[CONF] UN Water 2023 - Side event on Rainwater

Image [CONF] UN Water 2023 - Side event on Rainwater

Sunday 19 Mar 2023 , de 14.00 to 16.00

New York

Timing are set in CET

On behalf of the following organizations

The International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA, Switzerland), Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum (LRWHF, Sri Lanka), South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET, Sri Lanka), Clean Water - Healthy Village (Netherlands), Rainwater Harvesting Association of Malawi (RHAM, Malawi), Rain for All (South Korea), American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), Asociación Mexicana de Sistemas de Captación de Agua de Lluvia A.C. (AMSCALL, Mexico) and Association senegalaise pour la gestión de pluie (Senegal) are joining hands to present a virtual side event at the 2023 UN Water Conference, entitled:

Harvesting rainwater: essential to achieve 6.1 and for water security

Current water supply coverage still leaves out 7 to 11% of the world population. Households do not have ready access to safe water or face seasonal shortages. Remoteness and physical difficulties may prevent water services to arrive for quite some years. Rainwater harvesting and safe storage offers a solution to upto 6% of the world population as a regular supply or as a supplement. Schools and healthcare centres similarly face water shortages and could benefit from rainwater collection and safe storage.

Rainwater harvesting is insufficiently valued as a water supply option mainly because storage is deemed expensive. Households view it differently as they collect rainwater by any means possible to offset the inconvenience and costs of the lack of a regular supply. Adequate public awareness together with local knowledge and skills on water storage technologies will help increase the practice of rainwater harvesting and raise water security and resilience.

Rainwater harvesting and management is a critical aspect of rural development, for farmers to collect and store water for the next crop and to ensure that sufficient water remains available in local ecosystems. In urban settings, management of rainwater is an essential component of water resources management through infiltration and open storage opportunities to buffer water and reduce flooding and to keep water available during dry periods. Rainwater harvesting is an important measure for climate change adaptation, providing water for living and cooling homes and settlements.

The side event will highlight key benefits of rainwater harvesting and best practices in training and knowledge sharing.

The presentations will demonstrate that rainwater harvesting and safe storage can rapidly contribute to water supply coverage in areas and situations where regular supply will not easily be possible. As household water treatment methods have evolved in the last two decades, harvested rainwater can provide a safely managed service at low recurrent cost.

The programme is given below. The presentations of the event will be available after side event at the IRHA website:

  • Tanuja Ariyananda, CEO of Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum and host of SARNET will introduce the side event. She will trace the spread of domestic rainwater harvesting systems in Sri Lanka, generating 50’000 systems since 1995.
  • Han Heijnen, President of IRHA, will give an overview of global capacity in rainwater harvesting development, the links and contributions to SDGs and role of rainwater management in climate change adaptation.
  • Macpherson Nthara, Chairman of the Rainwater Harvesting Association of Malawi will describe the growth in domestic and institutional rainwater harvesting in Malawi in the last few years. It is furthermore improving household income through water for kitchen farming leading also to improvements in child nutrition
  • Prof Emeritus Mooyong Han, Seoul National University and President Rain for Al.Fun and joyful Rain School Activities as an essential tool for the promotion of RWH.

  • Bob Boulware, former president and International Coordinator ARCSA, will highlight the importance of standards for domestic rainwater applications.
  • Dr. Arturo Gleason Espindola, President of AMSCALL, demonstrates the potential of rainwater harvesting in the urban setting.

The side event will be concluded with a 15 – 30 minute discussion. Overall the event will last 90 minutes. A summary brief will be available immediately following the session.


As a global alliance of rainwater harvesting practioners, IRHA and its alliance partners commit themselves to continue to promote and facilitate through training, standardization and demonstration increasing access to suitable rainwater harvesting solutions to households and institutions, so far left behind.



The 2023 UN WATER conférence will be held from 22 - 24 March 2023 in New York.

Water is a fundamental part of all aspects of life. Water is inextricably linked to the three pillars of sustainable development, and it integrates social, cultural, economic and political values. It is crosscutting and supports the achievement of many SDGs through close linkages with climate, energy, cities, the environment, food security, poverty, gender equality and health, amongst others. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies and environment, water is indeed the biggest deal breaker to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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