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Making every drop of water count in houses of the future

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 10:49

Water has the power to do many things. It can generate electricity with turbines or heat homes with radiant heaters. Even advancements in floor heating don't highlight water's importance for life as the world knows it. With global warming and climate change, regions of the world are being affected by droughts and water shortages more and more.

The ability to secure water is becoming more important in areas where it was never an issue before. Before the problem can be tackled on a global level, people have to start making changes in their lifestyles to implement their own solutions instead of waiting for global consensus. Every little bit helps in this worldwide struggle and the benefits can be seen not just in the environment around you, but your day to day lives as well.

Leading the charge

Hollywood actor Ed Begley Jr. isn't waiting to solve the water problem facing thousands of California homes. After using a 50-gallon rainwater collection system he rigged up himself by cutting off the bottoms of the downspouts of his house and setting up barrels underneath, Begley and his wife are transforming their home with a stunning 10,000-gallon water system, reported the Huffington Post.

This massive tank will be located underneath his house and collect rain hitting the roof and other paved areas on his property. It can  be completely filled in only two or three days. Its primary function will be for watering the lawn, plants and trees in what Begley hopes will completely irrigate the grounds. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, around one-third of the water used in a U.S. home goes to landscaping, so the impact will be tremendous.

Preparing for the future

With so many water problems sprouting up, Begley believes water will become scarce in the future and others should prepare methods for collecting free water from the sky before it happens. However, there are some state laws that restrict or ban rainwater collection tanks altogether, and Begley believes these issues must first be overcome if people around the world are to harness rainwater, reported Inhabitat.

There are many green innovations that homeowners can add on to their house that could prepare them for forthcoming problems as well as reduce their dependence on outside natural resources. Measures like a rainwater collection system can save people on accruing costs, as well as make their homes more sustainable.

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