The need for clean, readily accessible water is universal. Around the world, a reliable, high quality water supply is essential for the most basic human needs of drinking, cooking, bathing and sanitation. Unfortunately, securing such a supply is not always straightforward. In Australia – the driest continent on earth – surface water and groundwater remain the two largest sources of water, with periods of drought and water scarcity placing pressure on an already overstretched system. Against this backdrop, consumers and the design and construction industry alike have begun to investigate alternate options for water sourcing, including rainwater harvesting, which has emerged as the third largest water source in the country.
Data from the ABS shows that at present, 1 in 4 Australian homes are fitted with a rainwater tank, with rainwater now accounting for 9% of total residential water across the country. Rainwater harvesting is gaining particular traction in Sydney where in conjunction with water efficiency measures rainwater has high annual yields of 90 gigalitres (GL) – the equivalent of the annual yield of an average desalination plant. Across Australia, it is estimated that rainwater harvesting provides annual water savings of 513GL, which translates to a water infrastructure saving of $29.9 billion.
In large part, the growing popularity of rainwater harvesting is grounded in research identifying the reliability and water quality, health, and economic benefits of rainwater and highlighting its importance as the most accessible source of water in Australia. This is bolstered by a broader attitudinal shift as the general public becomes more aware of the value of holistic rainwater harvesting systems that include the roof, gutters, tank, pump, and appliances.
In response to this shift and the growing importance of water preservation in today’s increasingly resource scarce climate, the design and construction industry is taking note. A number of innovators are now working toward developing more efficient harvesting technologies and refining existing ones for maximum utility.
At the forefront of these efforts is Kingspan Environmental Australia, a regional leader in innovative environmental products and technologies. With a history of over 80 years in Australia, the company has now evolved into a strong team of experts who are committed to enhancing the built environment through innovation and good design. Every aspect of Kingspan Environmental Australia’s operations is driven by the company’s core belief that efficiency, sustainability, style, and safety are not mutually exclusive but rather can – and should – be achieved in tandem.
Sustainability in particular is at the heart of Kingspan Environmental Australia, whose state of the art facilities across the country are setting the company on track to achieve its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2020. Across the country, Kingspan tanks are integral components of a breadth of sustainable water management solutions including rainwater systems, rural fire fighting facilities, and potable water storage.
Drawing from years of diverse, global experience, Kingspan has the knowledge, skills, and resources to genuinely invest in a rainwater harvesting agenda. Their research and development operations are targeted toward producing new products and product improvements that enhance the overall reliability, attractiveness, and cost effectiveness of rainwater harvesting and storage.
Kingspan’s sustainability efforts also extend beyond the supply of efficient products and services. The company’s deserved reputation as a key thought leader within the global rainwater management sectors means that they are well positioned to educate professionals of the critical nature of rainwater management.
Learn more about Kingspan and their holistic approach to sustainability at kingspan.com.au/water.
About the Sustainability Awards
The Sustainability Awards is Australia’s longest running and most prestigious awards program dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating excellence in sustainable design and architecture. Nominations received are shortlisted and then winners for each category are announced at a five-star Gala evening hosted this year at the Star, Sydney on 11 October 2018. The daytime event Sustainability Live is a CPD-endorsed education event where industry experts present a range of topics to educate, inform and ignite learning. Buy tickets