compete on a pure cost basis with cheap municipally-supplied water, it will also help to offset your water bill.
plants love it
Rainwater often contains small amounts nitrogen and provides a slight fertilizing effect for plants. It has no chlorine or other disinfecting agents and is naturally soft, reducing the amount of detergents needed and preventing soap scum, hardness deposits and the need for water softeners.