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Rainwater Harvesting A New Cost For Home Buyers

The harvesting of rainwater, which is to become a standard design feature in real-estate developments, whether a single home or residential complex, will add to the cost of construction projects, developers say.

Those costs appear, in some circumstances, more likely to be borne by home buyers, according to local developers, as well as the top supplier of homes in Jamaica, the National Housing Trust (NHT).

Construction project designs must include the means for harvesting rainwater in order to receive planning approval, under a new push for sustainable use of water.

The directive, which is yet to be approved by Cabinet, has come from the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change (MWLCC), which also says individual builders, too, are required to make provisions to catch and store rainwater “especially where piped water or a public supply is not available”.

The ministry is also encouraging the installation of rainwater catchments – which can be different vessels capable of storing water – in homes and developments already built.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

In South Africa any rainwater harvesting system will be an additional cost to the home owner. For the average home this is typically R55 000.00 (2014). The return on investment has been calculated to be 5 years.

It is recommended rainwater be stored in tanks and then sent back into the home, to be used for baths, showers, laundry and toilet flushing. This way a house hold can be off municipal supply over the rainy months while only having to supplement their rainwater supply with municipal water over the drier months of the year. It is not unusual for a home to be off municipal supply for 6 to 8 months a year.


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