Water supply is a serious problem in many areas. As a result of climate change and a systematic waste of this valuable and limited resource, more and more areas suffer extreme events, that is, chronic droughts and periods of intense rains, affecting the supply of water for industrial, agricultural and industrial use. residential to the point of forcing constant cuts and restrictions.
Besides being a scarce resource to a greater or lesser extent, and always of great value, if something characterizes water, it is that it is necessary and essential. However, when the water resource is insufficient, it too often becomes an inaccessible luxury, making it necessary to resort to efficient strategies for capturing environmental water , as we show in AgroCorrn.
- Storing rainwater
- Collect water from the air
- Runoff water catchment
When there is an irregularity in rainfall, it is interesting to take advantage of these periods of intense rains to capture and store rainwater. In homes, the same system of downspouts is usually used to direct rainwater towards a collector, which can be from a water barrel to a cistern (conventional or flexible, exterior or external) or container of any other type, such as manufactured for this purpose or, for example, a small pond or cistern.
If it is necessary to collect a significant amount of water, higher than that necessary for domestic use, there are different large-scale rain capture systems, public works that take different forms depending on budgets, weather conditions and the terrain.
Some cover a slope on a hillside in order to channel the water towards tanks that are normally buried to take advantage of space and also the same force of gravity to make it reach the tanks. Its use is common as an alternative to the expensive treatment of seawater and other waters not suitable due to the presence of heavy metals or other contamination.
DrainDrops or the Ecomuro Cistern are very ingenious inventions with a similar purpose. Both collect rainwater using plastic bottles for storage, but while the first one does it through a gutter that distributes it, the Ecomuro Cisterna creates a system of modules with PET containers (it is interesting to see the video) that, as their own name indicates, they form a wall-shaped deposit.
Collect water from the air
The collection of water from the mist is carried out on a large scale by extending large panels, like a banner, made of a material that traps moisture from the air. From that capture, it is channeled drop by drop, so it is a method that requires very efficient materials to offer minimally interesting results.
It is a method with great potential in areas with high humidity , although as technologies it still has to improve a lot. Still, it is already getting good results. To get an idea, a large collector, of about 40 m2, produces around 200 liters per day, with a very irregular production. On the best days, they are collected even when up to 1,000 liters are collected.
Taking advantage of the passage of low clouds (fog) can offer interesting results for domestic use by means of a small collector made with a fine lattice to catch the droplets and lead them to a container. We will find simple gadgets, and we can even make them ourselves or, if we want cutting-edge technology and even home automation control, the market offers us solutions that seem more like science fiction.
Giving the moviola of time, the so-called “Geria” are traditional constructions that we find on the island of Lanzarote to protect crops and trap environmental humidity. They are carried out in the field to protect the vines from the wind, with the double advantage that, at night, ambient humidity is also captured and filtered towards the earth.
There are many constructions that seek to take advantage of the dew water, but there are few as old and ingenious as the so-called Zibold condenser , of Ukrainian origin, which took advantage of the condensation of the dew on hot stones. When it cooled down, it was simply channeled, but keep in mind that, in general, rainwater is low in minerals, so this aspect must be monitored in the long-term consumption.
Runoff water catchment
As a complement or alternative to rainwater harvesting, it may be interesting to use runoff water harvesting systems, coming from temporary channels that are created when there are torrential rains and floods or when snow melts. They are usually stored in rafts and large-capacity storage tanks, and their subsequent use usually requires an electric pump.
Another option is the collection of groundwater . If at an industrial level it involves prior drilling, drilling through different systems and a series of works that have little to do with the traditional well, although the essence is similar, although it is carried out by digging deeper and with a much smaller diameter.
Its artisanal construction dates back to ancient times, usually on easily drilled terrain and using brick or stone, in the style of Arab wells. It can be combined with the construction of a pool, pond or surface deposit as other ways to take advantage of it.
Finally, stills or the solar oven are ideal if our objective is to purify sea water for private consumption, an invention by the Italian Gabriele Diamanti that is invaluable for communities with limited resources.
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