PETALING JAYA: It will cost Malaysians between RM1,500 and RM10,000 to install a rain water harvesting system to guarantee uninterrupted water supply in their homes and office buildings when taps run dry. An expert said the cost depended on the tank size, the installation location (under the roof or front yard or the balcony) and the usage of pump and filter for the system. He said rain water can be used in the garden, in washing machines, to wash cars, flush toilets, showering, and even for drinking if treated with UV light. Most people, he added, do not install the rain water harvesting (RWH) system because they think it would be very expensive and would require a lot of space. The expert said rain water can provide a long-term sustainable water supply plan for consumers even in the worst water shortage, provided the tanks are filled. "Rainwater harvesting involves the collection, storage and distribution of rainwater from the roof, for use inside and outside the home or business. "Harvesting rainwater is simply the collection of water for domestic or commercial use that would otherwise go down the drain," he said, adding that RWH can be installed in both new and existing buildings. On Friday, theSun carried a story quoting Natural Resources and Environment minister, Datuk Seri G. Palanivel as saying that Malaysia should emulate the rainwater harvesting and recycling systems implemented successfully in several countries, including Australia and India. He had said that the retention, collection and reuse of rain water as well as diverting of river water into nearby ponds should be a focus to ensure that the country did not face a water crisis in the future. Palanivel had said that housing estates should also be equipped with rainwater harvesting systems to reduce the use of treated water. The expert said RWH systems are environmentally sound and can help reduce public demand for water from water concessionaires.