Tajoura Area


• This study intends to perform brief hydrological research to assess the potential of rainwater harvesting for the emergency water demand required to prevent COVID-19 at schools.


• The main objectives of this study are to estimate the rooftop rainwater harvesting potential, calculate daily discharge and storage tank volumes and finally to evaluate the contribution of rainwater harvesting to solve the serious water shortage issues in the targeted area.

Methodology (approach)

• The monthly rainfall data for forty years was collected from historical rainfall data from rain gauges in the study area. The number of students in each targeted school was obtained from the local education authorities. Google Earth Pro which is free and open source software that offers premium high-resolution photos has been used to digitize the roofs catchments. The total areas of the rooftops were calculated by using the ArcGIS software.

Study Results

Water is one of the most challenging current and future natural resources in Libya. It has been classified as a water scarce country, where the primary source of water is the non-renewable groundwater (>95% of the water demand). Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is one of the best practices to overcome the water scarcity. The annual rainfall data obtained from Tajura meteorological station during the period from 1957 to 1997 is made available and used to evaluate the rainwater potential that can be harvested from the rooftop of two educational buildings at Tajoura Town, east Trpoli. In times of COVID-19 pandemic, the future of education depends on the provision of water, sanitation, and hygiene services (WASH). The geospatial techniques and domains like the Google™ earth, maps and ArcGIS softwares are helping tools. They have been utilized in the present study for the identification of the study area boundary and marking it as a polygon in Google Earth Pro. GIS technique is employed for calculating the areas of rooftops and finally to assess the total potential of water that can be harvested. Based on the data obtained from Tajoura meteorological station during the period from 1957 to 1997 (forty years), Tajoura Town received an annual precipitation ranging from 534.7 mm in 1986 to 83.5 in 1996. The average annual precipitation was calculated to be of 298.6 mm. The total expected volume of water to be collected by RWH at the study area is about 558.6 m3 /year, whereas the basic quantities of water required for the two selected day schools is about 1200000 m3/year and the total Annual water demand is about 3600000 m3/year. The implementation of rainwater harvesting system at the targeted day schools can save clean water usage upto 16% of the total water demand and 47% of the basic water demand.


Libya is one of the countries around the world that are under severe water stress. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is one of the best practices to overcome the water scarcity; it involves collection and storage of rainwater locally through different technologies, for future use. The geospatial techniques and domains like the Google™ earth maps and software’s like ArcGIS are helping tools in the works where the entities of varied characteristics and tedious field works are involved. It is evident that from table 4 that the amount of water that can be harvested from the rooftops of both selected educational buildings is sufficient to overcome water scarcity in the study area. The total quantity of rainwater can be collected in the targeted schools is around 558,600 liters per year. For the estimated domestic demands (3,600,000 liters) the water harvested will provide a considerable contribution to the water demand, i.e. rainwater harvesting is the best alternative to address ever-growing water demand issues and concerns in the Tajoura area where all the buildings are of concrete roofs that have maximum collection efficiency (Table 3). It can be concluded from above findings that rainwater, if conserved and utilized using the rainwater harvesting technology, an important potential can be served and the percentages ranging from 16% of the total water demand to 47% of the basic water demand. Despite the rainfall in the study area occurs seasonally, no large storage capacity is required to hold enough water collected during rain events because it coincides with the school days. A planned approach is needed in order to fully utilize the potential of rainwater to adequately meet our water requirements. Hence, developing and encouraging the water harvesting systems is very needful. We have to catch water in every possible way and every possible place it falls.


As this study related to a problem or system that is of continuing interest and significance to society, we recommend the followings:
• Future work should be directed towards more researches to cover the entire coastal areas of Libya.
• It is recommended to collect recent rainfall data to update this study in order to include the impacts of climate changes.
• Implementation of pilot projects in the selected schools is also recommended in order to verify the practical results of this study.

Lessons learned

• This study intends to perform brief hydrological research to assess the potential of rainwater harvesting for the emergency water demand required at schools.


• WHO (World Health Organization), 2009, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Standards for Schools in Low-cost Settings, ed.: John Adams, Jamie Bartram, Yves Chartier, Jackie Sims.
• GWA (General Water Authority), 2010, Unpublished report.
• UNICEF & WHO, 2020, progress on drinking water,sanitation and hygiene in schools, Special focus on COVID-19.
• Municipality of Tajoura,2020,
• Kalmuthu.A, 2016, Practical guide on rooftop rainwater harvesting, WASH institute, 15 P.
• AFDB, 2008, Rainwater Harvesting Handbook Assessment of Best Practises and Experience in Water Harvesting, African Development Bank.
• Pradeep K. Naik, 2008, Rainwater Harvesting Practices, The Institution of Engineers (India), NLC / UNESCO.
• Tajoura Meteorological station , Unpublished reports.
• Gould, J. and Nissen-Petersen, E. (1999). Rainwater Catchment Systems for Domestic
• Supply: Design, Construction and Implementation. ITDG Publishing, Rugby, U


Federation of Arab Scientific Research Council Award for the best Scientific Research in the field of Water Harvest (2020).