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Water Shortages & Rainwater Harvesting Grants – Water is a vital component in any industry, but even more so where crops, livestock, or grass-based playing surfaces are involved. Inadequate water supply has severe adverse effects in all of these sectors. However, as you are probably aware, water supplies are being put under increasing pressure, largely thanks to leaking pipes and overuse of water in homes, leading to real concerns about the future of British waterways and the environment. For businesses who need to be aware of their bottom line, water waste can have a significant effect on profitability too.
The environmental impact
We are all being urged to save water. Rainfall has, on the whole, decreased, leading to droughts and restrictions on irrigation and even hosepipe use. To combat this shortfall, more and more water is being abstracted from waterways. In 2016 the amount was almost 9,500 billion litres. This abstraction is having a real, adverse effect on British waterways, as lower water levels means less water to dilute potential pollutants. The Environment Agency has warned that around 11%, or 1,075 waterways of all types at risk of not being able to support their associated ecology.
The human impact
With an ever-increasing population and continuing changes to the climate, experts believe that by 2025 around half of the UK will experience water shortages, and by 2050 the majority of the country will be affected. The South East is likely to be particularly impacted, due to having the densest population and the lowest rainfall. Meeting the needs of the population will require yet more abstraction from local waterways, with a further impact on the environment.
The financial impact
According to research carried DEFRA in 2011, the British farming industry uses around 180 million cubic meters (180,000,000 litres) of water each year. The Farming Advice Service states that of this 42% is used for irrigating crops, and 40% for watering livestock. The majority comes from mains water supplies. The price of mains water has risen by far more than inflation over the past twenty years, and it is now one of the major costs associated with farming.
In addition to daily usage, it’s also estimated that around 3 billion litres of water are lost each day in England alone, thanks to leaking pipes. This is enough to support 20 million people’s average daily water usage. For farmers, a leak of just one litre per minute equates to watering another 25 cows in a dairy herd. A significant additional cost that affects profitability and increases the cost to the consumer.
Luckily for farmers and other industrial applications, there is a cost-effective solution that helps to reduce abstraction from waterways, protects the environment, and saves your business money: rainwater harvesting.
The majority of water used in farming and industry – around 85% – doesn’t need to be of drinking quality. Watering crops, flushing toilets, industrial cooling, and sluicing yards are just some examples where potable water is being wasted. Adding a rainwater harvesting system can reduce water bills by up to 75%. Even considering the initial investment, rainwater harvesting remains an affordable, attractive option that will easily pay for itself in a short period of time.
A rainwater harvesting system is easy to install in both existing and new buildings. It captures the rainwater from the roofs of out buildings, barns and industrial units, which is then fed into the guttering system. The water is channeled through the downpipe into the passes through a filter that removes leaves and debris, and into a water storage tank. Proper storage, in a dark, oxygenated tank, will help to prevent algal growth, while inbuilt calming inlets stops any sediment becoming stirred up, keeping the water clean and suitable for a wide range of uses.
Rainwater Harvesting Grants
There are grants available to help implement rainwater harvesting systems.
- Above ground rainwater harvesting tanks – https://www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants/above-ground-tanks-rp18
- Below ground rainwater harvesting tanks – https://www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants/storage-tanks-underground-rp17
- First flush rainwater diverters – https://www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants/first-flush-rainwater-diverters-and-downpipe-filters-rp19
The Enduramaxx rainwater harvesting tank range
Enduramaxx recommends that businesses store around three months’ worth of rainfall. We manufacture rainwater harvesting tanks in 42 sizes, ranging from 150 litres to 90,000 litres, with both above- and below-ground options available, making them ideal for any application.
With both domestic and commercial sizes and capacities available, our range of rainwater harvesting tanks, also known as vertical storage tanks or water storage tanks, provides the water storage element for Rainwater Harvesting Systems. In 40 sizes, ranging from 150 litres to 90,000 litres, our plastic tanks allow rainwater to be stored and used at your convenience. We are pleased to announce that we are able to manufacture framed support bases for these tanks – see under Tank Modifications.