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Harvesting Rainwater

Water Resource Development and Management

  1. Ganesh B. Keremane

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wr172

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Keremane, G. B. 2005. Harvesting Rainwater. Water Encyclopedia. 2:548–552.

Author Information

  1. University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Humankind's most serious challenge now might not be war or hunger or disease or even the collapse of civic order; it may be the lack of freshwater that justifies the present scenario that freshwater is a scarce resource. Although it is the commonest and the most critical stuff on the earth, water has been always an undervalued resource. For all our basic vital needs, a major portion of the water is drawn from less than 1% of the readily accessible part of the world's freshwater resources, thus making it a scarce resource. The prevailing water scarcity experienced in most of the arid and semiarid regions of the world can be attributed to high water stress and unsustainable rates of withdrawal. The trend toward irrigating farmland is responsible for much of the pressure on water supply, but poor water management and conservation practices have also contributed to the decline in the quality and availability of water. These are the reasons that water is a scarce resource in many parts of the world, mostly in the developing world. With widely available evidence of the crisis, rudimentary conservation measures, application of new technology, and sensible conservation practices could do much to stabilize water withdrawals. Harvesting rainwater is one technology.


  • rainwater harvesting;
  • catchment area;
  • runoff;
  • storage area;
  • forms of water harvesting;
  • water harvesting structures