Rainwater Harvesting and Management
Rainwater is an untapped resource in most of the developed world, yet we have water shortages, water quality issues, flooding, and polluted outfalls in most urban centers. Management of water resources has dramatically evolved from individual access and use to consolidated systems of supply and distribution in the past hundred years or so. We are less aware of Nature’s WATER CYCLE than that of the built environment: water comes from a tap and goes down the drain, and rain falls on the roof and landscape and disappears into the ground.
Managing rainwater at the source – ie. where it interacts with humans, such as rooftops and the landscape – is a major step in helping to reclaim ground water supplies, increase aquifer storage, and mitigate pollution picked up from roadways and industrial activity. By treating water as a resource instead of excess and waste, we can help bring back the natural processes of infiltration, percolation, soil ecology, and water balance for our planet.
The online course introduces a number of themes, from understanding water in the landscape and at the watershed scale, to best practices for handling rainwater before it becomes stormwater (runoff), or polluted through contact with the ground. Opportunity is given for personal discovery of regulations and approval processes for rainwater harvesting systems in the participants own municipal structure, and for understanding the complexities of harvesting and using rainwater in our modern times. The course is offered three times a year, and is currently part of the continuing education and/or diploma offerings at Humber and Seneca Colleges in Ontario, and at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC.