Rainwater harvesting : a lifeline for human well-being

United Nations Environment Programme (2009)

This publication highlights the link between rainwater harvesting, ecosystems and human wellbeing and draws the attention of readers to both the negative and positive aspects of using this technology and how the negative benefits can be minimized and positive capitalized. In this report, the concept of rainwater harvesting is examined for its potential to increase human well-being without eroding the ecosystems functions that water serves in the local landscape. Examples from diverse geographical and societal settings are examined, to demonstrate the benefits and constraints of rainwater harvesting technologies in addressing multiple demands for freshwater in specific locations The aim is to compile a synthesis of experiences that can provide insight into the multiple opportunities rainwater harvesting can have when addressing human well-being, while continuing to sustain a range of ecosystem services.