MANY AREAS in Pakistan are currently facing acute water shortage. Groundwater withdrawal is exceeding while recharge water table in major cities is decreasing. Population increase is another major reason for increased water demand. In the wake of continuing water scarcity in Pakistan, there is a high demand for communities to conserve water and search for alternative solutions for water shortage. Water conservation not only saves water but also reduces energy use and capital/operational cost, bring economic stability and growth, enhance protection of the environment, and foster sustainability. Rainwater harvesting is an old technique to harvest water. This not only commits water but also plays an important role in socio-economic development of communities. In many areas of Pakistan, public water supply to communities apparently provides a shortfall in demand. Conjugated with the increasing level of poverty, particularly in rural and semi-urban communities, rainwater harvesting gives a natural substitute that has widely solved water supply problems of dwellers of rural, semi-urban, urban, and mountain area communities. Although Pakistan runs the worlds largest contiguous gravity flow irrigation system, but most of the mountain areas are still largely rain fed. Small stranded communities in the mountain areas use several unique techniques to put in rainwater for domestic as well as agricultural uses such as rod kohi system in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK); sailaba and khushkaba systems in Balochistan have been evolved over time. There are certain approaches applied for rainwater harvesting for domestic needs like; collection of rainwater in large reservoirs / ponds inside or adjacent to the localities, or people using household techniques to harvest and store water. It is needed to replicate these indigenous practices at a broader scale, but due to non-availability of information about domestic knowledge and practices it is becoming a major problem to copy these techniques in other areas of the country. Despite the importance, a very little importance is given to popularize rainwater harvesting technique. The technology applied for rain fed farming is very simple and cheap, which can be adopted easily. There is dire need to bridge the knowledge gap and develop modern technique in communities living in arid, semi-arid, and especially in mountain areas.
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