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Floodwater Harvesting for Non-Potable Use

The idea is to collect floodwater for later use.

Photo of Marcelo Santillan
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Every time it rains in Manila, there is a big chance that its streets will be flooded. Most of the residents living there have adapted to this burden. And lately, rain showers and thunderstorms have become unpredictable. What if, we can turn this inconvenience into something more useful? The idea is to collect floodwater in cisterns for later use. Filters will be installed at the inlet of the storage to screen out debris and suspended solids. Flood water will be for non-potable use like gardening,road cleaning, carwashing, or a described in the diagram, for flushing public urinals. Using floodwater will reduce the need to consume water from the tap, thus, reducing billed consumption. At large scale, this will help mitigate the effects of El Nino since it will allow alternative source of water for non-potable use.

WHO BENEFITS?

Anyone who lives in low-lying, flood prone areas.Due to collecting of flood water, flooding will be less severe. Also, the collected water will become an alternative source for the community. Initially, we are looking at streets of Manila which are easily flooded.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

There is a need for collaboration between community leaders and the authorities as this will cross requirements for installation permits.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am currently working with a water utility company at the Philippines' capital.

6 comments

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Photo of James Alford
Team

Hi Marcelo,

Great idea. I wonder if you could collaborate with another OpenIDEO challenge Idea around setting up Agriculture Irrigation to not only mitigate against the impact of flash flooding but also providing a sustainable food source? The idea is called, "A vertical agriculture system irrigated by captured rainwater " by Bennett Lambert.

Photo of Marcelo Santillan
Team

Thanks James. Hopefully, we could use this idea as additional water supply for providing sustainable food source. It would be a pleasure for us to contribute.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Marcelo Santillan
Team

Wow, thanks for featuring. We really need it as we are still looking for more inspirations and insights from fellow contributors to improve this simple idea. Cheers!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Marcelo, very interesting idea! This is a great thought to reduce water scarcity by collecting rainwater during flood seasons. Are you currently working on this idea with any partners or organizations in Manila? e.g. with your water utility company? You'll also be curious to join the discussions over in this related idea:

Rain Turbine: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/urban-resilience/ideas/rain-turbine

Photo of Marcelo Santillan
Team

Thanks Shane. Its just an idea right now, but we are open for collaboration to test this idea. Our group is still looking for ways to give the residents an alternative option of reducing their expenses on water or at least limit their consumption of using tap water in non-potable use.