How Regional Variations Impact the Design of Water Harvesting Systems in the U.S.
Published: Nov. 2023 | by Wahaso – Stormwater Harvesting Systems
How Regional Variations Impact the Design of Water Harvesting Systems in the United States
Designing commercial-scale water harvesting systems requires careful consideration of regional geographical and climatic factors common to a project’s location. The most commonly recognized climatic classification system used in the United States, is the Köppen Classification, which identifies six distinct zones with distinct characteristics that influences the design and functionality of different water harvesting systems.
Köppen Classification Zoning
- Tropical Zone: Southern Florida and Hawaii
- Arid and Semi-Arid Zones: Portions of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and parts of Texas.
- Mediterranean Zone: Coastal California, and parts of Oregon and Washington.
- Temperate Zone: This zone encompasses a significant portion of the United States, including the Midwest, Northeast, and parts of the Northwest.
- Continental Zone: Covering much of the central United States, including the Great Plains and Midwest
- Polar Zone: Alaska
In arid regions like the Southwest (e.g., Arizona, Nevada), where rainfall is scarce and sporadic, water harvesting systems must be optimized to capitalize on infrequent but heavy precipitation events. These rainwater harvesting systems incorporate larger storage capacities and highly efficient filtration mechanisms to maximize water capture during more torrential downpours.
Regions prone to heavy storms and high rainfall, require stormwater harvesting systems capable of managing excess ground-level flood water. These systems focus on effective drainage, storage, and controlled release to prevent flooding and Combined Sewar Overflow, while also ensuring water collection for reuse during dry periods.
In regions with high water tables or where groundwater seepage is an ongoing problem, water harvesting systems often incorporate approaches like infiltration basins or recharge wells, and aim to replenish aquifers, while turning problematic waterflow into an asset for reuse.
Greywater systems are more often influenced by County and Municipal regulations. For example, in water stressed states like California, where conservation is critical, greywater systems are often required, and must meet stringent treatment standards for non-potable demands.
Cooling Condensate Harvesting
Condensate from air handling units, is a very clean source of water that can be harvested for irrigation, toilet flushing, and cooling tower makeup. In humid regions and cities during air conditioning season, it is not uncommon to yield 15,000 gallons or more, of water from each unit every day.
When embarking on a water harvesting scope…
When embarking on a water harvesting scope, it’s critical to adapt the system design to local climates, rainfall patterns, regulatory framework, and challenges like water scarcity and historic drought. Understanding the regional nuances at hand, is crucial to the effective deployment and success of commercial water harvesting systems across the country.
Water Harvesting Solutions offer quality stormwater management systems. Please call us at 800-580-5350 or click the link for a free quote. Free Estimate.
Our mission at Wahaso is to help municipalities and commercial property owners reduce the impact of their buildings on the environment through innovative and sustainable water practices.