Desert Water Harvesting Initiative

Desert Water Harvesting Initiative

About the Desert Water Harvesting Initiative

Throughout the Western US, population growth and expanding urban areas will increase water demand even as climate changes affect supply equations.  Communities may be challenged to consistently deliver sufficient water to meet demands, obtain additional water supplies, and construct additional infrastructure, all while ensuring enough water for environmental needs and for cooling the urban environment.

Harvesting rainwater and stormwater provides a multitude of benefits, which include water savings, cost savings, reduced flood peaks, stormwater quality management, habitat enhancement, and reduction of urban heat island effects.  For many years, Tucson has been at the forefront of efforts to incorporate water harvesting into water supply and stormwater management practices. As the benefits of water harvesting are recognized, the number and diversity of individuals and agencies exploring its potential has grown, yet most of the work is performed in relative isolation with relatively little organized data and information sharing.

The Water Resources Research Center established the Desert Water Harvesting Initiative to enhance outreach and communication between utilities, practitioners of water harvesting, academics, and interested citizens.  To further this effort, the Initiative has formed the Rainwater-Stormwater Professionals Networks (RSPN) that meets semi-annually at the WRRC to keep members abreast of current and planned activities, resources, and data.  The Initiative also developed several products designed to increase the understanding and use of water harvesting, especially in the arid and semi-arid Southwest. 

Additional Resources

Desert Water Harvesting Initiative Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events listed.

Questions or comments?

Please contact Susanna Eden at or see the Acknowledgements