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Rainwater Harvesting Impact on Catchment

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 Rainwater Harvesting  Impacts on Catchm

Abu Rashid, Dr. Muhammed Bhuiyan, Dr. Nira Jayasuriya , School of Engineering, RMIT University


There are 6 aspects of impact analysis available on rainwater harvesting (RWH), which can be identified as: water and energy savings, life cycle analysis (LCA), life cycle cost (LCC), runoff reduction and pollutant load reduction.  So far, all of these aspects were neither considered fully nor analysed rigorously to evaluate the net environmental impacts of RWH on a catchment-scale. Particularly, direct impacts of runoff and pollutant load reductions on environment were not evaluated in general. In this research these aspects are estimated through field observation and simulation using storm water management model (SWMM). Water and energy savings, and runoff and pollutant reductions in LCA are used to estimate the net impacts on environment, which would add a value in sustainability study on RWH.


Application of LCA and LCC to RWH will evaluate the environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness of RWH system respectively. 

As such the following are the specific objectives of this research:

Evaluating the net impacts of RWH on environment due to:

1.runoff and pollutant reduction – quantify the reduction of these elements and its impacts on natural water bodies,
2.water & energy savings
3.reduction of drainage network construction – quantify its reduction and impact to environment, and
4.reduction of treatment of runoff by other WSUD elements – quantify its impact to environment.
 Comparing the cost of the systems with and without RWH.
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