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Rooftop rainwater harvesting for sustainable water usage in residential buildings for climate resilient city building: case study of Rajshahi, Bangladesh

Muhammad Waresul Hassan Nipun (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, Rajshahi, Bangladesh)
Md Ashik-Ur-Rahman (Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh)
Sharmin Yousuf Rikta (Department of Environmental Sciences, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Afshana Parven (Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand and Department of Fisheries and Marine Science, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali, Bangladesh)
Indrajit Pal (Department of Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management (DPMM), Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 2 June 2022

Issue publication date: 10 January 2024




The effects of population growth in the developing world and climate change have increased the stress on available water resources. The majority of Rajshahi city, Bangladesh, is facilitated with groundwater withdrawal. As Bangladesh is a country of monsoon climate, reserved rainwater can be contributed as an alternative to extracted groundwater. This study aims to develop a framework for rooftop rainwater harvesting (RRWH) for domestic purposes and estimate the appropriate size of the storage tanks and their costs required to fulfill the annual drinking and cooking water demands through RRWH in Rajshahi city of Bangladesh.


A total of 100 single-story residential dwellings with varying rooftop areas were surveyed for the projection of RRWH potential. The relationship between the size and cost of a water tank and the rooftop areas of different houses is expressed using a general mathematical equation. Cost estimates for the proposed RRWH system for all houses have been completed, and a cost model illustrating the relationship between rooftop or catchment area and associated cost of RRWH system has been developed.


This study reveals that a maximum of 110.75 m3/year rainwater can be collected from a 100 m2 rooftop area of Rajshahi city. Moreover, this study finds that such harvesting of rainwater can reduce municipal water supply to the extent of almost 75%. Water samples collected from rooftops also revealed that if germs were removed through bacteria treatment, the collected rainwater potentially can be used for drinking and cooking purposes.


The novelty of this study is that it focused mainly on how significant RRWH can be to meet people’s daily required amount of water for household purpose and ascertain the cost reduction using the RWH method. This paper also is unique as it assessed the volume of the storage tank that is sufficient to distribute the necessary amount of water for drinking and cooking purpose as a sustainable alternative source in the dry season.



The authors highly appreciate the respondents who participated in the survey amidst the pandemic situation. The authors are also thankful to Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Rajshahi Station for providing the rainfall record, Rajshahi Water and Sewerage Authority and Rajshahi Development Authority for data and report archives. There is no competing interest among the authors.


Nipun, M.W.H., Ashik-Ur-Rahman, M., Rikta, S.Y., Parven, A. and Pal, I. (2024), "Rooftop rainwater harvesting for sustainable water usage in residential buildings for climate resilient city building: case study of Rajshahi, Bangladesh", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 80-100.



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