The Sri Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum organizes its regular international conference every three years. In 2018 the Conference brings together some 70 participants from South Asian countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and India, as well as Ethiopia, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Sri Lanka as the host country was well represented with the Minister of City Planning and Water Supply and Dinesh Gunawardhana, the Leader of the Parliament and a long-term proponent of rainwater harvesting, inaugurating the Conference. The Conference is held at the International Water Management institute (IWMI)
Interesting key note addresses by Dr. Herath Manthrithilake, Head of the Sri Lanka Development Initiative and Dr. Frank Rijsberman of the Seoul based Global Green Growth Institute set the scene for sessions on policy, practice and potential of rainwater harvesting.
Han Heijnen, President of IRHA, in his presentation argued that the world will not be able to serve that last unserved according to the criteria of Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 unless we use rainwater harvesting to its full potential in providing domestic water supply.
The IRHA supported 'Rain Community’ projects in Bhaktapur Municipality in Nepal were presented by Prakash Amatya and Manushree Newa of Guthi in two papers. As a consequence of these projects, Bhaktapur municipality has made rainwater harvesting an important instrument for raising the level of water security in the city area.
The conference expressed a need to create effective regional networking on rainwater harvesting, by establishing a regional association of rainwater harvesting proponents and practitioner agencies. Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum was confirmed to take a lead role in setting up this network and establish a capacity to support regional rainwater harvesting information management, demonstration projects and evidence gathering.