RAIN WATER COLLECTION
My action for IES is to harvest rainfall to collect rain water outside on the terrace for the terrace garden (soon to be built). By harvesting the rainfall, resources will be saved by cutting down on the need for water as well as the energy used when watering gardens and agriculture. The rain water will be harvested by creating a gutter system to funnel the rain into a plastic bucket. The plastic bucket will have a spigot so water can be gathered from it and used for the garden.
It is vital we start using different resources other than piped, clean drinking water to water our plants and wash our cars. Less than 1 percent of water on the planet is fresh water and agriculture in the United States consumes 80 percent of the available fresh water each year. 60 percent of U.S. water intended for crop irrigation never even reaches the crops.
With the current global water crisis, a sustainable method to gather water is crucial. With rain harvesting, one does not take away from diminishing lakes and rivers and reservoirs deep within the Earth. Rain harvesting makes Mother Nature do the work. The earth takes the waters from the oceans, sends it up to the clouds, and pours down fresh water for free. We sit back and let it wash away, waiting for it to seep into the land, soak up disease, viruses, and contaminated particles hazardous to our health, and then try to extract it. If we collect water as it falls, we gather cleaner water without having to use drinking water from the city's pipes.
The big water companies view water as an industry to make money, without looking at the ecological footprints and environmental impacts. The world is starting to view water as blue gold, an emerging industry that will soon be exploited. At the rate we extract fresh water from our earth; we will soon have nothing left.
1.2.1. Potential Benefits
Rain harvesting provides an alternative. By IES harvesting rain, the school will be not only saving water and henceforth energy, but sending a message that water is becoming a scare source and should not be taken advantage of. Every little bit counts.
1.2.1. Potential Costs
plastic collector: 50 euros
filter: 1 euro
plastic siding: 20 euros
cement glue: 10 euro
hose pipe: 10 euro
The October 2004 journal BioScience (Vol. 54, No. 10, "Water Resources: Agricultural and Environmental Issues") names farmers as "the prime target for incentives to conserve water."
FLOW: water documentary
After talking with Cesar, going to Servicio Estacion to compare prices of gutters, piping, and water storage, and getting plans approved for the design, during the week of April 19th, the design will be implemented on the terrace at the IES Study Abroad Center. The supplies will be bought at the Servicio Estacion hardware store off of Passeig de Gracia, and constructing the rain harvester will begin. The construction will be done in a day.
The system will be on the back left hand side of the terrace. There is a cement platform in the corner with a slanted surface. Water will be collected from this. Rain will hit the slated surface, flow down to a pipe connecting the edge of the platform to a plastic container that will store the water until usage is needed. Siding will be cemented onto the sides of the platform with a small opening in the lower left and corner. This way, all the water that hits the surface will be diverted into the left lower hand corner. Here, a funnel will be used to channel the water to the pipe and then down to the plastic container.
The rain bucket will be completely sealed to prevent mosquitoes and other insects and dirt from entering the water. The container will then have a spigot where water can be collected and used for the garden terrace. It will be 50 liters in size, appropriate for the amount of monthly rainfall that Barcelona gets, and the percent yield that the design will obtain.
Christina - Leader
Michael and Gina did a great job helping me conjure ideas. They were very supportive and were there to bounce off ideas with. Their help dealt with the brainstorming aspect of the project.
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