The Ministry of Energy and Water launches the “National Guideline for Rainwater Harvesting Systems”

Mar 23, 2018

Under the patronage of the Minister of Energy and Water, H.E Mr. César Abi Khalil, and the presence of Mr. Edgar Shehab, Assistant of the UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, and in the President of the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut, Mr. Jad Tabet, a conference was held on 23 March 2018 at the Order of Engineers and Architects, Beirut, to commemorate World Water Day which is celebrated annually on March 22nd.

The event kicked off with the official speeches from the President of the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut, the UNDP’s Resident Representative’s Assistant, and the Representative of the Minister of Energy and Water.

On this occasion, the Ministry of Energy and Water launched a report entitled “National Guideline for Rainwater Harvesting Systems” which is a part of the “National Sector Strategy”. The guideline aims to improve water governance in Lebanon as a means of preserving the country’s water resources and contributing to the UN 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly Goal number 6 which commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030.

Ms. Suzy Howayek, on behalf of His Excellency Minister César Abi Khalil stated that Rainwater harvesting is a technique which will be included in the updated National water strategy.

Howayek added that rainwater harvesting is essential in a country like Lebanon where 70% of the population lives in urban areas. Urbanized lands do not allow infiltration of water to the soil, thus the importance of collecting every drop of water from these vast impermeable inhabited lands.

Howayek stressed that it is important to work on building codes and with urban planning authorities to make rainwater harvesting a must in the design of all new buildings.

This report, prepared by the UNDP in partnership with the Ministry, is a result of a technical study provides engineering guideline needed to design and construct rainwater collection systems that can then be used to supply water in houses, building and other infrastructure.  Rainwater harvesting is a simple and low-cost supply technology that has been practiced in Lebanon for hundreds of years. In modern times, it has received little or no attention despite its high potential in contributing to the improvement of water conditions in the country.

Mr. Edgar Shehab, on behalf of UNDP Resident Representative in Lebanon Mr. Philippe Lazarini, mentioned that Since World Water Day 2018 is under the theme “Nature for Water”, we are happy to launch today a report prepared by UNDP with the Ministry entitled the “National Guideline for Rainwater Harvesting Systems”.

The concept of the rainwater harvesting is not new: this low-cost technology has been practiced in Lebanon for hundreds of years, but in modern days its adoption has been static. In the present scenario, due to the inability of water infrastructure to meet the growing demand, it is crucial to start using such practices again

 The President of the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut Mr. Jad Tabet stated that the topic of water resources and its management has become a central issue in the era of climate change. This issue is of utmost importance in the “reservoir of water in the Middle East”, Lebanon. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a strategy to better exploit and manage this resource.

The concept of rainwater harvesting is not new: low-cost technology has been applied in Lebanon for hundreds of years, but in recent days its adoption has been constant. In the current scenario, because water infrastructure is unable to meet growing demand, it is necessary to start using such practices again.

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