Rainwater harvesting, in its many forms, has huge potential for domestic and multiple uses in rural areas around the world. Rainwater harvesting can be done from the household, roof water collection level to active watershed management for better soil and water conservation. Rainwater harvesting is a proven way to improve the resilience of households and communities against climate variability, and potentially an important part of climate change adaptation.

Aim by 2030 (end of SDG period): That rainwater harvesting is used more widely and at a range scales as part of universal access to safe water and greater climate change resilience.

Rainwater Wiki

What is a ‘Rainwater Wiki ‘?

A Rainwater Wiki is a knowledge library on Tools, Technologies and Innovation Pilots, all specifically about rainwater harvesting. It has been developed by the Rainwater for Food Security programme, in collaboration with Akvo Foundation. This library on Rainwater harvesting is part of Akvopedia, the open water and sanitation resource that anyone can edit. The goal of Akvopedia is to improve water and sanitation projects through knowledge exchange on smart and affordable technical solutions and effective approaches.

In addition to contributing to the Rainwater Wiki, you can also support knowledge sharing by uploading your own documents (manuals, publications, etc) on the  rainwater harvesting Sharing documents page. That way, others can see or download and learn from your information


Roofwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is a technique of collection and storage of rainwater into natural reservoirs or tanks, or the infiltration of surface water into subsurface aquifers (before it is lost as surface runoff). One method of rainwater harvesting is rooftop harvesting. With rooftop harvesting, almost any surface — tiles, metal sheets, plastics — can be used to intercept the flow of rainwater and provide a household with water, conveniently accessible and available year-round. Other uses include water for gardens, livestock, and irrigation, etc.

General Publications

There is a large and growing body of research and documentation on Domestic Rainwater Harvesting (DRWH). Here we provide an overview of some introductory readings:

- Rainwater Harvesting Handbook (African Development Bank)

- Rainwater Harvesting in the Homestead (Peter Morgan)


Country studies

A series of studies have been undertaken on the sub-sectors of Domestic Rainwater Harvesting (DRWH) in several countries:


- DRWH Field Study Thailand 2016 (PDF document, RWSN, 12 pages)

- DRWH Field Study Thailand 2009 (PDF document, EnterpriseWorks/Vita, 99 pages)

- DRWH Field Study Kenya (PDF document, EnterpriseWorks/Vita, 82 pages)

- DRWH Field Study Vietnam (PDF document, EnterpriseWorks/Vita, 82 pages)

- DRWH Field Study Uganda (PDF document, EnterpriseWorks/Vita, 61 pages)

- DRWH Field Study Tanzania (PDF document, EnterpriseWorks/Vita, 82 pages)


Construction Manuals for Jars and Tanks

- Harvesting the Rain - a construction manual for Cement Rainwater Jars and Tanks

- Manufacturing process for the 2'000-liter Thai Jars


Webinar collection on rainwater harvesting

Check out the collection of webinars on different aspects of rainwater harvesting: Collection of RWSN webinars on rainwater harvesting


Rainwater Harvesting TOOLS - simple methods applicable in the field


Rainwater Harvesting TECHNOLOGIES - technical construction details, costs, and applicability


RWH INNOVATIONS - approaches, technologies, applications and projects on 3R, MUS and sustainable financing



Community Exchange - Rainwater Harvesting

To connect with other practitioners and researchers working on rainwater harvesting, in all its forms, join the Rainwater Harvesting sub-community of RWSN. Click here to get started.

A selection of rainwater harvesting resources can also be found on the Practical Action website.


This information has been adapted from the Rain4food website, with thanks to the RAIN foundation. Many of the tools, technologies, and projects on this page are courtesy of the Rainwater Harvesting Implementation Network.

RAIN is an international network with the aim to increase access to water for vulnerable sections of society in developing countries - women and children in particular - by collecting and storing rainwater.

Started in December 2003, RAIN focuses on field implementation of small-scale rainwater harvesting projects, capacity building of local organisations and knowledge exchange on rainwater harvesting on a global scale.


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