Growing in popularity, rainwater harvesting systems are helping to reduce stormwater runoff and save energy in commercial buildings.
It involves a process of collecting water from roofs and reusing it for onsite purposes, eliminating the bulk cost of having to transport the water traditionally.
“You cannot have energy without a lot of water, and you cannot have water without a lot of energy,” says Jim Harrington of Georgia-based Rainwater Collection Solutions. “We talk about energy and read about energy all the time, but we don’t talk about the fact that probably 60% of the water that we use in the United States is used to create energy, for cooling towers and hydroelectric power. You’re talking about billions of gallons a day.”
Rainwater catchment is also a practice that can help property owners achieve LEED status for their buildings. The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama recently received LEED Gold for its terminal by meeting one of the LEED features in the design consisting of harvesting that reduces water consumption and discharge into the storm water drainage system.