Discussion on Rain Water Harvesting at the Business Forum

The Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) conducted a Business Forum in partnership with the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) on 3rd of December 2019, during the International Water Alliance (IWA) Water and Development Congress and Exhibition at the BMICH in Colombo.
This conference brought together a global audience of practitioners, utility managers, academia, government officials, consultants, and the media. IWA partner with some of the water sector’s leading companies and organisations to work together for a better Water Security around the Globe.

The Business Forum of LRWHF, included topics on the importance the Rain Water Harvesting in Sri Lanka due to drastic climate change and recent flash floods in the country.

“Rain Water Harvesting has been a traditionally practice by the ancient civilization of Sri Lanka. The LRWHF has started in 1996 to promote its use for domestic usage
Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum was able to assist people in different capacities in Sri Lanka. RWH has been introduced in rural areas, to communities effected by tsunami, resettlement communities in the north and people living in drought and flood prone areas.
So far, there are 47,000 Rain Water Harvesting systems are installed in houses, schools rural hospitals and public offices throughout the country,” said Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, the CEO of LRWHF.
The President of IRHA Han Heijnen addressed the importance of the Water Security through domestic Rain Water Harvesting as a means to provide services to unserved households in remote and water scarce areas.

He added that the importance of Rain Water Harvesting has increased in the recent past due to increasing water scarcity and climate change. In urban areas, Rain Water Harvesting can reduce demand and save the household money.

Dr. Basavaraja Manu, Associate Professor, Dept of Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India questioned in the Forum whether Sri Lanka has legislature backing up on compulsory Rain Water Harvesting System.

“In Bangalore, we have a mandatory legislations that Rain Water Harvesting Systems, mainly for the business premises. Before the Business was launched or they set up their office in Bangalore, they need to incorporate Rain Water Harvesting System in their design of the building. Does it happen in Sri Lanka?” asked Dr. Basavaraja Manu.

Han Heijnen replied that several Developed Countries provide subsidies to households that utilize Rain Water Harvesting for domestic purpose. But in Sri Lanka, it was not yet practiced; however, maybe in the future, it could happen.

Mr.Ranjith Wirasinha, who served as the Executive Director of the UN Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Geneva, Switzerland and is currently an advisor on Water Sector matters to the Government of Sri Lanka stated that good quality water is a necessity for the growth of infants.

“Since the first 1000 days in child life it is very crucial that they get good nutrition. It is equally important for mothers to ensure that the child receive good quality water,”
he said.
The Business Forum was attended by some 25 people from around the IWA Conference and some visitors as well.

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