Water harvesting.
Photo: ©UNEP


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Rainwater harvesting contributes to food security, and is a way to store rainwater under increasing conditions of high rainfall variability. A new app supports establishing rainwater systems in Africa.

A new smartphone app developed by UN Environment and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization calculates the amount of rainwater that can be harvested from the rooves of houses, UN Environment reported in April 2019.  

The app aims to support individuals as well as communities, local governments and other actors who are planning to install rainwater harvesting systems in Africa. It is based on actual meteorological data collected from weather stations across Africa. The data is specific to locations closest to the weather stations, which the app presents as the nearest city. 

In many countries, rainwater can be harnessed easily for domestic and agricultural use. Harvested rainwater can also benefit the environment and the ecosystem when used to enhance groundwater recharge and restore vegetative cover. The low cost of rainwater harvesting technologies can be a more attractive investment option in rural areas compared to investing in a main water supply system.

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