Don’t you just love the rains that drop into Manila these days? They are sporadic, random, brief and soft to the touch. Don’t you just remember those days when you were young and you even pray for rain so you could dance in it? You can run to the nearest shelter and wait a while for it to subside. Or you can simply walk in the rain, without the umbrella and be refreshed.
This is so because it is just the beginning of our typhoon season. What if there comes a strong typhoon or twin typhoons, or even super typhoon? Are we ready for the widespread flooding? Even now, there are flash floods here and there all over the country, even in Buhangin, Davao.
Not only are these low-lying areas, but nothing much is being done in terms of really arresting rainwater collecting in certain areas. Those road repairs and large culverts can only make water flow easily into either Laguna de Bay or Manila Bay and flood them.
When the bays are full (because they are heavily silted) water stays where it is and inundates the area.
What could we do? Many ways
1. Crush any pavement that don’t need to be cemented or asphalted. Let the earth absorb the rainwater that falls into it immediately and not flow to the sewer system.
2. Start a garden. No space? Use containers and place them on any area around your house or workplace not usually used—corners, side of stairs, penthouse, window sills anywhere the sunrays can penetrate. Mr. Google says are about 50 indoor plants that help clean the air inside the house.
3. Factories and office buildings can create rainwater wells that collect precious rainwater for use to water their plant and wash cars. Companies can install a rainwater collection system, which is comprised of big tanks that are under the ground. When it rains, the water is directed to the tanks and then when the rain water needs to be used, there is a filter and a pump that pumps the water out for your needs. This type of collection system is much pricier and will need to be installed by a professional.
4. At home, a basic system to catch the rainwater involves nothing more than having a gutter system around the edges of your roof. The water is captured in the gutter and routed downward with the use of a drainpipe. By positioning a barrel or cistern underneath the open end of the pipe, you can capture rainwater every time it rains. This simple approach works very well for people and organizations who own their own houses and property.
5. I have my own small drums filled with rainwater from the gutter’s downspout which I use to irrigate my urban farm. Plants and grass actually do better when fed rainwater instead of tap water, which is usually treated with softeners that actually inhibit plant growth.
6. Collect rainwater and use it to shampoo your hair. According to John C. Davis, writing in E – The Environmental Magazine, the lack of minerals and chemicals in rainwater actually makes it more effective than tap water for shampooing or doing dishes. Using rainwater for plumbing uses can also extend the life of pipes and water heaters, since the salts added to tap water facilitate corrosion. Homeowners should set up a water purification system if they do plan to use rainwater for interior needs.
7. Davis writes, “Beyond the benefits to individual homeowners, rainwater harvesting can also be good for the local community, as it reduces the erosion, flooding and pollution runoff associated with heavy rainfall, and lessens reliance on public water supplies, alleviating some of the burden on utilities.”
8. You can also make use of rainwater runoff for other tasks around the house or factories or buildings. Rainwater works very well for projects such as washing the car or even washing down the exterior of the house or building. The water is also handy for washing windows, scrubbing outdoor walkways, and the floor of the patio or deck. For households where these types of projects take place several times a month, you will soon see a significant amount of savings on your monthly water bill. Or to rinse hand-wash-only or delicate garments.
Rain is a blessing when we use it well. It could prove disastrous when not treated well. As the song goes: “Let it rain, let it rain. Open the flood gates of Heaven.”
Read more: Jesus Culture – Let It Rain Lyrics | MetroLyrics
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