Chapter 14 - Treatment of harvested rainwater and reuse: Practices, prospects, and challenges


Growing demands of water for agriculture and urban development are increasing the pressure on water resources in a changing environment. Water scarcity is a significant problem in many developing countries. Depending on the precipitation intensity, rainwater constitutes a potential alternative source of water for potable and nonpotable purposes. Besides, its proper management could reduce water and food crisis in some of these regions. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is a technology where surface runoff is effectively collected during yielding rain periods. In order to support such technologies, RWH systems should be based on local skills, materials, and equipment. Harvested rainwater can then be used for rainfed agriculture or water supply for households. Unfortunately, rainwater might be polluted by bacteria and hazardous chemicals requiring treatment before its usage. Therefore, specific chemical, physical, and biological methods are used to reduce the contamination and improve the quality of harvested rainwater. Despite being highly beneficial, there are still many challenges in the implementation of RWH in many countries. There is a lack of information and knowledge among the people regarding the benefits of RWH. Subsidies, incentives, and training by government and nongovernment institutions can encourage the adoption and upscale of RWH. In this chapter, we addressed the challenges, opportunities, and practices about RWHS, which would be more beneficial for several anthropogenic purposes like agriculture, urban, and industrial sectors. There is a need for socioeconomic, institutional, and human/cultural aspects and appropriate approaches for successful implementation


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