RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEM: LOW AWARENESS LEVEL AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN A HIGH RAINFALL TROPICAL COUNTRY
Malaysian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture (MJSA)
Author: Pey Fang Tan, Marlia M. Hanafiah , Mazlin B. Mokhtar, Siti Norliyana Harun
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Water scarcity has emerged as a global issue and the situation is getting worse. In accordance with the urgency, this study aimed to assess the suitability of a rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) to supply water for domestic uses in residential colleges in the Bangi campus of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The study also analysed the level of awareness on the importance of rainwater and RWHS among the students residing in the 10 residential colleges. The study used Likert scale 1 -5 questionnaire survey method and the sample involved 1,075 respondents randomly selected from 10 residential colleges in UKM. The findings showed that the suitability of rainwater collected by the RWHS for domestic uses had a mean of 3.45, while the mean value of awareness level towards the importance of rainwater and RWHS was 3.75. The questions group with the lowest mean score was “knowledge regarding the objectives of collection and reuse of rainwater”, with a mean of 3.28. A case study of RWHS was carried out by installing a RWHS in one of the residential college, namely Ungku Omar College. Residents at Ungku Omar College got the highest total percentage for “agree” and “strongly agree” scores when being asked if rainwater collected by RWHS is suitable for domestic uses, as compared to the scores obtained by other residential colleges. Among the important aspects of RWHS include safety of water collected, sustainability of the system and quantity of water collected with mean of 4.39, 4.19 and 4.07, respectively. In conclusion, RWHS is a method that can be widely accepted among college students at UKM, mainly for domestic uses. However, further efforts should be incorporated to increase the awareness level and knowledge on the importance of conserving water resource.