Tapping rainwater does the trick

Rainwater harvesting is not a new concept. This technology involves collecting the rainwater that falls on the roof of a house during rainfall through aluminum, PVC, wood or plastic drain to storable tanks, which can be constructed below or above the ground. Such tanks should be enclosed to prevent evaporation. The first flush of the new rain should be allowed to run off as waste. Some engineers are of the opinion that if strong tanks are designed carefully, it is possible for a family to live for a year in areas with minimum rainfall.

Use of rainwater recharges the shallow groundwater level. It is naturally soft and does not contain dissolved minerals or salts. It is free of pathogens.

In the past, Non-Governmental Organization for Urban Water and Sanitation (NGOFOWS) in support of Physical Planning and Works and Water Aid Nepal launched Rainwater Harvesting Program (RWHP) in five municipalities of Kathmandu valley and nearby Banepa town in 2006. Actually, RWHP seeks to familiarize the local people with rainwater harvesting and to ensure Millennium Development Goals in this country.

The endeavors of RWHP have compelled the government to form a government level Rainwater Harvesting Steering Committee. This committee initiated works to prepare rainwater-harvesting guidelines for urban and rural areas. The urban water sanitation policy has a separate rainwater-harvesting chapter in it. The inclusion of this chapter has emphasized the importance of rainwater harvesting in Kathmandu valley.

In just a year of initiation, RWHP has made its presence felt in the deliberation of policy-makers and also in the decision-making of commoners. With the efforts of RWHP, a rainwater-harvesting club has been founded where concerned persons interact and discuss issues on rain water harvesting.

To reduce the growing water problem in the Kathmandu Valley, rainwater-harvesting technology can play a significant role.

Therefore, information on rainwater harvesting should reach the

community level, thereby building the masses ready to adopt this technology. Moreover, the government should

also assist those interested in installing rainwater-harvesting system in their houses.