The Impact of Rainwater Harvesting System Location on Their Financial Efficiency: A Case Study in Poland

  • Agnieszka StecEmail author
  • Daniel Słyś
Part of the Water Science and Technology Library book series (WSTL, volume 86)


Natural water resources of Poland are among the lowest in Europe. In addition, the intensive development of urbanized areas and the associated increase in water demand necessitate the need to look for alternative sources. However, limiting the amount of resources available for use does not go hand in hand with the development of ecological awareness of society, which has the greatest attention still attached to the financial criterion. Considering this, the studies have been conducted to determine the cost-effectiveness of the rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) in a single-family house located in selected Polish cities where rainfall varies in height. Financial analysis for four different variants of the water supply system in the building in question has been done using the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) Methodology. The results show that RWHS financial performance varies widely, but it has also been found that the variant in which rainwater will be used to flush toilets, wash, and water the garden is characterized by the lowest LCC costs irrespective of tank capacity, number of users, and the location of RWHS system. The study also examines the impact of the capacity of the rainwater storage tank on the tap water savings. Depending on the installation variant these savings ranged from 11– 40% for Zakopane, 10–25% for Warsaw and Katowice, and 10–28% for Koszalin.


Stormwater management Rainwater harvesting Sustainable urban drainage Life cycle cost 


  1. Abdulla FA, Al-Shareef A (2009) Roof rainwater harvesting systems for household water supply in Jordan. Desalination 243:195–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ait-Kadi M (2016) Water for development and development for water: realizing the sustainable development goals (SDDs) Vision. Aquat Procedia 6:106–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. An KJ, Lam YF, Hao S, Morakinyo TE, Furumai H (2015) Multi-purpose rainwater harvesting for water resource recovery and the cooling effect, Water Res 86:116–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Angrill S, Farreny R, Gasol CM, Gabarrell X, Viñolas B, Josa A, Rieradevall J (2012) Environmental analysis of rainwater harvesting infrastructures in diffuse and compact urban models of Mediterranean climate. Int J Life Cycle Assess 17:25–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burszta-Adamiak E, Stec A (2017) Impact of the rainfall height on retention and delay from green roofs. J Civ Eng Environ Archit 64(1):81–95Google Scholar
  6. Campisano A, Butler D, Ward S, Burns M, Friedler E, DeBusk K, Fisher-Jeffesf L, Ghisi E, Rahman A, Furumai H, Han M (2017) Urban rainwater harvesting systems: Research, implementation and future perspectives. Water Res 115:195–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CIRIA (2000) Sustainable urban drainage systems—design manual for Scotland and Northern Ireland, CIRIA report no. C521. Dundee, ScotlandGoogle Scholar
  8. Czemiel-Berndtsson J (2010) Green roof performance towards management of runoff water quantity and quality: a review. Ecol Eng 36:351–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Devkota J, Schlachter H, Apul D (2015a) Life cycle based evaluation of harvested rainwater use in toilets and for irrigation. J Clean Prod 95:311–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Devkota JP, Burian SJ, Tavakol-Davani H, Apul DS (2015b) Introducing demand to supply ratio as a new metric for understanding life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rainwater harvesting systems. J Clean Prod (in press)Google Scholar
  11. DOE (2014) Life Cycle Cost Handbook. Guidance for Life Cycle Cost Estimation and Analysis. Office of Acquisition and Project Management, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington. Available:
  12. Du J, Qian L, Rui H, Zuo T, Zheng D, Xu Y, Xu CY (2012) Assessing the effects of urbanization on annual runoff and flood events using an integrated hydrological modeling system for Qinhuai River basin, China. J Hydrol 464–465:127–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fewkes A (2006) The technology, design and utility of rainwater catchment systems. In: Butler D, Memon FA (eds) Water demand management. IWA Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Fletcher TD, Andrieu H, Hamel P (2013) Understanding, management and modelling of urban hydrology and its consequences for receiving waters: a state of the art. Adv Water Resour 51:261–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fonseca CR, Hidalgo V, Díaz-Delgado C, Vilchis-Francés AY, Gallego I (2017) Design of optimal tank size for rainwater harvesting systems through use of a web application and geo-referenced rainfall patterns. J Clean Prod 145:323–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fuller S, Petersen S (1996) Life Cycle Costing Manual for the Federal Energy Management Program/National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST Handbook 135, the U.S. Department of Energy. Available:
  17. García-Montoya M, Bocanegra-Martínez A, Nápoles-Rivera F, Serna-González M, Ponce-Ortega JM, El-Halwagi MM (2015) Simultaneous design of water reusing and rainwater harvesting systems in a residential complex. Comput Chem Eng 76:104–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ghimire SR, Johnston JM, Ingwersen WW, Troy R (2014) Life cycle assessment of domestic and agricultural rainwater harvesting systems. Hawkins Environ Sci Technol 48:4069–4077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ghisi E (2006) Potential for potable water savings by using rainwater in the residential sector of Brazil. Build Environ 41:1544–1550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ghisi E (2010) Parameters influencing the sizing of rainwater tanks for use in houses. Water Resour Manage 24(10):2381–2403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ghisi E, Ferreira DF (2007) Potential for potable water savings by using rainwater and greywater in a multi-storey residential building in southern Brazil. Build Environ 42(2007):2512–2522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ghisi E, Oliveira S (2007) Potential for potable water savings by combining the use of rainwater and greywater in houses in southern Brazil. Build Environ 42:1731–1742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ghisi E, Lapolli Bressan D, Martini M (2007) Rainwater tank capacity and potential for potable water savings by using rainwater in the residential sector of Southeastern Brazil. Build Environ 42(4):1654–1666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ghisi E, Tavares D, Rocha VL (2009a) Rainwater harvesting in petrol stations in Brasília: Potential for potable water savings and investment feasibility analysis. Resour Conserv Recycl 54:79–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ghisi E et al (2009b) Rainwater harvesting in petrol stations in Brasília: Potential for potable water savings and investment feasibility analysis. Resour Conserv Recycl. Scholar
  26. Ghisi E, Rupp RF, Triska Y (2014) Comparing indicators to rank strategies to save potable water in buildings. Resour Conserv Recy 87:137–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gwenzi W, Dunjana N, Pisa C, Tauro T, Nyamadzawo G (2015) Water quality and public health risks associated with roof rainwater harvesting systems for potable supply: review and perspectives. Sustain Water Qual Ecol 6:107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Haque MM, Rahman A, Samali B (2016) Evaluation of climate change impacts on rainwater harvesting. J Clean Prod 137:60–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hatt BE, Fletcher TD, Deletic A (2009) Hydrologic and pollutant removal performance of biofiltration systems at the field scale. J Hydrol 365:310–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hirschman D, Collins K, Schueler TR (2008) Technical memorandum: the runoff reduction methods. Center for Watershed Protection, EllicottGoogle Scholar
  31. Hoang L, Fenner RA (2016) System interactions of stormwater management using sustainable urban drainage systems and green infrastructure. Urban Water J 13(7):739–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hurlimann A, Dolnicar S (2010) Acceptance of water alternatives in Australia. Water Sci Technol 61(8):2138–2142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hyde K (2013) An evaluation of the theoretical potential and practical opportunity for using recycled greywater for domestic purposes in Ghana. J Clean Prod 60:195–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Imteaz MA, Rahman A, Ahsan A (2012) Reliability analysis of rainwater tanks: a comparison between South-East and Central Melbourne. Resour Conserv Recycl 66:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jones MP, Hunt WF (2010) Performance of rainwater harvesting systems in the southeastern United States. Resour Conserv Recy 54:623–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kaposztasova D, Vranayova Z, Rysulova M, Markovic G (2016) Water management options-portfolios for safe water utilization in buildings. J Civ Eng Environ Archit 64(1):81–95Google Scholar
  37. Kaźmierczak B, Kotowski A (2014) The influence of precipitation intensity growth on the urban drainage systems designing. Theor Appl Climatol 118:285–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Khastagir A, Jayasuriya N (2010) Optimal sizing of rain water tanks for domestic water conservation. J Hydrol 381(3–4):181–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kim Y, Kim T, Park H, Han M (2015) Design method for determining rainwater tank retention volumes to control runoff from building rooftops, KSCE. J Civ Eng 19:1585–1590Google Scholar
  40. Kuller M, Dolman NJ, Vreeburg JHG, Spiller M (2015) Scenario analysis of rainwater harvesting and use on a large scale—assessment of runoff, storage and economic performance for the case study Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Urban Water J 14:237–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Li Z, Boyle F, Reynolds A (2010) Rainwater harvesting and greywater treatment systems for domestic application in Ireland. Desalination 260:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Liang X, Van Dijk MP (2011) Economic and financial analysis on rainwater harvesting for agricultural irrigation in the rural areas of Beijing. Resour Conserv Recycl 55:1100–1108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Liu J, Sample D, Bell C, Guan Y (2014) Review and Research Needs of Bioretention Used for the Treatment of Urban Stormwater. Water 6:1069–1099CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lopes VAR, Marques GF, Dornelles F, Medellin-Azuara J (2017) Performance of rainwater harvesting systems under scenarios of non-potable water demand and roof area typologies using a stochastic approach. J Clean Prod 148:304–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lu HW, He L, Du P, Zhang YM (2014) An Inexact Sequential Response Planning Approach for Optimizing Combinations of Multiple Floodplain Management Policies. Pol J Environ Stud 23:1245–1253Google Scholar
  46. Markovič G, Káposztásová D, Vranayová (2014) The analysis of the possible use of harvested rainwater and its potential for water supply in real conditions. WSEAS Trans Environ Dev 10:242–249Google Scholar
  47. Marleni N, Gray S, Sharma A, Burnc S, Muttil N (2015) Impact of water management practice scenarios on wastewater flow and contaminant concentration. J Environ Manage 151:461–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mitchell VG (2006) Applying integrated urban water management concepts: a review of Australian experience. Environ Manage 37(5):589–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Morales-Pinzón T, Lurueña R, Gabarrell X, Gasol CM, Rieradevall J (2014) Financial and environmental modelling of water hardness—implications for utilizing harvested rainwater in washing machines. Sci Total Environ 470–471:1257–1271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Morales-Pinzón T, Rieradevall J, Gasold CM, Gabarrell X (2015) Modelling for economic cost and environmental analysis of rainwater harvesting systems. J Clean Prod 87:613–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. OECD (2012) Environmental outlook to 2050: the consequences of inaction. Retrieved from:
  52. Palhegyi GE (2010) Designing storm-water controls to promote sustainable ecosystems: science and application. J Environ Eng 15:504–511Google Scholar
  53. Palla A, Gnecco I, Lanza LG, La Barbera P (2012) Performance analysis of domestic rainwater harvesting systems under various European climate zones. Resour Conserv Recycl 62:71–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pochwat K, Słyś D, Kordana S (2017) The temporal variability of a rainfall synthetic hyetograph for the dimensioning of stormwater retention tanks in small urban catchments. J Hydrol, Available online 18 April 2017 (in press)Google Scholar
  55. Poorova Z, Vranay F, Al Hosni MS, Vranayova Z (2016) Importance of Different Vegetation Used on Green Roofs in Terms of Lowering Temperature and Water Retention. Procedia Eng 162:39–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Proença LC, Ghisi E (2013) Assessment of potable water savings in office buildings considering embodied energy. Water Resour Manage 27(2):581–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rahman A, Dbais J, Imteaz M (2010) Sustainability of rainwater harvesting systems in multistorey residential buildings. Am J Eng Appl Sci 3:889–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rahman A, Keane J, Imteaz MA (2012) Rainwater harvesting in Greater Sydney: Water savings, reliability and economic benefits. Resour Conserv Recycl 61:16–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Roebuck RM, Oltean-Dumbrava C, Tait S (2011) Whole life cost performance of domestic rainwater harvesting systems in the United Kingdom. Water Environ J 25(3):355–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Santos C, Taveira-Pinto F (2013) Analysis of different criteria to size rainwater storage tanks using detailed methods. Resour Conserv Recycl 71:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Słyś D (2009) Potential of rainwater utilization in residential housing in Poland. Water Environ J 23:318–325Google Scholar
  62. Słyś D, Dziopak J (2011) Development of mathematical model for sewage pumping-station in the modernized combined sewage system for the town of Przemysl. Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 20:743–753Google Scholar
  63. Słyś D, Stec A (2013) Effect of development of the town of Przemysl on operation of its sewerage system. Ecol Chem Eng S 20:381–396Google Scholar
  64. Słyś D, Stec A (2014) The analysis of variants of water supply systems in multi-family residential building. Ecol Chem Eng S 21:623–635Google Scholar
  65. Słyś D, Stec A, Zeleňáková M (2012) A LCC analysis of rainwater management variants. Ecol Chem Eng 19:359–372Google Scholar
  66. Starzec M, Dziopak J, Alexeev MI (2015) Effect of the sewer basin increasing to necessary useful capacity of multichamber impounding reservoir. Water Ecol 1:41–50Google Scholar
  67. Stec A, Kordana S (2015) Analysis of profitability of rainwater harvesting, gray water recycling and drain water heat recovery systems. Resour Conserv Recycl 105:84–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Stec A, Słyś D (2014) Optimization of the hydraulic system of the storage reservoir hydraulically unloading the sewage network. Ecol Chem Eng S 21(2):215–228Google Scholar
  69. Stec A, Kordana S, Słyś D (2017) Analysing the financial efficiency of use of water and energy saving systems in single-family homes. J Clean Prod 151:193–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Stern DI, Kaufmann RK (2014) Anthropogenic and natural causes of climate change. Clim Change 122:257–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tam VWY, Tam L, Zeng SX (2010) Cost effectiveness and tradeoff on the use of rainwater tank: an empirical study in Australian residential decision-making. Resour Conserv Recycl 54:178–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. The Water Framework Directive 2000/60/ECGoogle Scholar
  73. Todeschini S (2016) Hydrologic and environmental impacts of imperviousness in an industrial catchment of Northern Italy. J Hydrol Eng 21.
  74. Unami K, Mohawesh O, Sharifi E, Takeuchi J, Fujihara M (2015) Stochastic modelling and control of rainwater harvesting systems for irrigation during dry spells. J Clean Prod 88:185–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. United Nations (2014) World urbanization prospects: the 2014 revision. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population DivisionGoogle Scholar
  76. Vieira AS, Beal CD, Ghisi E, Stewart RA (2014) Energy intensity of rainwater harvesting systems: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 34:225–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wang R, Zimmerman JB (2015) Economic and environmental assessment of office building rainwater harvesting systems in various U.S. cities. Environ Sci Technol 49(3):1768–1778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Ward S, Memon FA, Butler D (2012) Performance of a large building rainwater harvesting system. Water Res 46:5127–5134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Willuweit L, O’Sullivan JJ (2013) A decision support tool for sustainable planning of urban water systems: presenting the Dynamic Urban Water Simulation Model. Water Res 47(20):7206–7220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Zaizen M, Urakawa T, Matsumoto Y, Takai H (2000) The collection of rainwater from dome stadiums in Japan. Urban Water 1:355–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Zeleňáková M, Markovič G, Kaposztásová D, Vranayová Z (2014) Rainwater management in compliance with sustainable design of buildings. Procedia Eng 89:1515–1521CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infrastructure and Water Management, The Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and ArchitectureRzeszow University of TechnologyRzeszówPoland

Personalised recommendations