By now both sides of the story are painfully clear: 1) we are responsible, 2.) the planet is responsible. And then there are the skeptics. Either way sea level rise has been getting a lot of attention lately. However, it seems this polemic argument is very near-sighted. One side trying to raise awareness, the other trying calm the alarm. Each focused on proving a point, which takes time away from the heavy lead times involved in making actionable decisions. Let’s presume for the sake of this post that sea level rise is a fact. Let’s also take the worst case scenario that in the next 100 years due to rapid glacial melt and antarctic dissolution, that we can expect to see up to 4 feet of rise. This calls into question the very identity of coastal populations, 15 of which happen to be the largest cities on the planet (NYC, Cairo, Tokyo, Sao Paulo to name a few). Some of these major cities have already been confronted with the decision to abandon or protect their territories and have begun to enter into a new relationship with the sea. While this argumentative chatter can and has filled volumes, there are some designers and politicians dedicated to applying physical solutions to what is a very existential threat.
Do you harvest your own rain water? If not, you might want to consider building this into the life-cycle assessment of your home. Consider the growing demand for water and the escalating costs associated with it. This will soon make clean water one of the most valuable commodities on the planet, probably in our lifetime, but definitely in our children’s. In this post I’ll outline a few strategies to collect rain water with the home you already have that won’t break the bank, as well as some best practices for new home construction. But first, let me suggest why you might want to consider adopting a rainwater harvesting strategy.
People have always gathered near water. Small groups then towns then cities accumulated along trade routes and contested territories located at strategic access points and ports. Water is who we are, who we have always been, not only biologically, but geographically as well. It’s only a natural step to realize that access to water is access to civilization is access to power. Luckily for us, not all actual or potentially clean water is sitting under lock and key by government agencies or private business. This ultimately raises the question of property. Who owns water and where?
Well you’re in luck. You do, or you can (depending on your state). And it doesn’t cost a fortune. With personal water collection trending in homes and businesses around the world, water collection technologies are improving and becoming more accessible and affordable due to market demand.