Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting and Management: A Step Towards Sustainable Development

by Darja Könnig | 27 March 2024
Image Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting and Management: A Step Towards Sustainable Development

The International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) is delighted to share insights from the recently concluded Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting and Management, held in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 18-19 March 2024.

The conference was jointly organized by Smart Water Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and the Development Support Organization of the Netherlands (SNV Nepal). Among the co-organizers of the Conference were the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA), Water Aid Nepal, Nepal Water for Health, and WWF.

The event was supported by the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Management and the Nepal Rainwater Harvesting Alliance. Various organizations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), the Town Development Fund, the Biogas Support Programme, Helvetas Nepal, Nepal Open University, Global Peace Foundation, Diyalo Technologies, Youth Alliance Environment, and Best Pani have also supported the event.

Key Discussions

Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister for Energy, Irrigation and Water Resources of Nepal, pointed out that that climate change impact might lead to a water scarcity and that harvesting and management of rainwater has a high potential to address this water crisis.

Minister of Water Supply Rajendra Kumar Rai committed to providing adequate drinking water to all Nepalis and expressed the government’s readiness to implement the conclusions reached by this regional international conference. He highlighted the scarcity of water in various settlements and the impending water crisis due to the depletion of water sources.

Secretary of Drinking Water Suresh Acharya emphasized the importance of rainwater collection and management in mitigating climate change and assured the government’s support for efforts to achieve long-term development through rainwater collection and management.

Former Minister Ganesh Shah expressed happiness and prosperity associated with water and stressed the need for water to be of high quality, adequate, and accessible. He acknowledged the efforts made by all the mayors and chairpersons of municipalities to provide adequate water to the residents of their respective municipalities.

Kathmandu Declaration

Six statements were issued at the conclusion of the two-day international conference on rainwater collection and management. At the closing ceremony, former Vice-Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology Dr. Sunil Babu Shrestha read out the Kathmandu Declaration providing information on the technical aspects.

The Kathmandu declaration on rainwater harvesting and management, ratified in the presence of policymakers, governmental and non-governmental representatives, experts, scientists, investors, and consumers, emphasizes mutual cooperation in various crucial areas. These encompass new technology studies, research, innovation, and experience sharing. Key priorities highlighted include integrating traditional knowledge with appropriate technologies to ensure climate resilience in rainwater harvesting systems and providing policy support for the same. Efforts to enhance knowledge, skills, and expertise in this field, along with collaboration for indigenous practices and technology innovation, are emphasized. Moreover, the declaration stresses the establishment of regional resource centers and ensuring the quality of harvested rainwater.


The Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting and Management was a crucial platform for discussing the challenges and solutions related to water scarcity and climate change. As part of the IRHA, we are committed to promoting rainwater harvesting and its management as a sustainable solution to these global challenges.

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