Welcome to water4everyone.

Tag: Kenya

no need to fear the future

Speech for the Youth Environmental Summit in Japan.

Written by Jack Rose . . . Delivered by Dennis Haysbert.


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small mountains

A World Bank/United Nations Development Program report called “Learning What Works” strongly criticized mega-projects and called for small technologies and community control of water.

People in the United States drink over 2.5 billion gallons of bottled water each year, an amount equal to a single days’ rainfall on the side of one mountain in Hawaii. California has the Sierra Nevada to catch & release fresh water each year for tens of millions of Californians. But, most people don’t have a big mountain in their backyard, so I began playing with the idea of small mountains.


Everywhere in the world, the resource and the need exist side by side. By placing small mountains (rain gutters & water tanks on houses & schools) in the path of the coming rainy season, thousands receive home delivery of the best water on the planet. Instead of one big mountain, the idea is to scatter thousands and thousands of little ones over an entire continent. All these small efforts add up to the same result: billions of gallons of life-giving water.


Simple rain catching systems are set up in a day by the people who will be harvesting the water. The cost is minimal. For a while, more rain will fall than we will be able to catch, but our goal is to catch enough in each region so that everyone can enjoy, year round, the simple pleasure of a clean glass of water.

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Catching Rain in Kenya

Here are some photos of setting up rainwater harvesting systems in Kenya.

The Mua Hills north of Nairobi, Kenya.

The Mua Hills - north of Nairobi, Kenya.

In the Mua Hills, Kenya.

School campus in the Mua Hills, Kenya.

RainCatcher tanks arriving at a village in the Mua Hills, Kenya.

Water storage tanks arriving at a village in the Mua Hills, Kenya.

Peter and Jack in the Mua Hills, Kenya.

Peter and Jack in the Mua Hills, Kenya.

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the man who loves rain

Jack Rose – the man who loves rain . . .

Jack Rose, founder of RainCatcher.

Many places in the world need the water right now – it’s literally a matter of life-and-death. If we bring our simple ways to catch and store and clean rainwater to Africa, India, China, South America, Indonesia, everywhere – millions of people worldwide will benefit today by not having to suffer and die from water borne diseases.Example: Current projects include two UN Farm Schools for 700 AIDS orphans in Western Kenya.

bio: I grew up along the coast of California with a mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, in my back yard – surfing, climbing, skiing – living in a place where every year, like clockwork, moisture would float in from the Pacific, hit the Sierra, and drop an abundance of rain and snow. These same mountains would later provide the model for my current work.

If I had to give myself a job description it would be: inventor/explorer/friend.

Jack Rose Design Studio — I design interesting houses in all the hideaway places up and down California. Having grown up in a dry climate, rain falling has always been alluring for me. While living on the north shore of Kauai I began catching and drinking rain. It was the best thing I had ever tasted. A couple years later, while living on the rainy Mendocino coast, I continued catching an abundance of delicious rain. So, one day, while enjoying a glass of water-from-heaven I suddenly realized that over a billion people around the world couldn’t participate in this daily ritual that I take for granted. As a designer I gave myself the challenge to come up with a simple, cheap way for all who are chronically thirsty to receive clean, safe drinking water direct from the sky. From that day on I dedicated my life to this purpose and goal:  H2O 4 Every 1.


The value of rain received, rather than rejected, is immeasurable.

Architecture, up until now, is based on the premise that “Water is the enemy” – we must shed it and get rid of it as fast as possible. Residential, commercial, industrial and municipal architects and planners all adhere to this belief.

At the same time, modern culture has been relentless in promoting this attitude. Turn to the weather on radio or TV and we are constantly told: “It’s going to be a bad day”. . . because there’s a chance of rain. And if it isn’t a bad day here we are shown all the places where it is going to be ‘miserable’, because of rain — Boston, Pittsburgh, Des Moines, you name it.

Generations have been taught to fear nature, to loathe the rain, to complain each time the garden gets watered. None of this rings true. As children we loved the rain. When we weren’t inside playing board games and making forts we were outside discovering new lakes where bean fields used to be — building Tom Sawyer rafts and having big adventures.

A primary function of our work is to sing praise and gratitude for weather — to instigate an attitude shift from “rain is bad, let’s get rid of it” to “rain is a blessing, let’s catch it and treasure it.” When enough of us do this, countless people around the world will experience a Reversal-of-Fortune.  Water is as precious a resource as oil. Instead of tossing it aside, one day we will collect it from the roofs of every home and business structure and put it to good use.

As everyone in Africa knows,  “WATER IS LIFE”. .  . and I work every day towards this ideal: H2O 4 Every 1 . . .

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Water is Life — Malibu Times article

Malibu Times article, Water is life — published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 1:40 PM PST

Water is life

Jack Rose’s RainCatcher.org waters the world.

By Ben Marcus / Special to The Malibu Times


An Nov. 10 2006 L.A. Times story cites that dirty water is the second-leading cause of death among children globally.

An Nov. 10 2006 L.A. Times story cites that dirty water is the second-leading cause of death among children globally.

Malibu resident Jack Rose believes the next worldwide resource battle will be about water. However, if collected properly, there is more than enough water for most of the planet.

Inspired by his travels throughout the world, and for the taste of what he calls a magic elixir, rainwater, Rose is developing systems for capturing and storing rainwater that can be used by future generations of Californians and underdeveloped villages all around the world.

Rose, 58, has been developing what he calls the RainCatcher since the late ’90s, when he was inspired to capture rainwater by trips to two of the wettest places on earth: Kauai and Mendocino.

“In the late ’90s, I arrived on Kauai in the middle of an El Niño winter,” Rose said. “In a rental car wandering around the island, my first response to warm, sparkling tropical rain was to pull the car over, grab a big stainless steel soup pot from our gear and place it on the hood. I continued to catch and drink this elixir all winter. I would stand on the balcony bug-eyed with Einstein hair, raise a glass and toast this bizarre discovery.”

In the winter of 2002, Rose was living in Mendocino, which is green and lush like Kauai.

“I rigged up rain gutters on a cabin in the redwoods and caught many gallons,” Rose said. “This is all I drank for an entire winter–not from necessity, but from curiosity, passion, glee. Aside from the pure fun of catching rain, it is the best tasting substance I’ve ever ingested. Truly a chalice full of delight. One day, while holding up a glass, I realized that over a billion people on the earth can’t enjoy this simple act. What I came to take for granted was not available to many, yet, at times, India and Africa are visited by opulent monsoons, just like Kauai and Mendocino. Right there I decided to design simple ways to catch rain everywhere.”

Knowing that up to five million people around the world die from tainted water every year, Rose became possessed with the idea of capturing and storing water from the skies.

“Like the Richard Dreyfuss character in ‘Close Encounters’ making mashed potato ‘Devil’s Tower’ sculptures,” Rose said. “I began my work.”

A self-taught engineer who worked in construction for many years, Rose found the model for his system in the Golden State.

“I grew up along the coast of California with a mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, in my back yard,” Rose said. “Every year, like clockwork, moisture floats in from the Pacific, hits the Sierra, and drops an abundance of rain and snow. The mountains store precious water in the frozen state for a few months, then release it one drop at a time all throughout the long, dry season. For those billions who are chronically thirsty, all that’s missing is a means to catch and store each season’s rainfall. With the RainCatcher project I aim to bring the mountains to the people, tilting the playing field in their favor. Every possible structure can act as a mini-mountain and catch a lot of water.”

To start his project, Rose went to where the need for water was greatest. In April of 2003, he was invited to join “Water For Children Africa” in a humanitarian journey to set up water storage tanks for schools.

“While traveling through Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, I designed RainCatchers that people could cob together with local materials,” Rose said. “In the hill country, where every home grows their own food, I showed farmers how they could spread plastic up the hill, berm the sides to make a funnel and direct the next rainfall into storage tanks. I worked with a tent manufacturer in Nairobi to create RainCatcher tents that, instead of the middle rising to a peak, it sloped to a waiting tank in the center. Everywhere I visited in Africa I was greeted with, ‘Water is life, thank you for being here.’ Everyone wants clean water. They have the skill and the will, but lack the resources. I came back knowing that my job is to tell the RainCatcher story, to come up with ways to bring water tanks and filters that require no electricity or moving parts to remote villages and crowded townships throughout Africa.”

Closer to home, Rose is applying RainCatcher to Dolphin’s Run, a Malibu home that will get all its power and hot water from the sun, and most of its water from above.

“Malibu averages about 15 inches of rain,” Rose said. “The formula I use is the square footage of the roof area, divided by two, multiplied by annual rainfall equals the gallons you get for every inch of rain. This house has 5,000 square feet so that adds up to 2,500 gallons of storage a year for every inch of rain. That makes 30,000 gallons of water a year. This house will have a 10,000 gallon storage container buried in the backyard, and that will cover the need for landscaping.”

Rose’s next project is for a village called Bosiango in Western Kenya. The whole story began with an email plea from a David N. Ogachi, who told Rose of the water-borne diseases that his community, especially the women and children, were suffering from, to help install safe and clean piped water.

That began a long back and forth with Rose by e-mail, which can be read on the www.raincatcher.org Web site. Rose is hoping to bring a truckload of six RainCatcher tanks to the village, which will allow them to capture and store 8,000 gallons of water.

“Right now they are getting their water from contaminated streams,” Rose said.

Rose is putting his Miata car up for auction to raise funds for the trip as a part of the effort to install rain-catching systems in places where it’s a matter of life and death.

“This is the real ‘Survivor’,” Rose said. “So I’m thinking about the ‘Global Garage Sale’ where people here offer some of the extra stuff laying around America to be transformed into water storage tanks for Africa. A jet ski here, piano there, etc. How many boats are sitting unsailed in America’s marinas? There’s probably enough stuff here to provide clean drinking water for the entire world. The exchange rate is very good, the reward is great. I’m offering my Miata as the first example of this concept.”

More information about the RainCatcher project can be obtained by visiting the Web site, www.raincatcher.org.

Los Angeles Times article: A global clean-water shortage, November 10, 2006.

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