Educate residents to harvest rainwater: Kniffen

18 Jun 2017 17:00pm
By Sawi Hausiku
TEXAS, 18 JUN (NAMPA) – The City of Windhoek should consider educating its employees on rainwater harvesting so they can in turn teach the capital’s residents how to do it.
Billy Kniffen, a renowned rainwater harvester from Texas, told Nampa in a recent interview this would reduce storm water.
“The practice would also reduce the amount of water that is needed from the City to meet all the private applications of water needed in homes,” he said.
Because of the persistent drought Namibia experienced over the past three years, in Windhoek, residents were asked to limit daily water consumption to no more than 90 litres per person and restrictions such as a ban on hosepipes for washing cars or watering gardens were in place.
Businesses were also ordered to decrease their water consumption by 30 per cent.
Kniffen said this may not be enough, as extreme measures to save water are still needed.
He said if through proper education every resident is able to harvest rainwater, Windhoek will also reduce its energy needs, which would free up money for other uses.
He however cautioned that residents should be taught the proper methods to use.
“It should be done right as you would not want dirt or sunlight entering the container you are using to store the rainwater. It is also not safe to drink,” Kniffen stressed.
Instead, the harvested water can be used for gardening, flushing toilets and other non-potable uses, while municipal water could be used for drinking.
Kniffen, who is now retired from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, travels the United States of America to provide rain water harvesting education and systems to organisations across the country.
He has built a house that is fully sustainable, with rain harvesting incorporated into the design.
Kniffen also conducts workshops and classes at his home for organisations with a focus on sustainability for people living in rural areas.