Agua de lluvia

Collecting rainwater to supplement access to quality vital liquid is an inexpensive and easily accessible method.

The scarcity of water in arid or vulnerable areas due to the depletion of aquifers and the low efficiency in the use of water resources in urban areas can be corrected by appealing to the old resource of capturing rainwater.

By Antonio D'Eramo

Of course, the systems for using the drops that fall from clouds have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the face of increasing pressure on the land with the increase in agricultural production due to population growth and its uses, water conservation has become one of the main objectives in the agendas of environmental officials and civil organizations.
As natural resources are reduced, the possibility of preserving, protecting and controlling the use of fresh water becomes necessary to manage water systems, reduce waste and avoid scarcity.

Emphasizing that water conservation is essential and that it saves lives every day seems obvious thanks to the awareness policies regarding the preservation of the natural resource, but also, engineers and architects go a step further in becoming aware and take action by proposing bold, inexpensive and efficient rainwater harvesting systems.
In general, the gathering of the fruits of downpours, showers and storms is a very simple and well-known technological process in human history that is used to conserve the rainwater resource by collecting, storing, transporting and purifying the precipitation that usually drains through the roofs of houses, in parks, highways, streets, open land, etc. and that can be used later.


This trend has accelerated after studying what happens in arid or semi-arid regions, with rare downpours or storms, that cause a drought that puts at risk not only agricultural production but also the lives of animals and human beings. For this reason, there is a growing interest in this low-cost option that, unlike a method such as irrigation that has proven to be expensive and doesn`t end up benefiting all those who use it, makes it possible to avoid the runoff that causes soil erosion, and instead captures it and uses it efficiently.

On the other hand, it has been revealed as a fundamental tool in populations that don’t have easy access to the vital element, and by capturing rainwater correctly, for domestic use and human consumption, it allows the basic needs of the population to be met.
On this matter, Josué Lomeli, a Mexican expert from the Water Technology Institute, explained in a document that "the rainwater catchment area is the roof of the house, which must have an adequate slope to facilitate its runoff to the collection system”.

For Roberto Alzamendi, environmental researcher, "In all cases, water harvesting involves storage with the help of artificially designed systems that run off naturally or in catchment areas made by humans, such as the roof, where the type of roof - its slope but also, its materials together with the frequency, quantity and quality of the rains - are decisive in achieving the proposed collection objectives”.

The roof material is an important point for Lomeli who argues, “it should be made of materials that minimize water contamination when it comes into contact with them, for example, concrete or galvanized sheet should be used. The product of the captured downpour must then be led to the gutters and, subsequently, is derived to the downpipe that transports the water to the storage system. The set of pipes is called a conduction line.


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