Water is quickly becoming an “endangered species” on our blue planet. Urban growth increases stormwater runoff, which in turn harms natural waterways. All life requires water for survival. Becoming aware of the current state of our environmental condition is the first step in identifying viable solutions to ensure clean and healthy water for future generations.
- Local water sources such as lakes, reservoirs and groundwater continue to decline despite regular rain events.
- Demand is becoming greater than the supply and the rains that do fall on our ground are lost.
- Rainwater is actually flowing away from the area it falls on due to development.
- Water cannot soak into asphalt, concrete or shingles. It flows very quickly off of these surfaces and in the process it carries a variety of pollutants from dust and dirt to oils, fertilizers and pesticides.
- This mixture flows quickly into storm sewers and in some cases, ponds and streams.
- Highly developed areas can have 50% or more surface area covered by impervious surfaces forcing water away from the area where it’s needed.
- Increased water velocity strips the aquatic vegetation from the shores exposing the soil to subsequent erosion and habitat loss.
- According to the EPA, urban runoff is the number one cause of pollution in coastal environments.
- Almost 50% of our stream miles, 45% of lake acres and 35% of estuary and bay square miles surveyed by the EPA are considered below the standards for fishing and swimming.
- As rainwater run-off is carried away it does not have the opportunity to soak into the soil or groundwater reserves so our aquifers continue to lose water and new water is not coming in.
- Wells throughout the country are going dry or have to be lowered to access the lower water levels.
Did You Know:
- One inch of rainfall on a 2,000 square foot residential roof generates 1,250 gallons of water that can be reused.
- That same roof in a region receiving 30 inches of annual rainfall generates 41,000 gallons of reusable water.
- The average U.S. household with a 10,000 square foot lot uses up to 3,000 gallons of water weekly for landscape irrigation.
- Running a sprinkler for 2 hours can use up to 500 gallons of water.
- Seventy percent of water used at home is used outdoors.
- 66,175 gallons of water are used outdoors per household, per year.
Benefits of Reusing Rainwater:
Why let good water go to waste when you can reuse it for another purpose? The benefits of harvesting rainwater are numerous, but some of the more prominent advantages include:
- Reduce water bills including city storm sewer charges
- Alleviate demand on municipal systems
- Avoid strict watering schedules
- Improved landscape growth
- Reduce flooding and erosion
- Efficient use of a valuable resource - water