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It never rains, it pours

Posted by Barry Nutley on 22 January 2009 at 8:54 am

Rainwater harvesting was the focus of my last blog. Today I want to get you thinking about water, and what it means for us in the UK.

Keen gardeners and allotment owners, are well aware of the issues with water. While a good bit of rain is great, a torrid downpour isn't. As an allotmenteer myself, I'm fully aware of the impacts of both no rain, and too much rain in a single session.

As many of us know, global warming leads to adverse weather conditions. So far, it's been a particularly cold January. Does that mean we are going to have a particularly hot summer? Or that we are going to have dry spells, followed by short heavy showers? We can not be sure at this point. What we can be sure of is that neither scenario would be a major surprise to those in the know.

Many parts of the UK are classed as water stress areas. Here are a few more facts to bear in mind:


  1. Less than 10 countries have 60per cent of the world's available fresh water. The UK isn't one of them.
  2. The area of the world stricken by drought has doubled since the '70s. We can't be next? Can we? I wonder how many high street retailers, and financial institutions have said the same recently?
  3. It takes 7 litres of water to make 1 litre of beer. Apparently, we drink a lot of the stuff, much of which is manufactured here in Britain.

I think that prompts the discussion for the need for rainwater harvesting, and/or reducing water usage. 

With the housing market the way it is, many people are choosing to improve, rather than move. If this is you, then seriously consider rainwater harvesting.

Many people don't realise that rainwater is soft water, and free from added chemicals. This means it is better for the garden, and also better for your mashing machine if you're in a hard water area. Not only does it negate the need for water softeners, but for those who don't use them, it's likely to increase the life, and efficiency of your washing machine. It could save you approximately 25p per tablet per wash, and reduce your electricity bill, and carbon emissions. So even more reason to consider it.

If you would like me to answer questions on a specific project, then don't hesitate to ask a question here, or e-mail me.

Photo by weimiweim

About the author: Barry Nutley is co-founder and director of Viridis Energie Consultants

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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