With water scarcity and droughts becoming more common than ever, teaching ourselves water conservation has become even more important. It is the time when we carefully map all our resources and use them optimally. There are, however, many gadgets like The Raincatcher that can help us with the same. Not only they collect and store rainwater, in addition, they are also extremely portable. You can keep them easily even inside the smallest of the houses. With cities around the world facing their zero-days, these products could prove lifesavers.
Designed by Thomas Valcke, the “Raincatcher” is a special kind of umbrella that gathers rainwater to water your garden. Blooming like a flower to catch the rain, the rain catcher comes with a valve on its belly to connect the garden hose to water your lawn and plants. A clever system of levers, weights, cables and hinges allow the “flower” to open and close automatically.
Of course, there’s also a manual override system, so you can enjoy the shade of the raincatcher as a parasol. For safety reasons the raincatcher embeds in the ground just like a real flower. An overflow valve prevents excessive storage of water, so it doesn’t burst or tear. Though ideal for average gardens, the raincatcher may also find a place on apartment terraces to store free clean water. Moreover, it prompts the preservation of natural sources, attracting the users toward a sustainable lifestyle.
Some more water-conserving products like Inverted umbrella
1. The Filterbrella
This concept is somewhat based on rainwater harvesting. Just as we use some pots and pans in our garden to store rainwater, this is an umbrella that collects, stores, and purifies rainwater. It collects all the raindrops that fall on it while you walk with Filterbrella in the rain. It is one very thoughtful and a smart gadget designed by designer Andrew Leinonen.
The Filterbrella is an eco-friendly product that makes you do your own bit to sustain the environment. The canopy of this eco umbrella is made of poly-lactic acid plastic blends, and the hollow rod has a carbon filter. This rod collects rainwater, the carbon filter in the rod purifies the water, and at the base of the rod you have a bottle in which the purified water gets stored. The purified water is absolutely fit for drinking.
2. The Washup
We use washing machines without much of realization of the water that is wasted. Well not anymore, as Washup is a gadget that integrates washing machine with the toilet flush. It is one of the water-conserving toilets out there. Whenever you wash clothes, the water is collected and can be used for the flush. It certainly is a smart water reuse gadget but also a smart space saver, especially in those small bathrooms where one hardly gets any space to place your sustainable washing machines.
3. The Phyto-Purification Bathroom
It is an eco shower that is an ideal combination of modern design and sustainability. It is equipped with a hydraulic system that channels waste water through a collection of plants. Each part of the plants plays a significant role in cleaning water.
4. Removable kitchen sink
Many nations have water shortage related problems. Recycling water is the need of many such countries who have declared it as an emergency across the globe. To curb this problem, an Australian named Hughie has developed a concept of removable kitchen sink. It has been awarded the product of the year in 2008. It stores the waste water rather than letting it godown the sewer pipe. This stored water can then be used to water your plants, wash your car or simple sprinkle water across the terrace or garden.
It is a combination of washing machine and shower. A concept visualized by a British citizen, it can soak your clothes while you take your bath. The water that gets wasted while you take a shower gets transferred to your clothes with the help of a pump. Do not worry about the water being unhygienic, as this water will be used only for the first wash of the clothes. It is expected to decrease the wastage of water by 150 liters that is used during shower and 38 liters that is used during washing clothes.
6. Ban Beater
Another concept from the UK, it is a siphon which sucks all the greywater during a bath. Invented by Dominic Flinton, the bathroom can be dried by a single pull of the siphon, thus collecting all the water in it. This ban beater than can be used to water your plants, washes the verandah, and wash your clothes. It is effective especially during summers, when there is water shortage.
7. The skyscraper that catches rainwater
Designed for the 2010 Skyscraper Competition, the “Capture the Rain” by Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak, architectural students at H3AR, is a sustainable skyscraper that harvests rainwater to fulfill the daily water needs of its residents. Featuring an innovative roof to capture as much rainwater as possible, together with the external shell comprising a system of gutters to maximize rainwater harvesting, the eco scraper locates special water tanks in the form of a large funnel and reed fields underneath the roof, to work as a water treatment unit.
The hydro botanic system filters or processes rainwater before transmitting to the apartments for consumption. In addition, the Capture the Rain integrates a reservoir under the building to store surplus water gathered in the rainy season, which when required can be pumped up to be distributed to the apartments.
8. Falab House
Designed for the European Solar Decathlon slated to be organized this summer in Madrid, the “FabLab House” from the Institute for Advanced Architecture is a zero energy home, allowing a sustainable lifestyle to the residents. Constructed above the ground on top of three legs, the house is coated with solar panels to harness the sun’s heat and fulfill its energy needs. Based on an ellipsoid structure, prefabricated from wood to form a rib-like structure, the eco-friendly house can adapt different climates by varying the ellipsoid, so it could be constructed in different parts of the world with minimum fuss.
Since the house is built off the ground, it allows open space beneath for natural ventilation. Moreover, the house integrates a smart system to monitor and control its temperature as well as energy consumption. While the customized photovoltaic skin apart from generating sustainable energy also gathers rainwater to water an adjacent garden that grows food for the inhabitants.
9. Wall-installation that collects rainwater
Jon West has devised an innovative installation to keep your walls aesthetically green in an eco-friendly manner. The fitting comprises wall mounted rectangular containers of various sizes with small holes. The top boxes keep collecting run-off rainwater. This filters down through moss and grass to finally make through into the next container. The water dripping process continues until it reaches the last container. The containers also have solar panels to harness solar energy. In the end, these make up for a great way to beautify building exteriors.