Rainwater harvesting on a commercial scale using water storage tanks
Friday, May 12, 2017
Changing rainfall patterns and climate change are having a noticeable impact on water resources in the UK particularly in the South Eastern regions. As a consequence rainwater harvesting on a commercial scale is becoming increasingly important. Most industrial buildings have large roof areas from which rain water can be collected via water storage tanks. This can convert into large volumes of water saved from using mains water supplies. With the cost of water having increased over the past two decades, this can lead to big cost savings off-set by the initial investment of harvesting technologies such as the purchasing and installation of a water storage tank.
Water storage tanks, with the correct filters attached are used to provide drinking water to farm animals in addition to other agricultural uses such as washing down farming equipment and irrigation purposes thereby saving on mains water supplies.
Helping farmers improve their yield and financial returns
How we use water and steps we take to reduce mains water supplies contribute to better irrigation management during low rainfall periods. The South East of England has the lowest rainfall while also yielding the best strawberry crops. So how successful are farmers at achieving good financial periods while growing crops that require constant irrigation during the growing period.
The UK's WATERR project aims to provide farmers and growers with the tools and information needed to enable them to save costs, improve yields and and increase their overall financial returns. Data collected will help irrigators to compare their own water use efficiency with their peers and provide information on which technologies and practices represent ‘best practice’. With water becoming he aim is to safeguard the water using interests of growers for the future.
has recently presented research findings indicating that growers throughout Kent are increasing their trickle irrigation water usage and that substrate grown crops, which use efficient trickle irrigation techniques, topped the average water use by crops in the three project years or 2011, 2012 and 2013. Substrate strawberries used 2,495 cubic metres of water per hectare and substrate raspberries used 1,509 cubic metres of water per hectare.
For South Eastern growers, the pressure to limit their water usage has never been greater as the government enforces a licensing regime for the very first time. By 2020 it is expected that, if growers wish to continue using trickle irrigation, they will have to use abstraction licenses. However, as we have previously mentioned, as is the case in Northern Ireland, abstraction licenses are being widely reviewed and renewal fees have been subject to significant increases.