Elvis Ochoa, Texas A&M University – Central Texas

A Simulation Model to Determine the Effectiveness of Decentralized Rainwater Harvesting for Rural Areas

Abstract: This study focuses on developing a simulation model to evaluate the effectiveness of Decentralized Rainwater Harvesting (DRH) for rural areas. DRH involves households purchasing their own rain barrels to collect rainwater in order to supplement certain water demands with rainwater. A simulation model is proposed and aims to determine the optimal rain barrel size and estimate the amount of water that can be collected at an individual household. Based on the individual household estimates of rainwater collection, a citywide rainwater collection is projected. A case study set in a small rural town in Central Texas is used as application of the proposed simulation model. The results indicate that a 2,500-gallon rain barrel is the optimal size under various yearly rain conditions. In addition, a citywide reliability of 11.65% can be achieved through the collection of rainwater if 75% of the city’s households participate in the DRH program.

Presentation Author(s):
Elvis Ochoa*, Vinay Gonela, Barbara Altman, Walter Murphy

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