Strengthening the Rainwater Alliance

by Han Heijnen | 8 January 2019

Brazil’s national rainwater harvesting association, the Associação Brasileira de Captação e Manejo de Água de Chuva (ABCMAC), held its eleventh conference in João Pessoa, Paraiba State this November. Delegates gathered to discuss the theme 'Rainwater: A Step toward Brazil’s Water Security and Resilience’.[1]

Presentations focused on the usage of rainwater in agriculture, in the home and within ecosystems, and the development of policies that can encourage rainwater harvesting practices. The issue of rainwater quality was frequently highlighted, with several research papers addressing this important topic. In his closing remarks, the main conference organiser, Prof. Tarciso Cabral da Silva of the Universidade Federal da Paraíba, synthesised the findings of the event, stating that rainwater it is mostly of a good enough quality for human consumption, when collected and stored well.

Han Heijnen, President of IRHA, presented the current state of water supply in Latin America, using JMP WHO-UNICEF JMP data. He underlined Brazil’s leading role in the field of rainwater harvesting, saying "Brazil is inspiring the world not only with football, but also with rainwater harvesting”. His comment points to the fact that one million rainwater systems have been installed in the dry zone of North West Brazil. He concluded that without the inclusion of rainwater harvesting resources within Sustainable Development Goal number six (Ensure Access to Water and Sanitation for All) universal access to safe water cannot be achieved by 2030.


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Our projects

The Blue Schools

This program aims to educate schoolchildren to the management of water, sanitation and good hygiene practices, but also the recovery of waste to make blue schools, incubators of social change "

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Construction of rainwater harvesting systems in Bhaktapur, to provide safe access todrinking water in 2 schools and 6 camps for displaced families after the 2015 earthquake.

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The Rain, the soil and the people

Climate change requires us to rethink our management methods and practices. This project aims to build community resilience by combining better management of water resources, trees and soil.

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" Unserved "

The "Unserved" project aims to provide access to clean water and restore dignity for those who have nothing, the forgotten from water services, who live on the outskirts of our cities and have to fight every day to access even water for drinking.


Workshops: Water and the City

The objective of this workshop is to bring school children to become aware of their environment, and to be able to implement durable, sustainable solutions in their city.

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In the rain ink

The aim of this "In the rain ink" project is to transform the representations of rainwater seen as a nuisance, poetically using the urban environment in which we live.

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International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA)

International Environment House 2
Chemin de Balexert, 9
1219 Châtelaine, Geneva CH

T: +41 22 797 41 57

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