Some rainwater harvesting practices are antique in Nepal like the collection of rainwater in ponds or the unsystematic collection of rainwater in improvised containers. In recent times, groundwater recharge and rooftop rainwater collection are also gaining popularity in both rural and urban areas. Rooftop rainwater harvesting consists of collecting rainwater runoff generated from rooftops and storing it for later use. Systematic rooftop rainwater harvesting was firstly promoted in the early 1960s in a hospital of Pokhara. Other similar initiatives from DWSS and the Peace Corps date back to 1980s (Dixit, 2002). In 1996 a large Finnish supported programme built a great number of household level rainwater harvesting systems in Daugha VDC firstly and soon after, in other villages of Lumbini area.

In the hills rainwater is sometimes the unique alternative to provide safe drinking water to the rural communities. In the urban setting rainwater has also a great potential to alleviate the water scarcity scenario present in many cities. Three different types of rooftop rainwater harvesting are found in the country: community systems that serve the whole community and are managed by a users committee, institutional systems that serve a limited group of beneficiaries and are usually managed by an assigned person and household level systems that serve one family and are privately managed. This study focuses on the use of rooftop rainwater harvesting at the household level in the rural areas of Nepal.