February 3, 2011

Water harvesting reservoir

To indulge my West Coast sensibilities I maintain a subscription to Sunset magazine.  I also read the magazine's  Fresh Dirt blog where I first saw Realm Environments water harvesting reservoir concept.  (Fresh Dirt's blog post can be read here.)  I contacted the firm for permission to use the image seen in this post and for background information about the concept. 

Image: Water harvesting reservoir concept, used with permission from Realm Environments (source)

Bree Richmond, graphic design and public relations staff, responded to my question about "what sparked the idea" as follows:
What sparked the idea was the fact that we live in a desert where a significant number of houses have been outfitted with pools which are often underused and over-maintained. Whether or not the homeowner purchased the house with a pool they do not want,or added a pool and used it at some point but no longer have a need for it, pools take up a lot of otherwise usable square footage in a landscape. They also use vast quantities of water due to evaporation, which is not only expensive, but impacts our natural resources. Pool maintenance can also be a costly hassle and oftentimes makes use of chemicals. Instead of filling in with dirt, we use an already formed structure as a holding area for water to be repurposed on site, and automatically reducing water bills, water waste, and helping the space to make sense.
Maybe New York's public pools could serve as water harvesting reservoirs during the winter!  The City has received a lot of snow so far this season which has blocked numerous storm drains in my neighborhood leading to large, deep ponds of cold slush at crosswalks when the snow begins to melt. 

Realm is currently implementing the water harvesting reservoir technology at three sites.  Check the firm's website for images of these projects.

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