Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A Scenario-Driven Assessment of the Economic Feasibility of Rainwater Harvesting Using Optimized Storage

  • 80 Accesses

  • 1 Citations

Abstract

Regional water scarcity has given rise to the search for sustainable means of water supply. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) has been receiving unprecedented attention as low-cost and eco-friendly option. Given the conflicting nature of research findings with respect to the feasibility of RWH and the belief that such results have sometimes been unreasonably generalized, this study was undertaken to ascertain the feasibility of RWH under very specific climatic and socio-economic conditions. This study investigated the economic feasibility of RWH in a sub-Saharan African city (Enugu, Nigeria), considering eight dwelling categories. Life cycle cost analysis was performed for RWH system in each of the categories for specified levels of water consumption namely: basic water need (50 litres per capita per day, lpcd), pour flush (75 lpcd) and full plumbing connection (150 lpcd) and for two energy options namely: fuel generator and the national power supply grid. Capital cost ranged from 47 to 95% of the net present value (NPV), maintenance cost ranged from 4 to 40% and running cost ranged from 1 to 27% of NPV. The percentage cost contribution of underground tank to NPV ranged from 60.4–82%, 66.9–86% and 77.3–89% for basic water need, pour flush and full plumbing connection options respectively, using the national electricity grid as source of power for pumping water to the overhead tank. The corresponding cost contributions for the use of petrol generator as source of power for pumping are 56.5–75.9%, 63–81% and 73.9–85%. The unit cost of water ranged from 0.07–0.25 N/litres, 0.09–0.34 N/litres and 0.22–0.54 N/litres for basic water need, pour flush and full plumbing connection, using the national grid for pumping water. The corresponding unit costs for generator are 0.09–0.3 N/litres, 0.11–0.4 N/litres and 0.28–0.64 N/litres. Comparison of these costs with the costs of other sources of water supply shows that RWH is a cheaper source of water.

1$ = N360.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Change history

  • 29 January 2020

    Unfortunately the original version of this article contains a mistake. The correct Fig. 1 is shown here.

References

  1. Amos C, Rahman A, Gathenya J (2016) Economic analysis and feasibility of rainwater harvesting systems in Urban and Peri-Urban Environments: A review of the global situation with a special focus on Australia and Kenya. Water 8:149. https://doi.org/10.3390/w8040149

  2. Biswas B, Mandal B (2014) Construction and evaluation of rainwater harvesting system for domestic use in a remote and rural area of Khulna, Bangladesh. Int Schol Res Not 2014:751952, 6 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/751952

  3. Cain N (2014) A different path: the global water crisis and rainwater harvesting. Consilience: The J of Sustain Dev 12(1):147–157

  4. Colebrook F, White C (1937) Experiments with fluid friction in roughened pipes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A - Math Phys Sci 161(906):367–381

  5. Domínguez I, Ward S, Mendoza J, Rincón C, Oviedo-Ocaña E (2017) End-user cost-benefit prioritization for selecting rainwater harvesting and Greywater reuse in social housing. Water 9:516. https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070516

  6. Ghimire S, Johnston J, Ingwersen W, Sojka S (2017) Life cycle assessment of a commercial rainwater harvesting system compared with a municipal water supply system. J Clean Prod 151:74–86

  7. Gleick P (1996) Basic water requirements for human activities: meeting basic needs. Water Int 21:83–92

  8. Goel A, Kumar R (2005) Economic analysis of water harvesting in a mountainous watershed in India. Agric Water Manag 71:257–266

  9. Jiang Z, Li X, Ma Y (2013) Water and energy conservation of rainwater harvesting system in the loess plateau of China. J Integr Agric 12(8):1389–1395

  10. Jung K, Lee T, Choi BG, & Hong S (2015). Rainwater Harvesting System for Contiunous Water Supply to the Regions with High Seasonal Rainfall Variations. Water Resources Management, 29(3), 961–972. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-014-0854-1

  11. Mitchell, C. and Rahman, A. (2006) Life cycle cost analysis of rainwater tank in a multistorey residential building in Sydney. In proceedings of 30th Hydrology & Water Resources Symposium: past, present & future, Launceston, Australia, 4–7 December 2006, pp. 279–284

  12. Morales-Pinzón T, Lurueña R, Gabarrell X, Gasol C, Rieradevall J (2014) Financial and environmental modelling of water hardness-implications for utilising harvested rainwater in washing machines. Sci Total Environ 470:1257–1271

  13. Mwaura J, Koske J, Kiprotich (2017) Economic value of water harvesting for climate-smart adaptation in semi-arid Ijara Garissa. Environ Syst Res 6:11–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40068-017-0088-3

  14. Nnaji C, Emenike P, Tenebe T (2017) An optimization approach for assessing the reliability of rainwater harvesting. Water Resour Manag 31(6):2011–2024

  15. Ong T, Thum C (2013) Net present value and payback period for building integrated photovoltaic projects in Malaysia. Int J Acad Res in Bus and Soc Sci 3(2):153–171

  16. Pacheco GCR and Campos MAS (2019) ‘Real Options Analysis as an Economic Evaluation Method for Rainwater Harvesting Systems’, Water Resources Management, 33(12), pp. 4401–4415. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-019-02371-z

  17. Preece, M. (2006) Discussion of costs involved in installing rainwater tank, associated plumbing; Mitchell, C., Ed.; Matthew Preece hydraulic engineer, Hughes Trueman PTY Ltd.: Sydney, Australia

  18. Rahman A, Dbais J, Imteaz M (2010) Sustainability of RWHSs in Multistorey residential buildings. Am J Eng Appl Sci 1(3):889–898

  19. Rodrigo S, Sinclair M, Forbes A, Cunliffe D, Leder K (2011) Drinking rainwater: A double-blinded, randomized controlled study of water treatment filters and gastroenteritis incidence. Am. J. Public Health 101:842–847

  20. Roebuck R, Ashley R (2006) Predicting the hydraulic and life-cycle cost performance of rainwater harvesting systems using a computer based modeling tool. In: 4th international conference on water sensitive Urban Design. Melbourne: engineer Australian, pp 699–709

  21. Rozaki Z, Senge M, Yoshiyama K, Rozaki K (2017) Feasibility and adoption of rainwater harvesting by farmers. Rev Agric Sci 5:56–64

  22. Traboulsi H, Trabousli M (2017) Rooftop level rainwater harvesting system. Appl Water Sci 7:769–775

  23. van der Sterren M. Rahman A and Dennis G (2012). Rainwater harvesting Systems in Australia, ecological water quality - water treatment and reuse, Dr. Voudouris (Ed.), InTech, Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/ecological-water-quality-water-treatment-andreuse/rainwater-harvesting-systems-in-australia

  24. Ward S, Butler D, Memon FA (2012) Benchmarking energy consumption and CO2 emissions from rainwater-harvesting systems: an improved method by proxy. Water Environ J 26:184–190

  25. Wurb R, James W (2010) Water resources engineering. Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, p 713

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Chidozie Charles Nnaji.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

None.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nnaji, C.C., Aigbavboa, C. A Scenario-Driven Assessment of the Economic Feasibility of Rainwater Harvesting Using Optimized Storage. Water Resour Manage 34, 393–408 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-019-02462-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Rainwater
  • Storage
  • Cost
  • Water supply
  • Life cycle cost