The linked article is well worth examining thoroughly. I’ve always wondered what’s so hard about this.(via Pruned) Sidwell Friends School in DC has implemented a rainwater recovery and usage system that is highly functional and environmentally friendly. The garden is beautiful, but just as important in this world is the market economics. And by the assertion of the blog post, the system was fairly affordable as well.
To the players in this project, the market logic for preserving rainwater existed in Washington DC – a place with abundant rain. A place where the embodied costs of providing a unit of water are much lower than a more arid climate. Let’s take the example of Los Angeles. In short, official policy since (before) the building of the LA River channel system is that stormwater in its untreated and unchanneled state is a nuisance and a threat to public welfare. Which it is. But the solution was therefore not to treat it, or to deal with it in some way. The solution is to take all of the stormwater runoff – even off of the roofs of private residences – and put it into a system that shunts it as quickly as possible to the ocean. Leaving no surplus water for the extra human population for whom you’ve just provided capacity.
Groundwater recharge is the concept that there is a natural amount of water trapped in the soil that is recharged by rainfall. Even in a modern metropolis, it costs basically nothing. When this, rainwater cachement, and greywater utilization can all be done so easily and cheaply, when they can provide a resource to a city like LA that otherwise has to use massive amounts of energy pipe water for hundreds of miles, and when they can have such beautiful results as the Sidwell Friends School, what arguments against these techniques really hold water?