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Water security through rainwater harvesting

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:08 authored by Rajindra de S. Ariyabandu
In Sri Lanka, the present level of water supply coverage stands at 89 per cent in urban and 60 per cent in rural areas. (Minnatullah et al 1998). The objective of the government of Sri Lanka is to provide good quality drinking water to all by year 2010. Being an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka receives a mean annual rainfall of 1200 mm.Thus, the country has an abundant supply of water. However, there is a large population both in the dry and wet zone where people have no access to adequate good quality water. Provision of adequate, quality water to this population is also becoming difficult due to technical, financial and institutional reasons. Contamination and drying up of small surface water springs have further aggravated the situation for most rural communities. In 1995, the Government, through the Community Water Supply and Sanitation Project (CWSSP) introduced Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) through roof surfaces for domestic use. RWH technology was first introduced in a wet zone village community of 200 families. The initial reaction to RWH technology was negative. However, it was later accepted by the community, with 73 per cent of the population adopting RWH as a source of domestic water. This paper attempts to explain the improvement in water security of the RWH beneficiary community and show the benefits it has brought to a highland settler community in the central hills of Sri Lanka.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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DE S. ARIYABANDU, R., 1999. Water security through rainwater harvesting. IN: Pickford, J. (ed). Integrated development for water supply and sanitation: Proceedings of the 25th WEDC International Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 August-2 September 1999, pp.366-368.


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