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In spite of increasing support for rainwater harvesting by public agencies, environmental organizations and well-defined industry guidelines, the researchers found a strikingly limited number of municipalities with formal rainwater harvesting policies and programs. With literature on rainwater harvesting limited to mostly instructional material, the researchers were compelled to examine the feasibility of rainwater harvesting guidelines and practices. International and domestic rainwater harvesting guidelines were considered. The researchers surveyed municipalities which have implemented rainwater harvesting policies and ordinances to determine the extent to which industry prescribed guidelines are feasible. The subject jurisdictions commonly regulated rainwater harvesting through ancillary city codes or programs though one enacted a stand-alone rainwater harvesting ordinance. The respondents evaluated system performance primarily through water conservation. The jurisdictions studied also concurred that identification of acceptable end-uses of rainwater and public education were the most feasible industry guidelines. System costs were identified as the main barrier to implementing rainwater harvesting. Economic subsidies and comprehensive planning policies were associated with program success.


Urban and Regional Studies

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Journal of Sustainable Development



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.