Newsletter and Technical
Environmentally Sound Approach for Sustainable Urban
Management: An Introductory Guide for Decision-Makers
In most urban areas, population is increasing rapidly and the issue of supplying
adequate water to meet societal needs and to ensure equity in access to water
is one of the most urgent and significant challenges faced by decision-makers.
With respect to the physical alternatives to fulfil sustainable management
of freshwater, there are two solutions: finding alternate or additional water
resources using conventional centralised approaches; or better utilising the
limited amount of water resources available in a more efficient way. To date,
much attention has been given to the first option and only limited attention
has been given to optimising water management systems.
Among the various alternative technologies to augment freshwater resources,
rainwater harvesting and utilisation is a decentralised, environmentally sound
solution, which can avoid many environmental problems often caused in conventional
large-scale projects using centralised approaches.
Rainwater harvesting, in its broadest sense, is a technology used for collecting
and storing rainwater for human use from rooftops, land surfaces or rock catchments
using simple techniques such as jars and pots as well as engineered techniques.
Rainwater harvesting has been practiced for more than 4,000 years, owing to
the temporal and spatial variability of rainfall. It is an important water source
in many areas with significant rainfall but lacking any kind of conventional,
centralised supply system. It is also a good option in areas where good quality
fresh surface water or groundwater is lacking. The application of appropriate
rainwater harvesting technology is important for the utilisation of rainwater
as a water resource.