International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association
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August, 2003
11th International RWH Conference

The 11th International Conference on Rainwater Catchment Systems took place in Mexico City, Mexico on 25 - 29 August, 2003.

The theme of the conference was "Towards a New Green Revolution and Sustainable Development through an Efficient Use of Rainwater". The objective of the conference was to develop a comprehensive approach towards sustainable development through rainwater catchment systems, achieving a balance between socioeconomic development and proper management of rainwater. This stems from the fact that water scarcity seriously affects rainfed and irrigated agriculture and hence directly threatens the livelihoods of billions of people, particularly in developing regions. This makes improved RWH techniques essential to maximize the efficiency of water use, and help provide adequate water supplies for crop production as well as curbing the current environmental degradation in forms like deforestation and desertification.

The topics introduced covered a range of subjects, and the strategy of inviting 25 selected keynote speakers proved a great success at the conference. The subject areas covered included:

  • Rainwater harvesting for food security 
  • Rainwater harvesting to prevent land degradation 
  • Rainwater harvesting impact on society, economy and ecology 
  • Rainwater harvesting supply and sanitation concerns and water quality issues 
  • Urban use of rainwater harvesting in mega cities and rural communities 
  • Promotion of rainwater harvesting through education programs and women's participation 
  • Rainwater harvesting for irrigated and dry land agriculture.

Well over 300 participants from 55 countries ensured a receptive audience, and there were 180 institutions represented. At the conference there were 8 poster displays, 97 papers, and 120 abstracts submitted. The 3 technical tours highlighted the practical aspects of rainwater harvesting techniques and its current practices in Mexico.

The outputs from the conference included a National Network on Water Harvesting, Latino American Network on Water Harvesting, a videotape of all lectures and all of the proceedings on a CD.

For more detail see the conference website. paper abstracts can be found in the conferences section of this site. Full text of proceedings are available to IRCSA members

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