UN WATER 2023 - Side event on rainwater

by Sima Haïrapetian | 21 March 2023
Image UN WATER 2023 - Side event on rainwater

On behalf of the following organizations :

The International Rainwater HarvestingAlliance (IRHA, Switzerland), Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum (LRWHF, SriLanka), South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET, Sri Lanka), Clean Water - HealthyVillage (Netherlands), Rainwater Harvesting Association of Malawi (RHAM, Malawi), Rain forAll (South Korea), American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA),Asociación Mexicana de Sistemas de Captación de Agua de Lluvia A.C. (AMSCALL,Mexico) and the Senegalese Rainwater Harvesting Association (ASGEP, Senegal) are joining hands to present a virtual side event at the 2023 UN WaterConference, entitled :

Harvesting rainwater: essential to achieve 6.1 and for water security

Current water supply coverage still leaves 7-11% of the world's population unmet. Households lack immediate access to safe water or face seasonal shortages. Remoteness and physical difficulties can prevent the arrival of water supply services for several years. Rainwater harvesting and safe storage provides a solution for nearly 6% of the world's population as a regular or supplemental supply. Schools and health care centers also face water shortages and could benefit from rainwater harvesting and secure storage.

Policymakers do not place enough emphasis on rainwater harvesting as a water supply option, primarily because storage is considered expensive. Households see it differently, as they collect rainwater in any way possible to offset the inconvenience and cost of not having a regular supply. Adequate public awareness and local knowledge and skills on water storage technologies will help increase the practice of rainwater harvesting and improve water security and resilience.

Rainwater harvesting and management is a critical aspect of rural development, as it allows farmers to collect and store water for the next harvest and ensure that enough water remains available in local ecosystems. In urban areas, rainwater management is a critical component of water resource management, with opportunities for infiltration and open storage to buffer water, reduce flooding, and keep water available during times of drought. Rainwater harvesting is an important measure for climate change adaptation, providing water for life and cooling for homes and institutions.

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

Presentations will demonstrate that rainwater harvesting and secure storage can quickly contribute to water supply in areas and situations where a regular supply will not be readily available. As home water treatment methods have evolved over the past two decades, rainwater harvesting can provide a securely managed service at a low recurring cost.

The program is presented below. Presentations from the event will be available after the side event on the IRHA website.

  • Tanuja Ariyananda, CEO of the Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum and host of SARNET, will present the side event. She will trace the evolution of domestic rainwater harvesting systems in Sri Lanka, which have generated 50,000 systems since 1995.
  • Han Heijnen, President of IRHA, will provide an overview of global rainwater harvesting development capacity, linkages and contributions to the SDGs, and the role of rainwater management in climate change adaptation.
  • Macpherson Nthara, President of the Malawi Rainwater Harvesting Association, will describe the growth of domestic and institutional rainwater harvesting in Malawi in recent years. He will describe the growth of domestic and institutional rainwater harvesting in Malawi in recent years, and how it is improving household incomes through the use of water for market gardening, which also results in improved child nutrition.
  • Prof. Emeritus Mooyong Han, Seoul National University and Chairman of Rain for All, Water for All, Fun and Joyful Rain School activities as a key tool for promoting RWH: a case study of providing water to schools using rainwater in Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Bob Boulware, former president and international coordinator of ARCSA, will highlight the importance of standards for domestic rainwater applications.
  • Arturo Gleason Espindola, President of AMSCALL, will demonstrate the potential of rainwater harvesting in urban areas.


As a global alliance of rainwater harvesting practitioners, IRHA and its partners are committed to continuing to promote and facilitate, through training, standardization and demonstration, access to appropriate rainwater harvesting solutions for households and institutions that have been left behind.

The UN WATER 2023 conference will be held on March 22-24, 2023 in New York.

Water is fundamental to all aspects of life. It is inextricably linked to the three pillars of sustainable development and integrates social, cultural, economic and political values. It is cross-cutting and contributes to the achievement of many of the SDGs through strong links to climate, energy, cities, environment, food security, poverty, gender equality and health, among others. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies, and environment, water is indeed the biggest disruptor to achieving internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Read more

Find below the participants' presentations :

>> Tanuja Ariyananda's presentation

>> Han Heijnen's presentation

>> Macpherson Nthara's presentation

>> Mooyoung Han's presentation

>> Bob Boulware's presentation

>> Arturo Gleason Espindola's presentation

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Account: 17-198970-3
IBAN: CH15 0900 0000 1719 8970 3

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