After reading this chapter you should be able to describe why Rainwater Harvesting is an alternative to common ways of water supply systems. We discuss the different patterns and uses of rainwater harvesting.
The global water crisis and possible solutions
Despite enormous achievements over the past two decades, an estimated one billion of the earth’s citizens still lack safe drinking water.
How to put an end to this global crisis?
- is a means of empowerment for people in the dry rural parts of Northeastern Brazil;
- effectively revalidates traditional technology in India;
- is an essential element for future urban building construction as demonstrated in Germany by Berlins newest development the Daimler Chrysler complex;
- has boosted the rural economy and contributed to a high percentage of safe water coverage in Thailand;
- has given a new social and economic role to women in central Kenya and made a formerly dry and dusty region green again;
- provides water for the survival of 5 million people in China.
Learn more about the use of rainwater harvesting in the countries desribed here in the module "Case Studies"
Rainwater harvesting is used all over the world:
- in households for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning – but also for watering small plots and raising small animals,
- in institutions like schools, community and religious centres to satisfy their water needs,
- in agriculture, where it can improve yields substantially and at the same time contribute to combating land degradation or flood damage,
- in urban areas where it is used as lower quality water for toilet flushing, laundry or gardening but also mitigates stormwater run-off and
- in industry where it is appreciated for its softness, requiring less efforts for purification.
Rainwater harvesting is more than a supplemental source of water and
- builds on traditional technology and gives a new value to it - improved by modern materials and concepts,
- integrates easily modern technology. Many „high-tech“ components are giving added value to rainwater harvesting systems,
- is a new approach demanding new water management,
- is a truly appropriate technology, flexible enough to be adapted to the context where it is to be used,
- supports the local economy by creating jobs and uses most or all materials from the surroundings and
- gives improved access and value to water as a precious resource.