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Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 5:16pm

Campaign To Harvest More Rainwater

The rainwater harvesting industry and metro Atlanta businesses are joining forces in an effort to conserve water. The goal is to reduce Atlanta’s water demand in the next 5 years by 27 million gallons per day by collecting rainwater. The campaign is called "When It Rains We Store".

The Regional Business Coalition of Metro Atlanta and the Southeast Rainwater Harvesting Systems Association want more property owners to harvest rainwater. Association chairman Bob Drew says that can be anything from a 55 gallon rain barrel to a complete rooftop system.

“We’re talking about thousands of gallons of storage capacity with appropriate filtration, pumping, treatment and controls to replace municipal water supply to a certain extent.”he says.

Drew says they could reach their goal if one in ten buildings in metro Atlanta harvests rainwater.

Terry Lawler, executive director of the Regional Business Coalition, says property owners will be interested in the savings as the drought continues.

He says “Because we have less water, folks are having to pay more for that water. And if you’ve got a business that’s very water dependent, then that’s obviously going to hit the bottom line for what a business has to do to maintain their facilities.”

Lake Lanier, which provides water from Gainesville to Columbus and beyond, is 8 feet below where it should be due to the drought.

Lawler says the coalition wants to show the rest of the state that metro Atlanta is doing all it can to preserve water.

He says “I think it’s very important that we show the rest of the state and the rest of the nation that metropolitan Atlanta businesses are serious about our stewardship of our water resources. And by investing in rainwater harvesting, it’s just another way that we can show everyone we are doing everything that we can possibly do to reduce our demand on surface water from places like Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River.”

The groups plan to ask state lawmakers to offer incentives for property owners who install rainwater harvesting equipment.

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