Rainwater : a resource at the service of a human right

In the context of increasing pressure on water resources, access to a source of drinking water for everyone, everywhere, represents a major challenge for our societies. Rainwater is a free resource that can play a vital role, with low environmental impact, in the realization of this human right.
 

Rainwater & the 2030 UN Agenda

Optimising rainwater (which is currently not strategically managed) is an efficient and innovative response to the challenges of water scarcity, droughts and floods and to strengthen the resilience of communities and local ecosystems to natural disasters and climate change.

Rainwater management is fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 15 and 17), which we implement through projects.
 

Water and the burden on women (and girls)

In many of the countries where we work, it is mainly women and girls who are responsible for collecting water. They have to make sure that the family has 30 to 50 litres of water per day to meet their daily needs. This requires women to get up early, walk to the source, which is on average 2-3km from the house, and then fill the 15-20 litre jerry cans and walk back and forth several times to ensure the necessary volume.

The negative consequences of this water chore on women and girls are significant: loss of time, headaches and backaches, fatigue, which often leads to school drop-out and social isolation.

Finally, in this situation faced by millions of women on a daily basis, women often do not have a voice in the management and planning of community infrastructure. They are thus left without a voice and without the capacity to influence choices and decisions made at the community level.
 


 

Managing "too much water" and "not enough"

Rainwater harvesting can thus serve domestic, agricultural and even industrial needs, and thus relieve the growing pressure on groundwater and freshwater resources. Rainwater enhances the resilience of rural communities to climate change.

Water resources are vulnerable to climate change, closely linked to variations in climate, temperature and precipitation conditions, creating tensions and uncertainties in local agricultural production. Global trends such as population growth, massive urbanisation, rapid and continuing degradation of ecosystems and the need to produce more food are increasing pressures on access to water, especially drinking water.

Rainwater harvesting provides a triple gain, by mitigating the risks of a) the devastating effects of floods, b) having a water resource to cope with periods of drought, c) optimising the management of available resources.

 


 

Time to [re]think our systems

The development of industrialised countries has been designed on the basis of short-termist logic, disrespectful of the balance and ecosystems. This is the case with the use of brutal extractive logics with little consideration for the environment. The quest for this water resource at any price has serious consequences for aquifers and creates lasting vulnerabilities for future generations.

 

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