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International Rainwater Catchment Systems Experiences Towards Water Security

Smart rainwater management and its impact on drought resilience of rural semi-arid communities: a case study from northeastern Brazil.
This article by Johann Gnadlinger is chapter 16 of the book "International Experiences with Rainwater Collection Systems: Towards Water Security", edited by José Arturo Gleason Espíndola, César Augusto Casiano Flores and Raul Pacheco-Vega and Margarita Rosa Pacheco Montes. International Water Association Publishing, New York 2020. 
The article focuses on current practices, political and institutional aspects of rainwater use and management in semi-arid Brazil. First, a brief description of the history of the so-called drought-affected region in northeastern Brazil is given. In the present, however, the perception is changing to a positive view as a region with many possibilities, if it is possible to live in harmony with the semi-arid climate. Therefore, some successful experiences are presented: How rural communities survived during the severe drought of 2012-2017, using rainwater harvesting technologies for the household, agriculture, livestock and for the environment such as cisterns, underground dams, shallow wells, methods of maintaining soil moisture and restoring the natural thorn bush vegetation. In addition, the article talks about successful programs like the “Program of One Million Cisterns” (P1MC) and “Program 1 Piece of Land and 2 Types of Water” (P1+2), as well as its national impact and international repercussion.


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