In April 2012 we initiated a project to collect and use rainwater. This system includes four tanks of 1000 gallons capacity each.
So that is a total of 15,000 liters of water, with an electric pump half hp and an electronic system for the scheduling valves for irrigation of greenhouses and nurseries. With this system our garden is one hundred percent organic, receiving water completely free of chlorine and other chemical treatment. From its inception until today, this project has allowed us to reduce the consumption of 300,000 liters public water in a year, at a rate of 850 liters per day to consume our garden.
However, our public water consumption for other activities such as food preparation, personal hygiene and general cleanliness remained high. That was how we began to consider the need to expand the system of rainwater collection for other areas and uses in the academy, except for food preparation. First we studied various possibilities and suggestions until we found a practical and economical solution. We decided to run the project, which contained the placement of an additional tank, 400 gallons, on a specially constructed homemade tower and which was installed on top of the highest building of our campus.
This supplement to the original project works with the same pump we use for the organic garden. We just installed some pipes to connect the new tank to the existing system, mount the new tower on the roof (hard and demanding task, due to the excessive weight of tank and tower), put the tank and go! We now have rainwater in 80 percent of the campus, with the exception of the kitchen and one bathroom where public water remains in case the system needs to be repaired or needs maintenance. So, we have gone again one step further to convert to RVA into a Climate Compliant center and it will serve as an example to everyone and it opens the room to spread the benefits of using rainwater in the local communities.
A simple, but very positive act for the future of our planet.