It’s easy to think of the UK drenched in rain. However, with only 2,440m³ of water available per head of population, and a majority of people living in areas off just 600-800mm of rainfall per year, Britain suffers from an acute water shortage, and this is predicted to get worse. A rainwater harvesting system should be your first line of defence against water shortages, so let’s take a look at the future of rainwater harvesting.
What Is the Impact of Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting systems can currently reduce mains water consumption by 30%, and prototype systems are often developed with a view toward further reductions. With further population growth expected in the UK, especially in the South East, logic dictates that rainwater harvesting systems will become the norm for domestic and commercial users alike. This demand for systems will also increase if South East England experiences extended periods of decreased rainfall, as predicted by climate change analysts.
What Do Future Rainwater Harvesting Systems Need to Do?
The future dictates that rainwater harvesting systems will need to be easy to retrofit, make use of water-storage space, eliminate the need for fossil fuel-driven pumping technology, offer protection against flooding, and be reliable. Business models for the en-masse provision of systems could include system leases and maintenance contracts, while a paradigm shift for consumers can be provided through authoritative Government leadership.
Are There Any New System Ideas in the Works?
Many prototypes are being trialled that could pave the way for future rainwater harvesting. Modular, DIY systems that are reusable and recyclable are one example. There are also simple wall-mounted systems, and systems that collect rainwater runoff, part way down the roof, and deposit it in storage tanks hidden in the eaves. Many prototypes attempt to incorporate green spaces with water conservation through storage tanks that house a variety of plants.
Will Current Rainwater Harvesting Systems Work in the Future?
If you’re concerned that future rainwater harvesting systems will render current ones obsolete, there’s no need to worry. The current system of rainwater collection, filtration, extraction, and pumping is clean, green, energy-efficient, and easy to maintain. This automatically meets much of the criteria expected from future systems. Choosing a tank that has strong chemical resistance will future-proof your system significantly. Future savings are also guaranteed, as long as you choose a product listed on DEFRA’s water technology list.
While there are developments afoot in the field of rainwater harvesting, there are still systems that will meet the need for future demand. By all means, look at what the future has to offer, but don’t let that dissuade you from investing in a rainwater harvesting system now.