Booming Business: How to Cash in on the Emerging Market of Water Harvesting

Article excerpt

Water harvesting is the hottest new business opportunity in the landscape industry. Don't believe me? Just ask any developer, architect or engineer. Even homeowners are asking for water harvesting. So, what is water harvesting, and, more importantly, how can your company cash in on this emerging market?

Water harvesting, simply put, is the on-site capture and reuse of alternative water sources. In our industry, the captured water is typically used for landscape irrigation. Three examples of alternative water sources are as follows:

* Rainwater--defined as the water that lands on your roof-- is by far the most popular and easiest to capture. It's relatively clean and can often be reused without any treatment.

* Storm water--defined as rainwater that hits the ground--is also fairly easy to capture. However, its quality can be comwomised by urban pollutants, which could necessitate filtration and/or treatment prior to reuse.

* Condensate--defined as water discharged from cooling equipment (chillers, air conditioners, etc.)--is easy to capture. Depending on the cooling equipment type, this water may require filtration or treatment, but often can be reused "as is."

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Creating a complete water harvesting system

Water harvesting for landscape irrigation works equally well on new construction and existing building retrofits. All you need is a catchment area, conveyance system to re-direct the water, a storage vessel to hold the captured water, pumping and controls to manage/move the water, and a distribution system to irrigate the landscape. Think of the millions of existing buildings and homes that could benefit from water harvesting, all of which already have most of the key water harvesting elements in place.

* Catchment area (roof, patio, driveway, lawn, etc., or HVAC condensate)

* Conveyance system (downspouts, storm drains)

* Distribution system (irrigation system)

Just add a storage vessel, pump and controls for a complete water harvesting system. Need help? Pre-engineered, fully integrated water harvesting systems typically range in size from 2,000 to 400,000 gallons, complete with all the necessary pumps, controls, tanks, related components, hardware and filters. …