Sustainable Rainwater Harvesting and Storage Practices

Rainwater Harvesting

In New Zealand, there has been an increase in rainwater harvesting and storage as consumers become more environmentally aware and adopt more sustainable practices. Rainwater harvesting and storage in New Zealand has increased in domestic settings, rural locations and in agriculture and horticulture.

Rainwater harvesting and storage systems are now being widely used in irrigation systems throughout New Zealand. Sustainability is at the forefront of irrigation system designers’ minds when designing irrigation systems to meet the demands of the New Zealand climate. The increase in sustainable irrigation practices has evolved as rainwater harvesting storage and equipment has become more efficient, not only saving water but saving dollars too.

In domestic settings, rainwater harvesting and storage is commonly used to provide water for drip irrigation systems and sprinkler irrigation systems. In more commercial settings, rainwater harvesting and storage is used to supply water to a wide variety of irrigation systems, including micro drip irrigation.

So how does a rainwater harvesting and storage system work?

The major components are:

  • A Collection System – Rainwater is typically collected from rooftops via a system of gutters
  • Screen Filter – Placed at the exit from the gutter to filter larger particles
  • First Flush Diverter – To further capture any debris not already removed
  • Rainwater storage tank – There are many types of storage tanks available in various shapes, sizes, colours and materials including poly, steel and concrete. Think Water stocks a large range of rainwater storage tanks to supply your irrigation system.
  • Overflow spout – The overflow spout drains water when the storage tank gets full. It can be set up to divert and irrigate other areas of the garden.
  • Water level monitors and controls
  • Filtration system
  • Water Pump – An efficient water pump is essential to any irrigation system. Your local water pump supplier will be able to provide you with advice on the best type of water pump for you.
  • Backflow Device
  • Flow Meter
  • Power Supply
  • Water Level Indicator – The above components refer to the rainwater harvesting and storage section of your irrigation system and are typically used in conjunction with sprinkler systems, drip irrigation and micro-drip irrigation.

A word on micro-drip irrigation

In New Zealand, micro-drip irrigation is particularly suited to be used in conjunction with a rainwater harvesting and storage system. Micro-drip irrigation has a low flow rate and does not require large volumes of water. Micro-drip irrigation is a very sustainable system of irrigation as it reduces evaporation and runoff. Combined with a rainwater harvesting and storage system, the sustainability level of micro-drip irrigation is even further enhanced.

It is very important to have an efficient design to get the most out of your rainwater harvesting and storage system. We recommend you use a professional to help you design your irrigation system regardless of the size of your project. Our team at Think Water are an expert in efficient water delivery. We can help you design a comprehensive system of rainwater harvesting and storage that either fully supplies your irrigation system or more commonly complements your existing system.

For further information about rainwater harvesting and storage in New Zealand talk to one of our expert team members.

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