Colorbond steel, available from BlueScope Steel , is recommended as an ideal cladding for roofing.

Faced with declining reservoir levels and Level 5 water restrictions, residents in the state’s south east are turning to the sky for additional water, according to Jo Cunningham, Manager of Gold Coast roofing company, Metal Fascia Services.

Ensuring roofs are collecting water efficiently, replacing old gutters and installing water tanks, has become fashionable across the region, as residents look for economical and environmentally sustainable ways to better manage water.

“People are responding to the region’s water problems and taking things into their own hands,” said Jo Cunningham, whose Molendinar-based company operates across the state’s dry southeast.

“The logic of using, what nature provides us here on the coast is taking hold and our job is no longer just about roofs and gutters, it is about rainwater management.”

To most effectively capture and store rainwater, several key steps need to be taken. The roofs themselves should ideally be clad in a durable material, such as Colorbond steel, that efficiently channels water down into the gutters.

These then need to quickly take all the water, without splashing or leaking, to the downpipes that drop the rainwater into water tanks. Ideally none is lost on the way and that rainwater entering the tank is free from debris.

“The two most important factors are the correct installation of building materials and their quality. There is no point having a roof that collects large amounts of rainwater and a water tank, but a crumbling, filthy gutter.

Corrugated steel has long been used on roofs to help collect water in Australia, starting with the early settlers. Today’s incarnation, Colorbond steel, however, does last significantly longer with its resilient pre-painted surface.

According to Jo Cunningham: “Colorbond steel is highly durable for roofs. It is also good for effectively channelling water down into the tank. Homeowners like it too, because it matches the colours of their roofs.”

To store the rainwater, a range of water tanks are now available depending on the shape and size needed and again steel is preferable, because of its strength. These can be fitted in a number of ways, either to the house itself, elsewhere in the garden, or even underground.

“It is great to see people across South East Queensland not just talking about saving rainwater, but actually doing something about it too,” said Jo Cunningham.

“Harvesting the clouds is good business for me and it is good for the wider community too. Most importantly, it is a sustainable and long-term solution, so we know it will keep benefiting us long into the future.”