International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance

Alliance internationale pour la gestion de l'eau de pluie (IRHA)

Alianza internacional para la gestión del agua de lluvia (IRHA)

Organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations - July 2010
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Topic of Today

The Topic of Today is a platform for sharing new scientific and research studies related to rainwater harvesting. Always centred around a specific subject area, experts in the field of rainwater harvesting will be invited to share their knowledge on the Topic of Today!


We invite the public to distribute these papers to better spread the word of rainwater harvesting and to send in comments or ideas for future topics.


Previous Topics of Today:


Groundwater Recharge

Three papers by PLANET Kerala, Chuck Graf from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and Water Harvesters.

Rainwater Quality

Dr Dennis Lye provided two papers about chemicals and microorganisms in rainwater.


Current Topic of Today:

Agricultural Rainwater Harvesting


Converting Rain into Grain: Opportunities for Realizing the Potential of Rain-fed Agriculture in India

by Bharat R. Sharma, K. V. Rao, K. P. R. Vittal and Upali A. Amarasinghe

Rain-fed agriculture is practiced on 80% of the world’s agricultural land area, and generates 65-70% of the world’s staple foods, but it also produces most of the food for the poor communities in developing countries and least favored areas. The low and variable productivity of these lands is the major cause of poverty for 70% of the world’s poor inhabiting these lands. The largest challenges of poverty-related undernutrition are found in arid, semi-arid and dry-humid, rain-fed regions of the developing countries (Falkenmark and Rockstrom 1993). The distinct feature of rain-fed agriculture in these developing countries is that both productivity improvement and expansion has been slower relative to irrigated agriculture (Rosegrant et. al. 2002). But, as Pretty and Hine (2001) suggest, there is a 100% yield increase potential in rain-fed agriculture in the developing countries, compared to only 10% for irrigated crops. This calls for increased efforts to upgrade rain-fed systems globally and, especially in developing countries to provide sufficient and affordable food and nutrition to the vast populations.


More papers…

We are still looking for academic papers and studies on the use of rainwater harvesting in agriculture. Papers could be about a specific technique or techniques, or a case study showing how rainwater harvesting can help increase production. Examples from large-scale farming to small-scale domestic production are all welcome. Studies can come from anywhere in the world, developed and developing countries alike.


If you are interested in providing a paper or study for the Topic of Today, or would like more information, please send an email to

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