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The Future of Rainwater Harvesting
Moderator(s): John Hammerstrom
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The future of RWH 1 J. Holmgreen For RWH to grow in the future, I suggest the following:: 1.  Partner with universities to offer curricula that include RWH topics, so that more college-level students are trained in RWH systems.  This could be in the Colleges of Engineering, Architecture and Agriculture. 2.  ARCSA should interact with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and others to educate their members about the benefits of RWH systems.  How about holding the next ARCSA conference jointly with AIA or ASLA? 3. RWH suppliers should be more proactive and contact major corporations and industries for installing RWH systems.  Companies and facilities with large roof areas should be targeted by the RWH industry.  RWH suppliers should also be more customer friendly. 4.  Semi-urban and rural areas are a great market for the RWH industry, and should be tapped.  Regulations there may not be as rigid as in established cities and municipalities.  5.  ARCSA should encourage the formation of more regional or statewide chapters, so that local needs and requirements can be met adequately.  ARCSA should ask the regional reps to be more active in promoting RWH in their areas through seminars, workshops, etc.
by H. Krishna
Monday, November 4, 2013
Future of RWH - D. Rochat 0 D. Rochat, Rainwater Resources My Current View Regarding the Future of Rainwater Harvesting I am most interested in the local face of rainwater harvesting. That is the "dealer” or system supplier. My view is that successful market penetration followed by successfully installed/operating systems requires a lot of hard work and integrity. It will, in my opinion, make a difference that new markets be penetrated by a solid company that can gain trust and sell the concept. Storm water engineers, codes officials, building owners, architects, engineers, and specifiers must all buy in. Good local promotion and community involvement is needed as well. Finally, the local dealer must deliver on expertise in design consultation, integration, and future scheduled maintenance/repair. Local boots on the ground, building relationships and doing the hard work every day, will do the most to create a favorable climate for sales and installations of rainwater harvesting systems. I feel that the distribution models should be more "local dealer” minded regarding this necessary component of the successful implementation of rainwater harvesting into a community. OK – that is my little world in the big picture of grant access, tax credits, mitigation credits, uniform industry standards, R&D, and new technologies that also are necessary, I believe, to make us a strong and healthy industry. Rainwater is not only an asset but it is quality water. Also it is already on location eliminating significant energy use for transportation. I see, in the future, many homes and commercial/industrial users at net zero water. I believe our industry is a sleeping giant waking up to impact sustainability on an unprecedented scale.
by D. Rochat, Rainwater Resources
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Future of RWH - John Hammerstrom 0 J. Hammerstrom My view of the future of Rainwater Harvesting is a state of affairs in which this relatively pristine, but generally wasted natural resource is broadly appreciated for its value and widely collected and used in sustainable ways to help solve potable, nonpotable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world.  Among the keys to attainment of that vision are a minimalist, friendly, facilitating and uniform regulatory environment that nevertheless ensures quality of system design, installation and maintenance; regulatory, legislative and code guidance that encourages this new economic sector; an educational network that innovates, researches and teaches the best RWH methods; development of new and old relationships with natural allies; outreach to reassure potential opponents; and an organization like ARCSA whose leaders and members relentlessly pursue such a vision.John
by J. Hammerstrom
Friday, November 1, 2013
Future of RWH - Neal Shapiro 0 N. Shapiro Future of RWH – ARCSA Conference, Panel Discussion November 6, 2013    Neal Shapiro*, Secretary ARCSA(Office of Sustainability & the Environment, City of Santa Monica* Expressed views are personal and do not necessarily reflect the City’s)   Generally most people will not implement sustainable solutions unless there is a financial incentive, e.g. rebate, grant; not loan, or there is a government regulation or resource rate to require these solutions under specific conditions, e.g. new, re, major construction. For example, in Santa Monica, in the 1980s we required low flush toilets, showerheads and aerators to save water. It was a new strategy and it forced the market to produce more efficient toilets and other water devices from the 7 gallon guzzlers. We also provided a financial incentive option. And it worked; the market adapted to supply more efficient toilets, and promoted competition. In Santa Monica and other cities, sprinklers are required in a building for safety purposes when your construction project exceeds a threshold. Some areas require solar systems and weather-proofing to reduce energy use and produce renewable energy. While additional costs are imposed, in the long-term, generally, one’s costs will be reduced, health and safety improved, and during emergencies one could be more self-reliant from the municipal grid.   Firstly, I believe that codes should be upgraded to include building requirements for harvesting precipitation for direct and passive applications on parcels and the public right of way. In Santa Monica, we have had such a requirement since the mid-1990s, requiring post-construction BMPs to reduce rainfall from leaving a parcel. However, this requirement has been focused on passive solutions, redirecting this water from the storm drain system to onsite infiltration. But this strategy is often inefficient if one’s soils are C and D, clayey, or there is little open space to infiltrate and at the same time avoid damage to a building foundation. Moreover, infiltrating additional rainfall from impermeable surfaces to permeable when it is raining can saturate soils. And generally, this parcel by parcel strategy does not help alleviate excessive groundwater mining because of the small amounts of recharge volume and uncertainty if such infiltration can reach a viable aquifer. A more sustainable strategy is to store rainfall for indoor uses and future landscape irrigation when it is not raining, which directly reduces the use of potable water.Codes should be put in place to require, during construction of specific levels, rainfall harvesting systems for pre-treatment, storage, polishing and end uses, such as irrigation and indoor flushing, the two most common uses for parcels.   A second strategy I believe could be effective is the implementation of rainfall or impermeable surface fees. In Santa Monica and in many other cities, these parcel fees are based on land use type and runoff coefficient, and size of property. In our city, we use these fees for building new public green infrastructure, O&M of existing BMPs, and a small portion for financial incentives for rainfall harvesting systems (rain barrels and cisterns) and downspout redirects. These revenues can be used to establish financial incentive programs to fund retrofitting of existing buildings with green infrastructure described above. Property owners who want to install a rainfall harvesting system for direct end uses can be paid in part by these fees. And for those property owners who have such systems, their annual rainfall fee would be removed or significantly reduced. What complicates this strategy is that, generally, such fees cannot be passed by municipalities’ governing bodies. The approval has to go the voters, and we know how difficult it is to pass a new fee or tax, even one that supports environmental protection. Rainwater/stormwater is not classified the same as natural gas, electricity, drinking water, and sewage. Ideally, rain/stormwater need to be re-classified like these other utilities so that governing bodies can impose rates without having to go to voters.   This vision is a two-prong comprehensive strategy to address all land use and ownership: first, one program addresses private and public parcels, and public right of ways that have new or major construction; second, one program addresses existing parcels not undergoing construction, in which a building is retrofitted with an appropriate rainfall harvesting systems for a specific site. This vision puts a community on a path to eventually have all land with a sustainable water harvesting system, to reducing runoff and the problems associated with too much water in the storm drain system, and to maximizing local water harvesting and water self-reliance, and sustainability.
by N. Shapiro
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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