In case you weren’t aware, March 20-26 is World Water Week, and all week long, people have been writing blog posts and organizing events to help inform others about issues of water availability, contamination, and conservation.
In observation of World Water Day (March 22) The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association and advocacy groups from 19 nations joined together to advocate full utilization of rainwater harvesting.
Although rainwater is abundant and free, many people lack the information and tools needed to harvest and utilize it properly. In fact, in some parts of the United States, catching rainwater is considered to be illegal (apparently, it belongs to the government, not the person on whose lawn it falls).
With the population growing, and freshwater supplies dwindling around the globe, it’s imperative that we rethink these types of rules, and allow people to become creative about how they secure and use this most-important of natural resources.
To support its mission of promoting sustainable rainwater harvesting practices that can help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world, the ARCSA and similar organizations issued the following statement:
“The UN Human Rights Council affirms the human right to safe drinking water. Now is the time for the world’s governments to contribute to the provision of a regular supply of safe, accessible and affordable drinking water in sufficient quantity for 884 million more people.
“On World Water Day 2011, the undersigned organizations wish to strongly advocate for the use of rainwater: it must be considered as an important tool in efforts to minimize the water related problems that already exist.
- Rainwater is a valuable resource that is underutilized. Its capture and use can alleviate challenges related to potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy.
- Local rainwater harvesting solutions enhance water security and provide important relief to households and communities. All around the world, rainwater infiltration, collection and storage offers benefits for the environment, wildlife and humans, and improves water availability for industry and agriculture.
- It is time for rainwater catchment to be included in the development plans of all governmental agencies as part of their integrated water resource management strategies.
- Introduction of the concept of rainwater management – maximizing rain’s benefits as a vital resource while minimizing potential rain hazards – to curricula of technical schools and universities will bring future benefits to urban planning, architectural and agricultural projects.”
Is rainwater harvesting allowed where you live? If so, is it encouraged and do you participate in it? Do you think it’s time the government started planning for rainwater catchment?
Share your experiences/opinions in a comment!
Image Credit: Flickr – Unlisted Sightings