Slideshow image
   
becpl
Mfg. of Water well Drilling Rigs, Dth Hammers and Button Bits...
 
phe
Water Well Drilling Rigs, Dth Drilling Rigs, Rotary Drilling Rigs...
 
phe
Blast hole Drills, Water Well Drilling Rig, Mud Pumps, Vertical Turbine Pumps...
klrsai deepagetechjcr
 

COMMENTARY: Rainwater harvesting: a sustainable alternative

COMMENTARY: Rainwater harvesting: a sustainable alternative

From time immemorial population centres have been plagued with the adverse effects of natural disasters and unpredictable weather patterns, of which the island of Dominica is no exception.
However, this situation is unfortunately exacerbated by the actions of human beings through bad environmental practices and often an utter disregard and neglect for sustainable and safe practices where the environment is concerned.  Despite the fact that many Caricom countries have adequate rainfall levels during the wet season, every year there are noted shortages during the dry season. The region’s growing population and climate changes mean that the region’s water resources are unfortunately becoming scarcer.
There have been numerous attempts by government bodies to address the problem of water shortages during the dry season, to which there have been negligible or unsatisfactory outcomes. Significant hydrological shifts are occurring in the Caribbean and the island of St Lucia is suffering from the repercussions that unduly result from such a change.  We need not look to other islands to realise that the land of which we boast clean, clear and pristine rivers, might soon be in the same predicament, with the onset of the dry season.
The notion that Dominica has been blessed with 365 rivers has made us too complacent.  In fact, does this belief even hold water? Have any recent surveys or research been done on the actual number of rivers we have left in Dominica? It is quite obvious to the general populace that some of our rivers do not even flow year round.  We have all commented on and lament the fact that our rivers are not the same as they were 10 years ago.  No longer can anyone attempt to take a dive off the Roseau bridge! The volume and quality of the water flowing through our rivers have drastically decreased.  Inevitably so, due to increased urbanisation near the rivers, pollution due to fertiliser runoff from neighbouring agricultural plots and disposal of garbage into the rivers. We need new and innovative water planning strategies to properly manage our resources. Rainwater harvesting provides a sustainable solution to this water woe.
Rainwater harvesting is the retrieval, collection and subsequent reuse of rainwater. It is valued for its superior quality, with a pH nearly neutral and is free of harmful by-products of disinfection.  It is an old but well respected technique currently gaining popularity for its tendency to provide a water supply that can be considered safe, sufficient and inexpensive. Rooftop catchments and tank storage have been the basis of domestic water supply on many small islands in the Caribbean. The use of collecting rainwater from roofs have somewhat declined in some countries but it is estimated that more than 500 000 depend in part on such supplies.
Thus far, rainwater harvesting has been a fairly successful and environmentally sound solution to urban challenges but only when it is implemented in an organised and systematic manner. The demand on the municipal water supply can be greatly reduced with the incorporation of rainwater harvesting practices. Another key advantage of collecting rainwater for reuse is that it could be used in various ways, all of which are effective. Collected water could be used for non-potable domestic purposes, such as cleaning, watering plants and flushing toilets.  A more advanced rainwater harvesting system, which is a bit less popular due to higher implementation costs, is one with a pump and/or purification system installed. The installation process is also very flexible since tanks can be installed at ground level, on roofs, underground and on platforms.
Rainwater harvesting systems in drought periods should be seriously, if not immediately considered. The Ministries involved must take the initiative to promote the concept of water resource independence and restoration of the natural hydrological cycle and highlight its importance as a key supply during the dry season. The government should even look at the creation of tax exemption opportunities for those seeking to use rainwater harvesting tanks. The encouragement of human resource in supporting rainwater harvesting systems as a tool for conserving water is of equal importance. The quest for a viable solution is a difficult but achievable one through thorough research, collection of accurate data and the sensitisation of our people to the importance of rainwater harvesting in mitigating the water shortage problem. Moreover, the sooner we dispel the myth that Dominica has an inexhaustible supply of water, the shorter our mission for self-sustainability will be.
WRITTEN BY: JODIE DUBLIN (Bsc. Civ. Eng. w/ Envi. Eng)



Drilling Today Contact