Tennis, Pimm’s, outbursts from John McEnroe and a sing-along with Sir Cliff Richard – just a few of the things we associate with Wimbledon. Unfortunately, rain is another. The wet stuff is the subject of much grumbling throughout the British summer months and is arguably the greatest cause of headache for the Wimbledon organisers. But what if, rather than bemoaning the country’s perpetual precipitation, we championed it?
Every outdoor sporting event held in the UK is played at the mercy of the weather – so in the tennis world that often means postponements, cancellations and disappointed (not to mention damp) supporters. It was for this reason that when Wimbledon unveiled its spruced up Centre Court arena in 2009, it not only had an increased capacity but also an impressive £80 million retractable roof to protect players and punters from persistent summer downpours.
Surely that should have signalled the end of rain-affected, nerve-jangling, knockout contests involving our leading British hopefuls? Well, I suppose the first part is right enough…
That said, and regardless of how supporters of Tim Henman felt after his semi-final defeat to Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, we think rain gets an unfairly hard time of it.
In fact, rain is actually very useful – and reusable. Recycling has become a normal part of everyday life – we all do it, I mean just think of the various colour-coded bins you have at home or in the office. However, recycling doesn’t need to be confined to paper and plastics, just like water (depending on what you need it for) doesn’t always have to come from a tap. Served up below are a couple of ace alternative uses for the country’s most steadfast and reliable asset (aside from Sir Cliff, that is).
This is the collection and use of rainwater falling onto buildings or roofs – it’d be particularly handy for the 4950m2 retractable roof on Centre Court – which would otherwise have gone down drains, been soaked into the ground or lost through evaporation. Harvesting systems can be installed to new or existing structures to collect rainwater in a tank or reservoir, which can then be recycled and used elsewhere.
The technical term for a deep well, and another useful water source – although not suitable for all businesses. A borehole system extracts and filters rainwater which is collected from an underground supply – particularly useful for businesses located in remote locations.
The above not only bring efficiency savings to organisations, but also financial and environmental benefits. There is also the added security factor of knowing you have another water source should there be an interruption to the main supply, which is particularly topical after the recent drought problems in England and Wales.
Speaking of droughts, it’s getting to the business-end of Wimbledon so we have our fingers and toes crossed for Andy Murray as he strives to become the first British winner of the tournament since Fred Perry in 1936.
At least he won’t need to worry about the rain…well as long as he isn't on court one! Come on Andy!