International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA)

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The International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance is Swiss organization based in Geneva with a UN ECOSOC status. Its mission is to provide water to everyone, anywhere and demonstrate the efficiency of rainwater. It is therefore fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (particularly Sdg 5, 6, 13, 17). Rainwater harvesting is proving to be an effective tool for adapting to climate change while providing a high-quality water supply for the most vulnerable communities. Rain, considered a nuisance and a threat, thus becomes an instrument of resilience to leverage sustainable development, particularly in countries facing water scarcity, droughts or floods.

Since 2002, IRHA completed 52 Blue Schools projects in 14 countries, enhancing considerably the life of direct 1 700 000 beneficiaries. IRHA is now scaling-up the 52 implemented Blue Schools, at regional level looking


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Geneva Rainwater WeekMonday, 21. March 2016 to Friday, 25. March 2016
Pluie de poésie projectMonday, 16. October 2017 to Sunday, 31. December 2017 Place des bastions, Geneva

Thematic expertise

Integrated Water Resources Management

IRHA offers innovative solutions to make a better use of water resources, from rooftop  to macro-catchment within the frame of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Soil & Land Management (SLM).


Water for people

  • Rural/ semi-urban water supply and sanitation
  • Urban water supply and sanitation
  • Water technologies (water supply and treatment)
  • Hygiene promotion and behavior changes
  • Operation and maintenance, monitoring (soft aspects)

Water for food

IRHA has pionneered the Blue School Programme in many countries and is now scalingupi its interventions to reach out to more beneficiaries while developing integrated water resources management projects.


Water for other uses

Buffering the water in a tank, a reservoir, within the soil, allows to improve the water table, the soil moisture, and strengthen the ecosystem.


Water for nature

IRHA is a support base partner of the Associated Programme for Flood Management (APFM) lead by The WMO organization.


Water and climate change

Climate change affects the frequency and intensity of meteorological events.

Rainwater harvesting is considered as one of the most cost-effective and efficient tool to climate change (DARA, 2010). Collecting, storing, pounding the ressource has shown to be extremely efficient to help coping with water scarcity, dry spells or excess of water (flooding).


Geographic expertise

Contact Person

Marc Sylvestre -


  • Raindrops Geneva Award

    Ever concerned with highlighting the benefits of rainwater harvesting, the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) , works to promote this vital, but underused resource. In 2007, the IRHA created the Raindrops Geneva Award, an art biannual competition, that has been an important part of our awareness raising activities ever since. Linking Development with the Arts, […]
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  • Four Blue Schools Plus in Kaski region (Nepal)

    The IRHA Blue Schools Plus programme is specially tailored for mountainous regions. It changes the entire water, hygiene and sanitation conditions in schools, but also targets the local population living in a very difficult geographical and economical context. The project took place in four schools located in the Kaski district of Nepal. They either had […]
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  • Blue Schools in the region of Kaolack, Senegal

    The project was carried out in the two schools of Kahone 1 and Fass Kahone, located in the Kahone municipality, region of Kaolack, Senegal. The general objective of this project is to create healthy conditions in two schools in Senegal, to raise children’s environmental awareness and to prepare them to face the predicted impacts of […]
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