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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Roof-Harvested Rainwater Use in Household Agriculture: Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals

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School of Engineering, Western Sydney University, Penrith, 2751 NSW, Australia
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CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
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Soil, Water and Environmental Engineering Department, School of Biosystems and Environmental Engineering, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology, 00200 Nairobi, Kenya
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Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 3200003, Israel
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CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, 2601 ACT, Australia
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School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Penrith, 2751 NSW, Australia
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Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Penrith, 2751 NSW, Australia
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Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, 3004 VIC, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020332
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 18 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 23 January 2020
Food and water are at the heart of sustainable development. Roof-harvested rainwater kept in rainwater storage systems (RSS) and used in household agriculture (HA) has the potential to increase yields and supplement household nutrition. Combined systems may contribute to at least eight of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this paper, a daily analysis tool, ERain, is used to assess what area of vegetables can be reliably irrigated by roof-harvested rainwater. A socio-economic context is built around an orphanage in the semi-humid region of Nakuru, Kenya. Comparisons are made with the semi-arid region of East Pokot. A 225 kL closed masonry tank and a 1 ML open reservoir with an additional 8 kL/day of recycled water entering are analyzed for various roof sizes. The 225 kL RSS connected to 1000 m2 of roof and irrigating 1000 m2 could increase yields from 1850 to 4200 kg/year in Nakuru. If evaporation was controlled, the 1 mL RSS and recycled water system could support 4000 m2 of land, yielding nearly 20,000 kg/year, which is enough to meet the WHO recommended vegetable dietary requirements of the orphanage. A combination of crops, some for consumption and some for sale, could be grown. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable development goals; rainwater harvesting; rainwater storage systems; agricultural water use from harvested rainwater; household agriculture; urban agriculture; village; Kenya sustainable development goals; rainwater harvesting; rainwater storage systems; agricultural water use from harvested rainwater; household agriculture; urban agriculture; village; Kenya
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Amos, C.C.; Rahman, A.; Gathenya, J.M.; Friedler, E.; Karim, F.; Renzaho, A. Roof-Harvested Rainwater Use in Household Agriculture: Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals. Water 2020, 12, 332.

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