The project will be used to recharge local aquifers and provide clean drinking water.
Pakistan’s first urban rainwater harvesting system has been installed in the capital city Islamabad, the Daily Times reports.
The collection tanks at the Faisal Mosque complex were funded by the city’s Capital Development Authority, and will provide clean drinking water while recharging the local water table for the city’s nearly 1 million residents.
Known as the Pilot Rainwater Harvesting Project, the initiative was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and the Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources.
The CDA hopes to increase the number of rainwater harvesting systems in the capital. Meanwhile Islamabad’s building code has been amended to include design specifications for buildings with a footprint that is greater than 400 square yards, according to a press release from CDA chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi.
Rainwater harvesting projects are already in use in the eastern Thar and Cholistan deserts along the Indian border. Few rivers flow year-round in these areas, requiring residents to store water from the rainy season for use during the dry months.
One project in the Sindh Province coordinated by the Thardeep Rural Development Program, a local NGO, uses several methods to collect rainwater.
“At the moment, we have three types of projects, which include rain water harvesting at household levels, also known as cisterns or tankas,” Jhuman Lalchandani, the project manager, told IRIN.
“At hamlet level, ponds are used for saving water for the community, and at the village level we have delay action dams. Also, in low-lying areas, flood protection walls not only save houses from getting flooded but also allow for water to pool up and be used for other purposes,” Lalchandani said.
Across the border, rainwater harvesting in India is increasingly popular. In 18 of the country’s 28 states it is mandatory to include collection systems in new buildings. Cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore are using the small-scale technology to endure water shortages.