Might rainwater provide a solution to our water problems?

With recent water shortages as well as lower allotments, consumers have found many creative and innovative ways to save water. Some people have even proposed new sources of water, such as rainwater. In Los Angeles, estimates report that up to 80% of the rainwater that falls on the city is directed straight into the ocean. With many engineered rivers and canals, this rainwater has no chance of being re-absorbed into groundwater basins and the natural water cycle.
By paving these waterways with non-permeable cement and concrete, there is no way for water to permeate the structure and replenish groundwater. This also destroys the natural waterways that they replace. These natural waterways often provide crucial habitat to endangered species of birds, fish, amphibians, and other wildlife.
Since the waterways are not permeable, they also collect pollution without filtering it like natural systems. The paved waterways transport pollutions and contaminants directly into the ocean, where it has an irrefutable effect on organisms. The pollutants collect on exposed surfaces such as roadways, sidewalks, and in the engineered canals. Once the rainy season begins, all of the pollutants get flushed into the ocean.
With rainwater being transported directly into the ocean, we have no way of using it to our benefit. Why not direct this rainwater into water treatment plants where it can be cleaned, and used by humans? For every inch of rain that falls on 1,000 square feet of ground surface, there is 623 gallons of water. This water can be used to irrigate fields, grow crops, or even build one heck of a water park…So why do we keep wasting it?
Brian O’Neill


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