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Making Rainwater Harvesting a Key Solution for Water Management: The Universality of the Kilimanjaro Concept

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College of International Languages and Cultures of Hohai University, Fo Cheng Xi Road 8, Nanjing 211100, China
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Department of Humanities, Governance, and Leadership, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha P.O. Box 447, Tanzania
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Department of Water Resources and Irrigation Engineering, Water Institute, Dar es Salaam P.O. Box 35059, Tanzania
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Biosystems and Environmental Engineering Research Group, Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare P.O. Box MP167, Zimbabwe
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School of Earth Science and Engineering, Hohai University, Fo Cheng Xi Road 8, Nanjing 211100, China
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Department of Applied Geology, Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstraße 3, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5606; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205606
Received: 8 August 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 2 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
Rainwater is conventionally perceived as an alternative drinking water source, mostly needed to meet water demand under particular circumstances, including under semi-arid conditions and on small islands. More recently, rainwater has been identified as a potential source of clean drinking water in cases where groundwater sources contain high concentrations of toxic geogenic contaminants. Specifically, this approach motivated the introduction of the Kilimanjaro Concept (KC) to supply fluoride-free water to the population of the East African Rift Valley (EARV). Clean harvested rainwater can either be used directly as a source of drinking water or blended with polluted natural water to meet drinking water guidelines. Current efforts towards the implementation of the KC in the EARV are demonstrating that harvesting rainwater is a potential universal solution to cover ever-increasing water demands while limiting adverse environmental impacts such as groundwater depletion and flooding. Indeed, all surface and subsurface water resources are replenished by precipitation (dew, hail, rain, and snow), with rainfall being the main source and major component of the hydrological cycle. Thus, rainwater harvesting systems entailing carefully harvesting, storing, and transporting rainwater are suitable solutions for water supply as long as rain falls on earth. Besides its direct use, rainwater can be infiltrating into the subsurface when and where it falls, thereby increasing aquifer recharge while minimizing soil erosion and limiting floods. The present paper presents an extension of the original KC by incorporating Chinese experience to demonstrate the universal applicability of the KC for water management, including the provision of clean water for decentralized communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water; rainwater harvesting; recharge pits; recharge ponds; stormwater management drinking water; rainwater harvesting; recharge pits; recharge ponds; stormwater management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Qi, Q.; Marwa, J.; Mwamila, T.B.; Gwenzi, W.; Noubactep, C. Making Rainwater Harvesting a Key Solution for Water Management: The Universality of the Kilimanjaro Concept. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5606.

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