Water Collection DeviceIntroduction
Water is plentiful on Planet Earth, but recent climate change has caused many changes in how and when rain falls.
Our inspiration came from the creative people of Australia, a country with very little rain. Australians created a system that collects rain water in large tanks.
There are many elements in the agricultural production chain, but without water all is useless.
The first fundamental need to increase the agricultural output is that water comes in when the crops need it the most.
Usually, strong rainfalls are followed by severe drought. This alternation, excess water followed by drought affects plant growth.
Dubai has had its share of heavy rain. So heavy that houses flooded. Such large amount of water could have been saved for more dry times.
A simple, cheap and very effective solution is to collect the rainwater and use it when plants need it.
Here are some advantages of using the rainwater:
- It's free;
- It does not have to be processed;
- It provides protection against calcification;
- It helps plants absorb minerals.
Figure 1 shows a rainwater collection device that resembles a large-sized umbrella that is typically used on beaches and can be easily purchased by low-income people.
Rainwater collection device
[Explanatory note for Figure 1: The terms used in Figure 1 were intentionally chosen in relation to our thinking process of an upside-down umbrella turning into the device we want to present.]
The umbrella resemblance stops at the level of visual representation. Going further, the device we chose for this challenge is based on the willow principle, which emphasizes how the willow withstands strong winds, from all directions without breaking. That is why we have replaced the umbrella hoods that tend to break when the wind blows with textile cords as shown in Fig. 1.
By rotating the drum, the textile cord will pass through the support pole and will tighten the canvas and the rigid rods of the device in a sowing-like manner in order to tighten the umbrella.
An inclined pipe drives the collected rainwater in the device and sends it to the collection tank. The umbrella poles have a threaded portion at the end with the role of anchoring the device to the ground. By simply twisting a five-minute rod, you can install an umbrella. Turning the drum releases the textile cord and the umbrella blooms. No special preparations are required to use the device during the rainy season.
The biggest challenge for these devices would be wind resistance as wind usually accompanies rain.
If the vortex blows from the bottom upwards, a part of the umbrella will rise and it will lose its load. Gravitation will then hit the whole device.
If the vortex blows from the top down, the textile cords which are very strong and flexible will not break. The acrylic cloth is made up of two overlapping sides to allow the wind to slip and the load to be lost. Our inspiration for this comes from the big beach umbrellas that allow the wind to come through without breaking the whole thing.
Once the water reaches the collection tank, it faces the storage risks. It is well known that in daylight, store water is affected by the green algae specific to rainwater containers. That is why we suggest that once in the collection tank, the rain water should be stored in the dark (preferably underground). This way it can be stored for years without the risk of diminishing its qualities.
Our device has been designed as for the need of one family. The water collected in such system would be a great asset used to meet the family’s primary needs such as watering the garden that provides vegetables.
Of course, there could be a next stage of using this device. If placed near a greenhouse or to a field, if doubled in number, these devices could increase the crops. Storing rain water during the rainy seasons could increase agricultural production.
The major advantage of these collectors is that they can be placed near the house or directly on the crop field so that the collected water would be next to the target area with no need for extra infrastructure required by transportation – which would be essential for the low-income families or communities.
Figure 2 -
Figure 3Available resources
We would like to present several types of tanks that are already available on the market.
Types of water tanks available on the market. 1000 l
Types of water tanks available on the market. Different sizes.
Figure 6 -Types of water tanks available on the market.
Types of water tanks available on the market.
Types of water tanks available on the market. 14,000L Rainwater Tank
Pictured above, this is AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE LOOKING TANK. It has the best-looking corrugated design. Only Rapid Plas offers the timeless style of corrugated iron, the building material that made the bush. A TRULY AUSTRALIAN STYLE. So think about what you want your tank to look like beside your house or shed.
In the extra season, these devices can be tightened and a protective pouch can be placed over the acrylic cloth so as to maximize the life span.
By rotating the drum, the textile cord will pass through the support pole and will tighten the canvas and rigid rods of the device in a sowing manner by tightening the umbrella.Feasibility
From a technical perspective, the water collection device is feasible long term similarly to the beach umbrellas. There are no uncertain elements nor weak chain links in the use of this device as the price of all parts of the device are affordable even for the low-income families (especially when compared to the benefits of an entire crop salvage).
The major advantage of these water collectors stands in the fact that the tanks can be placed directly on the crop field or near greenhouses where the water is most needed. This way there is no need to further invest in transportation infrastructure. This aspect continues to be vital in our approach as we target beneficiaries who may lack financial resources.Scalability
The active surface (area) of a rain water collection device is 20 m2.
The quantity of water that can be collected using this device depends on the type of rain: drizzle, dense, moderate, torrential. When the rainy season is over, the device can be stored until the next one.
In terms of the water that would meet a regular family’s needs, namely waste water and garden watering, we estimate that 1000 liters can be collected by using a single device.
Using more than one device would allow water collection according to the needs of the family and/or their agricultural requirements.
As for greenhouses, public parks, and agriculture we suggest a series of 10 – 20 devices (or even more) that would ensure the quantity needed from one rainy season to another. Each entity will be able to adjust the size of the network as per their specific needs. This device has been designed for a regular size low-income family.
As suggested by the attached images, there already is an offer of water tanks with capacities varying from 500 to 25.000 liters (the larger ones designed for massive agricultural production).
In the case of low-income areas, it would be of great use and help for several families to co-participate in the purchase of the equipment in order to be able to collect water rain.Innovative Approach and Potential for Impact
The production of rainwater collection devices can be done by companies that produce large beach umbrellas at lower costs because the project has been simplified for the purpose of elasticity and flexibility. We designed the device and replaced the umbrella spike supports. The umbrella is held in an open position by highly resistant and very flexible textile strings that can withstand strong winds that usually occur when it rains. This is essential for the success of the business.
This device can be used by any entity, be it a low-income family or the municipality which is interested in collecting the rain water to water the plants in the city.Affordable Source of Water
With the population continually growing and with the increased demand on water supply, water rates are expected to continue to rise. This means that it may cost you an increasing amount of money in the future to water your garden. Investing ina rainwater tankis a cost-effective solution that you can consider for watering your garden, washing your car as well as using it around the house. After you have paid for the purchase and installation of a water tank for your garden, you can continue to use the tank to take advantage of free water every time it rains and for many, many years to come. Depending on the size of the tank that you purchase, you may be able to cover most or all of your water needs through your tank.
- Fresh, Healthy Rain Water -The water that you receive from your tap or faucet is treated so that it is healthy to drink, but this is generally not the healthiest type of water for theplantsin your garden. This water containschlorineand other elements, and the amount of these elements found in tap water is not always appreciated by your plants. On the other hand, rain water is fresh and healthy, and it is the type of water that your plants will thrive on. When you water yourgardenwith rainwater, you may notice that the garden is more vibrant.
- An Eco-Friendly Option -Many people acrossBrisbanehave a desire to live a more environmentally friendly life, therefore investing in water tanks is a fabulous option. Water is a limited natural resource but, at the same time it is vital to sustain life. Conserving water is important, and using a tank from a manufacturer likeThe Water Tank Factoryto collect and store natural rain water will decrease your reliance on the public water supply. It will also minimize the loss associated with run-off and it will help you to contain and more effectively use the water that is available to you naturally.
Water tankscan be installed by any experienced plumber on your behalf to provide you with a fast and convenient way to start taking advantage of the rainwater. There are many benefits associated with using rainwater for your garden, and you can also consider investing in a larger tank so that you can use some of the water for indoor purposes as well. Why not looking at tank providers today and learn about the different styles of tanks that can be installed on your property?
The rainwater collection device can be applied on a planetary scale, wherever there is rain, regardless of the available financial resources, whether it is a low-income family or a municipality with large resources. Nobody refuses anything for free, but the effects are beneficial to us all.
Rain water is free and is better for plants than drinking water.