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About UNEP
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United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
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Newsletter and Technical Publications

Rainwater Harvesting And Utilisation

An Environmentally Sound Approach for Sustainable
Urban Water Management: An Introductory Guide for Decision-Makers


What is Necessary for Promotion and Further Development of Rainwater Utilisation?

A Systematic Approach
Rainwater utilisation, together with water conservation and wastewater reclamation, should be incorporated into municipal ordinances and regulations. Some standardisation of materials, at least at regional level, may be desirable from a maintenance and replacement point of view. It may be also appropriate to standardise the design of the rainwater utilisation system, at least at the regional level.

Implementation Policy
Various implementation policies should be established to make rainwater utilisation and other measures a part of the social system. Leadership is very important and local governments must take the initiative to promote the concept of water resource independence and restoration of the natural hydrological cycle. Consideration should be given to subsidising facilities for rainwater utilisation.

Technology Development and training
Encouraging technology and human resources development to support rainwater utilisation is very important. It is also important to promote the development of efficient and affordable devices to conserve water, facilities to use rainwater and devices to enhance the underground seepage of rainwater. Together with this, there is a need to train specialists with a thorough grasp of these technologies and devices.

Networking
To promote rainwater harvesting and utilisation as an environmentally sound approach for sustainable urban water management, a network should be established involving government administrators, citizens, architects, plumbers and representatives of equipment manufacturers. It is essential to encourage regional exchanges amongst public servants, citizens and industry representatives involved in rainwater storage, seepage and use, as well as the conservation and reclamation of water.

Public awareness and education are essential to improve acceptance and implementation of rainwater harvesting and utilisation.

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