Decentralized Water Management

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Encourage a conversation about the need to move from exclusive centralized water treatment recycling and management to a decentralized model.

8 Aug 2012 at 4:31
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Steve Williams
A Decentralized Solution: Rainwater Harvesting

The idea of a decentralized system came to me in stages after I realized the potential that rainwater harvesting could bring to Metro Atlanta and other wet climates. I saw landscaping trucks watering plants, people washing sidewalks and residents using way to much water on their lawns. All were using potable water. I believed if rainwater harvesting systems (RHS) were placed through out the city to supply clean non-potable water, much of our water needs could be supplied directly from the rain. The problem I have seen in the large scale implementation of RHS is the private sector will not invest in a RHS with less then a 2-3 year payback. Many irrigation RHS will take 5–10 years or more to payback, because they have seasonal use. A RHS should have a life cycle of 30 years or more giving them a positive return on investment. I believe if the utilities had a revenue source from rain harvesting they would embrace the practice. Through my investigation in this project, I realized lower energy requirements of RHS and the efficient storage of water in tanks are the key to making this practice economical.

Any thoughts? All responses are welcomed.

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