In September 2006, Government of Sri Lanka hosted a Regional forum on Rain Water Harvesting in the city of Kandy. The forum was attended by the respective Ministers of the SAARC region responsible for water matters, in addition to the professionals associated. The Ministerial Declaration made at the Forum following the technical deliberations is attached as Annex 1. In addition to the declaration a decision was taken to establish a Secretariat for the South Asian Region on rainwater harvesting. The purpose was to sustain interest and facilitate collaboration and coordination, in the region. Sri Lanka was selected to host the Secretariat in the initial period, following the Forum.
The Declaration made at the 15th SAARC summit held in Colombo in 2008 also laid emphasis on the need to initiate capacity building and research on rainwater harvesting, in order to combat water scarcity predicted for the region in the future.
A Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting held in Kathmandu, Nepal in 28 to 30 June, 2009, hosted by the government of Nepal, reiterated the need for regional collaboration and coordination and promoted the need for a regional centre and secretariat.
On the 9th of November 2011 the South Asian Regional Center for Rain Water Harvesting was set up at International Water Management Institute (IWMI) premises at 127 Sunil Mawatha. Battaramulla Sri Lanka.
The chief guest of the occasion was the Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister for Water Supply & Drainage Sri Lanka.
The occasion was attended by Mr Dennis Wichelns, Deputy Director IWMI Mr A Abeygunasekara, Secretary Ministry of Water Supply & Drainage, Dr Abdulai Kaikai, Chief Water, Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) section, Unicef, Mr Ranjith Weerasinghe former Coordinator Water Supply & Sanitation Council, Dr Indira Shakya, Technical Adviser, BSP-Nepal, Dr Tanuja Ariyananda, Director Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF), Mr Lahiru Perera Board Director LRWHF, Prof Aruni Weerasinghe, Dean Agriculture Faculty University of Rajarata (Board Director LRWHF)