How Rain Catchment Systems Work

How Rain Water is Harvested in Tanks

Water Tank Roof Top

Also called rain harvesting, these simple systems connect downspouts (gutters) to a central water tank capable of holding about 100,000 litres of water or more. Often, in African countries, the issue is not that it never rains, but rather that when it does, most of the runoff is lost. These water systems make the best use of what little rain there is.

Rain water harvesting has been around for hundreds of years. It is in use in developed and under-developed nations alike. In Australia for instance, many homes away from the cities use it as a primary source of water.

These simple systems are cost-effective and last for a long time. In communities that have medical clinics, schools and other larger-roofed structures they do a great job of collecting much needed water to use throughout the year.

In some communities the tanks have been filled with municipal sources that are often very unreliable and thus available only parts of the year. By filling the tanks at such times, in addition to collecting rain water, the community was able to end their harsh "dry season" rationing of water to school children.

Rainwater Catchment Projects

See a completed system in Nzatani, Kenya.

How Your Donation Helps

Your gift provides technical assistance and supplies (rebar, concrete, forms, gutters, piping, etc.) so that communities can build these water tanks. You make it possible for them to help themselves.

The Water Project works hard to keep our own administrative costs to an absolute minimum. In fact, we have other donors who recognize the importance of keeping the lights on and paying for the internet connection, so you don't have to.

Your donation to a water project will go directly to those groups bringing clean water to Africa.

On average a rain catchment system costs a total of $5,000-$8,000 for skilled labor and materials. Most communities raise about $2,000 of this and The Water Project donors fund the remainder.

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“This project started with two girls just wanting to help, but finished with a whole school contributing to what we feel is a very helpful, compassionate cause.”

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