On the occasion of World Water Day, Smart WASH Solutions and Water Aid Nepal in cooperation of Nepal Government Ministry of Water Supply organized a national conference with the theme ‘Rainwater harvesting for conserving water and addressing the impacts of climate change’ in Kathmandu on 19 and 20 March, 2023.
The conference aimed to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of rainwater harvesting, and reduce the impacts of climate change and water crisis, said Ramdeep Shah, who is chairperson of Smart WASH Solutions and leading the organizing committee of the conference.
The organisers stated that every year, the number of people affected by flooding increases by half a million around the world, and over three billion suffer severe water shortages. Water risks are intensifying around the world, and as climate change tightens its grip, rising temperatures are promoting the spread of diseases in crops and livestock. Unless immediate and bold action is taken, the impacts of climate change are set to worsen. Water security and less reliable rainfall patterns could spark conflict, provoke migration waves and trigger famine in many regions of the world.
Awareness of the role of water in climate change impacts and solutions are growing, and the ever-increasing number of climate adaptation and mitigation responses is encouraging. However, the scaling of water management innovations and technologies are urgently needed in the most vulnerable regions of the world.
In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, different water conservation approaches like Ground Water Recharge, Rainwater Harvesting, Reuse of Waste Water, etc. are required to be adopted and followed along with climate change adaptation will have to build climate resilience.
World Water Day is an annual observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater. It was always celebrated on March 22 with different themes each year. This year the theme of the Water Day is ‘Accelerating Change’. The day is advocating for good water governance and water security. The intention of celebrating this day is to inspire people around the world to learn more about water-related issues and to take action to make a difference. This brings to light the inequality of access to WASH services and the need to assure the human right to water and sanitation.
Keeping in view as stated above, as storing water through rainwater harvesting RWH helps reducing water stress and ensure water security for future generation and it also helps avoid water induced diseases assisting in climate change resilience achieving SDG and nexus. Rainwater Harvesting conference topic is selected mainly focusing on issues related to providing RWH in municipalities and find its possible solutions to raised issues.
Therefore, the conference dealt with focus on identify major issues related to water supply and promoting RWH systems in municipalities, identify potential areas of cooperation between the experts and stakeholders in Nepal, support Government of Nepal to take new steps and actions to perform RWH by people, increase knowledge on water security and linages with other SDGs, and increase capacity to initiate and derive organizational development and change processes.
16 working papers were presented by thematic experts during the conference.