3. Why is there a decrease of rainwater harvesting systems in the world?

On the Yucatan peninsula, the decrease of rainwater harvesting methods was partially caused by the struggle between different indigenous peoples, but mostly because of the Spanish invasion in the 16th century. The Spanish colonizers introduced another agricultural system, various new domestic animals, plants and European construction methods. These were not adapted to the environmental and cultural realities of the Yucatán.

In India similar reasons caused the disappearance of rainwater harvesting. The British colonial system was only interested in taxation, thus forcing the people to abandon the village based water harvesting systems and causing the collapse of a century old system.

The technical progress of the 19th and 20th century occurred mostly in the so called developed countries in moister moderate climate zones without a need for rainwater harvesting. As a consequence of colonialization agricultural practices from moderate climate zones were implanted in drier climate zones. Furthermore, emphasis was put on big dams, groundwater development and piped irrigation projects with high input of fossil energy and electricity; this was another reason that rainwater harvesting techniques have been set aside or totally forgotten.