South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET)
The remarkable journey of the South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET) has been fueled by the dedicated efforts of the Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum (LRWHF). LRWHF has successfully pioneered the establishment and growth of SARNET across South Asia. The inception of the South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET) can be traced back to the growing interest and recognition of rainwater harvesting’s significance within the South Asian region.
Regional Cooperation: Advancing Rainwater Harvesting in South Asia.
the Government of Sri Lanka hosted a pivotal Regional Forum on Rainwater Harvesting in Kandy in September 2006. This forum brought together water ministers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), professionals, and local practitioners. The outcome was a Ministerial Declaration that highlighted the urgent need to establish a Secretariat for rainwater harvesting in the South Asian region. This Secretariat aimed to sustain interest, foster collaboration, and enhance coordination within the region. Sri Lanka was chosen to host the initial Secretariat following the Forum. Subsequently, the 15th SAARC summit in Colombo in 2008 further emphasized the necessity of initiating capacity building and research on rainwater harvesting to address the water scarcity in the region.
A Regional Conference on rainwater harvesting was convened in Kathmandu, Nepal from June 28th to 30th, 2009. Hosted by the government of Nepal, this conference reinforced the importance of regional collaboration and coordination and advocated for the establishment of a regional center and secretariat. Progress on this matter was presented to the SAARC ministers by the Minister for Water Supply & Drainage, Sri Lanka, during their visit to Sri Lanka in April 2011 for the Fourth South Asia Regional Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN IV).
Further steps were taken to strengthen rainwater harvesting efforts through the International Conference on Water Security through Rainwater Harvesting held in Colombo from November 27th to 29th, 2018. Organized by the Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) in partnership with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Ministry of Town Planning and Water Supply, this event reiterated the necessity of advancing regional networking and policies related to rainwater harvesting practices.
SARNET: Uniting South Asia for Rainwater Harvesting Excellence
In mid-2019, LRWHF, supported by USAID and the International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (IRCSA), embarked on the establishment of the South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET). This Regional Network Centre was established within the premises of LRWHF in Colombo. The overarching vision of SARNET is Leading the South Asian region to build an effective network on rainwater harvesting and generate evidence of best practices in the region. Its mission is to develop a strong network of connections with individuals, governing bodies, organizations and institutions specialized in rainwater harvesting within the South Asian region, while functioning as a repository of information, knowledge, experience and technology on rainwater harvesting to promote best practices in rainwater harvesting in the region.
SARNET’s objectives encompass acting as a repository of information and experience on rainwater harvesting, fostering connections with organizations and experts in the South Asia Region, strengthening a regional rainwater network, supporting advocacy efforts toward governments and donor agencies, and promoting community-based water management programs rooted in rainwater harvesting.
Today, SARNET stands as a testament to collaboration, uniting rainwater harvesting enthusiasts, activists, and practitioners from South Asia and beyond. With over 172 members and growing as of August 2023, SARNET’s reach extends to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, as well as nations such as Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Sri Lanka. These members encompass organizations and individuals with specialized knowledge in rainwater harvesting and those who actively implement rainwater harvesting practices in their initiatives.
SARNET is active in organizing workshops, conferences, webinars, and events centered around rainwater harvesting, water conservation, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene). Notably, the successful conferences titled “Looming Water Crisis and Climate Change in South Asia: Rainwater Harvesting as an Adaptation Strategy” held from September 14th to 16th, 2021, and the SARNET 2nd International Conference titled “Rainwater Harvesting: A Sustainable solution for climate change resilience and achieving SDGs ” concluded on May 18th, 2023, have played a pivotal role in advocating for rainwater harvesting’s importance. With a keen focus on water-related issues in the South Asian region and beyond, SARNET consistently engages in discussions on pertinent topics.
To delve into the extensive initiatives, events, and resources offered by SARNET, visit the official website at https://sarainwater.org/
Join SARNET to become an active participant in the mission to promote rainwater harvesting practices, water conservation, and sustainable water management in the South Asian region.