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Conventional approaches to water management are not sustainable

Rainwater is a severely under-credited natural resource that can be utilized in a number of ways that will improve access to water in the future. Each day in cities, towns and villages around the world hundreds of billions of gallons of rainwater is channeled from impervious surfaces into distant river systems as toxic wastewater or sediment-rich erosion floods. Simultaneously hundreds of billions of gallons of treated water is imported back, at enormous environmental and economical cost, to meet the ever growing demands of a burgeoning urban populace. In rural areas on farmsteads, homesteads and outposts, the most basic access to water for domestic use is most often lacking in reliability and quality.

 

Upwards of 16 million gallons of water per inch of rain falls in every square mile (gpi/㎡) of land. In the city setting more than half of this is lost as problematic stormwater runoff and soil infiltration is reduced by up to 40% leaving seven million gpi/㎡ of rainwater available for harvesting. This could well be a critical factor affecting water security in the future.