Where we are
Here, on the West Coast of British Columbia
rainfall is abundant in the winter but limited in the summer, and many residents depend strictly on harvested rainwater.
Rainwater harvesting is a common practice on the Gulf Islands and Southern Vancouver Island in the communities not supplied by municipal water sources and where well-water supply is insufficient.
Many coastal communities on the Gulf Islands depend on rainwater collected in the winter to avoid water shortages or reliance on water deliveries in the summer.
For more info, consult the Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guidebook and refer to material about collecting rainwater on the Gulf Islands from the Islands Trust.
The practice of rainwater collection, storage, and reuse provided additional water resources throughout the ages. Other benefits of rainwater harvesting include protecting and replenishing the freshwater aquifer and reducing the risk of floods.
Rainwater harvesting and storage is often used to augment traditional water resources such as municipal water supply in urban areas and well-water in rural communities.
& Still Used Today
As the world faces water scarcity due to a rapidly growing population and changing precipitation patterns, many communities and large urban centers are returning to rainwater harvesting to increase their limited water supply.
As water resources are diminishing fast and droughts are not an “if” but “when” scenario in many areas of the world, augmenting the water supply with rainwater is becoming a must, including here on the West Coast of British Columbia.
An idea whose time has come
Rainwater Back-up for Wells
Learn more about groundwater and wells on your island from Freshwater Sustainability Programs of the Islands Trust.
Possible Water Savings
Average Water Usage
The average use of water per person in Metro Vancouver is about 470 liters per day when you factor in commercial services such as running businesses, institutions, and public facilities. Almost half of this amount is used for toilet flushing and showering.
A water-conscious person living on the rainwater harvesting system uses between 100 to 200 liters per day.
You can conserve water and save on your water bills by using low flush toilets & water-saving showerheads.