The amount of water I see flowing down the roads, flooding areas, running down drainages is painful to watch. The things we could do with all that water! Tonnes of it flow mixing with the dirt and mud becoming pretty useless in the end and yet it could have been used in factories, homes, farms and many other places.
For starters, every home should have a mechanism with which to harvest water – and it does not have to be complicated or expensive. I have seen homes where rudimentary systems are put up: A piece of iron sheet is placed from the roof of the house at a diagonal angle along the wall, into a drum. So every time it rains, the family is assured of some water that will last them the day for all the house chores.
Imagine then, what a family that can afford more (and there are a good number like that) could do with a proper system running along the roof of the house, collecting water into a 1,000 litre tank. Depending on the number of people, the size of the house and the kind of activities in there, that amount of water could last many days.
Think of how much money a farm would save, if they also put up collection systems, to collect water from as many places as they could. This water could be saved for the next dry season and irrigation would not be such an expensive venture. In fact if a farm found good ways of harvesting the water every rain season, they would cut their costs on water by a good chunk.
Factories too can benefit from this. The problem is that we have not measured the amount of water that comes down each time there is a downpour. We are used to this blessing and think it is just a few drops that have made the ground muddy. We only gape in wonder when we see pictures on our whatsapp threads, TV and the newspapers of flooded areas. Once the water dries up, we move on. But if every building found a way to collect water off their roof into proper storage places, I am sure they would be surprised at the amount collected.
Now would be a good time to find out ways we can do that and encourage the communities around us to collect what we get for free and in abundance. Perhaps if we get serious with harvesting as much water as we can, we would have our roads flood less. Perhaps.