International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Utilization for the World's People"
Beijing , China - June, 1995
Chairman, Local Organizing Committee
Rainwater utilization has had a history of several thousand years and it will
soon be seen as a prosperous way to solve water shortage problems in the coming
century. Based on the establishment of rainwater utilization, the connotation
of rainwater resources and its catchment systems have been become much more widely
extending towards sustainable water exploitation since the establishment of the
International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association in 1983 in Hawaii. Rainwater
can he used in both direct and indirect ways because rainfall transforms into
different hydrological states with diversified patterns of water interactions.
For instance, roof catchment systems represent the direct collection of rainwater,
while ponds or reservoirs can receive water indirectly from surface runoff and
subsurface flow as so-called direct runoff and inter-flow resulting from a rainfall
within a given catchment. The extended connotation of rainwater utilization can
also include artificial recharge of shallow groundwater by using rainfall in terms
of building up a groundwater reservoir for pumping wells and a soil water reservoir
for agricultural production. In addition, a new idea of rainwater collection may
concern weather modification, i.e. artificial rain. Therefore, the substantiation
of the concept of rainwater resources and elaboration of the connotation concern
a broader prospect of rainwater utilization. In this context, it is expected that
the rainwater catchment systems may be turned into , independent branch of water
During the 6th international Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference held in
August, 1993, in Nairobi, Kenya, the International Rainwater Catchment Systems
Association decided to hold its 7th International Conference in Beijing and suggested
that we form the Local Organizing Committee to carry out the preparation for the
Conference. It was my great pleasure to have this opportunity to promote the study
of rainwater resources and its utilization.
Curing the past two years we have worked under the direction of the International
Rainwater Catchment Systems Association and have made great progress. The Organizing
Committee has received over 200 abstracts of papers and posters from 41 countries
or regions, and about 130 full papers from more than 30 countries or regions.
These papers concern each aspect of rainwater utilization, including comprehensive
research, social and economical development, full utilization of rainwater for
all the sectors such as urban, industry and agriculture, effects on ecology and
environment, exploring the role of women in rainwater utilization, techniques
of rainwater collection, water quality and its protection, study methodology and
modelling. These abstracts and full papers are bound separately into three volumes
with a total of more than 1400 pages, reaching an unprecedented scale.
The substantial support far the preparation work on this conference has come
from the various organizations and academic institutions both at home and abroad.
Thus, on behalf of the Local organizing Committee, I heartily wish to thank all
sponsors, co-sponsors and the staffs working on the conference. We will make further
efforts to edit and to publish the proceedings formally after the Conference.
We hope the achievements obtained from this conference will further the theory
and practice of rainwater utilization both in China and in the world
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