Geneva’s Rainwater Harvesters

by Rachel Nisbet | 30 September 2019
Image Geneva’s Rainwater Harvesters

There are many private and cooperative rainwater harvesting initiatives in the Geneva region. While sharing information about rainwater harvesting at the 5th Alternatiba Léman Festival, in the city’s Parc des Bastions, we exchanged with local advocates of rainwater harvesting. We learnt about the collective and cooperative, Le Terroir, who harvest rain for watering their organic, market garden. They sell their produce in Présilly on Tuesday evenings.

We chatted with a local inhabitant, Sylvie, who regrets not having installed a double water system when her house was built thirty years ago. She wanted to install one plumbing circuit for harvested rainwater, to be used for bathing and washing clothes, and another plumbing circuit for drinking water. But friends discouraged her, as piped water was so cheap in France. Now, with increasing water scarcity, she thinks the cost of water should be calculated differently, so it is better valued as a vital resource for life that needs to be conserved.

We also spoke to Nathalie La Fleur from Mauritius (pictured), who also lives in the Geneva region. Mauritius’s potable water supply derives from boreholes, reservoirs and rivers. But Nathalie explained that her family and wider community, living in Terre Rouge, used to collect rainwater for domestic purposes. As the area surrounding Geneva has hard water, Nathalie still prefers to collect rainwater for washing her hair and rinsing her face. Soft rainwater makes your hair shine beautifully! Nathalie’s beauty regime involves a quick dash up to her roof, to position buckets and salad bowls when the sky looks heavy. After a downpour, she filters the water she has collected through a piece of cloth, then adds a drop of colloidal silver to it. Because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, she finds this treatment prevents her water from becoming mouldy. Note: water treated in this manner must not be consumed internally. But, as this photo of Nathalie shows, rinsing your locks with rainwater can guarantee a good hair day.


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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Raincommunity

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.

> Discover the initiative "a child, a tree"

 

" 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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IRHA

International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA)

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

T: +41 22 797 41 57
E: secretariat@irha-h2o.org
 

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Account: 17-198970-3
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