International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
Legal and Political Aspects of Rainwater Harvesting
Subsidies for Rainwater Use by Local Governments
Ichiro Kita, Kouichi Takeyama, Kunihiko Kitamura, Shinagawa Akiko
Faculty of Life and Environmental Science
In recent years, the recognition of the importance of rainwater use
has been increasing in Japan. Rainwater use in a narrow sense is the direct
use of collected and stored rainwater, for example, its use as domestic
water on islands that don't have any other water sources and its use to
flush toilets, water the garden, etc. in urban areas. Since a rainwater
seepage facility can promote penetration of rainwater into underground,
it is effective in conservation of groundwater. It stores rainwater temporarily
during heavy rains and prevents rainwater from flowing out in a sewer
or river in a short time. It contributes also to prevent floods in cities.
Therefore the effects of using rainwater seepage facilities can also be
considered rainwater use in a wider sense.
In January of 1997, after the large earthquake in Hansin-Awaji, the
city water system was seriously damaged. Although inhabitants were supplied
with drinking water by water trucks, they suffered from the lack of domestic
water. Rainwater use is expected could be of great help under such circumstances.
In addition, even in a case of emergency, when lifelines are damaged by
natural disasters, we expect stored rainwater to be used as an alternative
to city water.
The number of newly-installed rainwater use facilities has been increasing,
mainly in comparatively large-scale public buildings. If their numbers
grow, the effects they bring will also grow. Therefore they need to be
installed in private offices and housing as well. Thus, subsidies for
installing rainwater use facilities have been enacted by local governments
to promote their further diffusion.
In this research, investigation was made on the existing situation of
subsidy systems by local governments.
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