An integrated approach towards identification of the barriers to implementation of rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems in urban residential areas of Pakistan
Hasnain, Syed Ali
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Water conservation in relation to rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems for urban residential areas is underdeveloped in Pakistan. Due to increased urbanisation, water availability in the domestic sector is stressed in terms of the quality and quantity of water resources. Rawalpindi the 4th largest city was selected as a case study for this research. The purpose of this research was to assess the feasibility of implementing rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems for non-potable purposes in urban residential areas of Pakistan. The study included four focus areas; (i) A technical feasibility assessment of rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems in relation to annual/monthly rainfall data, current non-potable water demand and rooftop catchment., (ii) A questionnaire survey aimed at households in residential areas to identify socio-economic barriers/attitudes to rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems and (iii) Face to face interviews with policy-makers to identify the current policy implementation barriers regarding rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems. In terms of data and results the study demonstrated that Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems are technically feasible in urban residential areas of Rawalpindi in terms of roof catchment area and rainwater as a potential source of non-potable water. Household surveys showed that majority of the respondents were relatively unwilling to implement rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems. Major reasons for this included a lack of systems knowledge and awareness. In addition, concerns about water quality and maintenance presented significant barriers for respondents. Similarly, respondents reported that financial barriers were constraints to implementing rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems; large numbers of respondents were “very much willing” to install systems but only if local government provided incentives. In terms of qualitative analysis, interviews with different stakeholders involved in policy formulation to policy implementation showed poor commitment and a lack of understanding and coordination. There were ambiguities in the process of policy formulation to the implementation of rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems; the policy process is complex and lacks a cohesive strategy. Last but not least poor monitoring and evaluation of the policy document were found to be barriers in the implementation of rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Systems.