Tokyobling's Blog

Ryogoku Rainwater Harvesting Station

Posted in Places by tokyobling on April 9, 2014

While walking in Tokyo’s eastern Ryogoku, just to the east of Sumida river, I found this interesting structure between a road and a major park. It is a rainwater harvesting station, with an upside down umbrella for a roof and a water tank of 600 liters of water inside. The wood it is constructed from is taken from thinned out wood from the large wood plantations all over Japan. The idea behind this station is to harvest rain water to water the hedges and flower beds in the area, to take the pressure of the local water works. Naturally it would take thousands of these all over Tokyo to even make a dent in the local water use, but it is a great first step and an experiment to go back to a more sustainable lifestyle.

ryogoku_rainharvesting_station_9489

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8 Responses

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  1. Hangaku Gozen said, on April 9, 2014 at 4:19 am

    I wish we had these in California. If more communities collected rainwater for use in gardens and parks, the impact of a drought wouldn’t be as severe as it is now.

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    • tokyobling said, on April 9, 2014 at 5:08 am

      Indeed! I wish they would. The construction of rainwater harvesters would be a great job project. But I am sure they are already doing it right?

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      • Hangaku Gozen said, on April 9, 2014 at 5:29 am

        Not in an organized or formal way, unfortunately. We do have community groups which collect rainwater in tanks, and some farmers still use rainbarrels or tanks as well. And of course, we have reservoirs like Folsom Lake and Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite. The government has this bizarre policy of releasing a lot of the water in the spring however, rather than conserving it for dry periods like this. Some of it has to do with helping fish like salmon traverse the rivers, some of it to generate electricity through hydroelectric generators. But most of it ends up flowing to the sea, where it becomes undrinkable.

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    • tokyobling said, on April 9, 2014 at 5:46 am

      The most bizarre thing I have ever heard was that people use fresh water to flush their toilets. I still really can’t understand it. Well there you go, an interesting project to bring up on the next meeting of your city council! (^-^)

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      • C said, on April 10, 2014 at 6:29 am

        Many cities in California offer rebates for installing cisterns, so that’s not really new. Collecting rainwater is a big part of LEED certification, so new commercial buildings also have a strong incentive in that area, as well. (Only 20% of water use in California is for residential and business, so diverting rainwater helps, but is not the most pressing issue.)

        And I’m sure there was a better way to handle human waste before the flush toilet became widespread. Cholera and dysentery wouldn’t mind making a roaring comeback!

        Love,
        Typhoid Mary

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  2. HeySJ said, on April 9, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Such a good idea! I wish more communities did this sort of thing. It would most definitely help out with water shortages.

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    • tokyobling said, on April 10, 2014 at 12:47 am

      It sure would! I wonder where Tokyo got the idea from? We have plenty of water here but people are always tinkering with things to make it better.

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