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Rainwater Harvesting And Utilisation

An Environmentally Sound Approach for Sustainable Urban
Water 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.

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