Rainwater Harvesting - A sustainable solution

In the context of growing pressure on the water resources, unviversal access to drinking water and sustainable water systems represents a major challenge for our societies. Rainwater is a free resource that can play a key role, with low environmental impact, in the realization of this human right to water.

 

Rainwater: a resource with high added value

 

Rainwater and the challenge of universal access to safe drinking water

The strategic management of rainwater is proving to be an innovative and effective response to water scarcity that communities are facing, but also increasingly frequent droughts and floods due to climate change (IPCC, 2014). ). Depending on the context and needs, rainwater can be used as drinking water to cover the daily needs of families, leverage the burden for women, improve significantly hygiene and health of the communities.

Today, 844 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.1 billion are deprived of decent toilets.

Rainwater is a free resource that can play a key role, with low environmental impact, in achieving the human right to reliable access to drinking water.

Universal access can ONLY be achieved by putting in place all the solutions that exist. As such, rainwater would significantly improve the level of service in many countries and lead to savings of US $ 32 billion in health costs.


 
 

Rainwater and the challenge of food security

The water resource is vulnerable to climate change, closely related to climate variability as well as temperature and precipitation conditions, creating tensions and uncertainties in local agricultural production. Global trends such as population growth, massive urbanization, the rapid and continuous degradation of ecosystems and the need to produce more food are increasing pressures on access to water, especially on drinking water.

Harvesting rainwater can thus serve domestic, agricultural and even industrial needs, and substiantially relieve the growing pressure on underground resources and freshwater. Rainwater can also strengthen the resilience of rural communities to adapt to climate change.

By collecting rainwater, it allows a triple gain, mitigating the risks of the devastating effects of floods, b) having a water resource to cope with periods of drought (irrigation crops during the dry season) , c) optimizing the management of available resources (water efficiency).

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Water: The burden of women and girls

In many countries where we work, the majority of women and girls are responsible for collecting water. They must ensure that the family has 30 to 50 liters per day, to meet the daily needs.

This requires women to get up early, walk to the nearest spring, well, or river, located on average 2-3km from the dwelling. They must then fill the 15-20L cans and go back and forth several times to ensure the necessary volume.

The negative consequences of this water chore on women and girls have, a direct influence on the living conditions of these women. Thus, they face a loss of time, headaches and back and fatigue, which usually leads to school dropout and social isolation.

Thus, women's lost productive time (which could be used to develop an income-generating activity, to their education and the nutrition of children), are added the risk of falls, injuries and violence to which they are exposed. Indeed, the numbers show that women who seek water before sunrise are at greater risk of sexual assault.

Finally, to this situation faced by millions of women every day, women often do not have the right to speak in the management and planning of community infrastructure. They find themselves without voice or ability to influence the choices and decisions made at the community level.

> Support the "My Little Calabash" campaign

 
 

Rainwater and United Nations Agenda 2030

The optimization of rainwater (which to date is not managed strategically) is an efficient and innovative response to address the challenges of water scarcity, droughts and floods and strengthen the resilience of communities and communities. ecosystems, natural disasters and climate change.
As such, rainwater management is fully in response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 13 and 17), which we concretize through the implementation of international projects, support to municipalities and local authorities and awareness projects.

 

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 concrete and 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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IRHA

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