There are large areas in different parts of the world, where land use is constrained not by a real lack of precipitation- but rather by its highly uneven distribution around the year. Under such conditions the efficient utilization of available precipitation is of particular importance for sound natural resource management.
The use of simple, inexpensive structures for rainwater collection and storage at community level or in the open landscape offers an excellent way to bridge the gap between periods of water abundance and scarcity. By providing crucial irrigation water during the dry season, rainwater harvesting can support in semi arid areas both: kitchen garden management as well as the restoration and more productive use of rain-fed areas at varying distance from the next settlements.
Rainwater harvesting forms furthermore an important element for climate change adaptation in regions that are likely to be affected by decreasing precipitation and increasing temperatures.