Policy / Systems / Technology

December 10, 2004


Subsidy Supports Use of Rainwater Tanks in Kobe

Keywords: Local government NGO / Citizen Policy / Systems Water 

Kobe City started a 3-year program for subsidizing the purchase of tanks for holding rainwater on a trial basis in 2003, and halfway through the second year it has already been deluged with applications for more units than had been planned for. The high level of citizen interest in obtaining rainwater tanks has amazed the city officers in charge of the program.

Citizen's movements in various locations promoting the use of the stored rainwater in recent years have motivated local governments and led to an increase in subsidies for rainwater tanks. The subsidy is being offered in southern part of Higashi-Nada ward in Kobe, which has a sewage system that deals with both rainwater and household waste water, and the City's aim is to prevent sharp increases in water flowing into the sewage treatment plant during heavy rains.

The 150 to 200 liter rainwater tanks cost from 30,000 to 50,000 yen, and two thirds of this cost is subsidized by the City up to a maximum of 30,000 yen. The City planned to subsidize 100 tanks per year, but in the first year it received 182 applications and granted subsidies to 124 households. Over 100 applications were already received in the first half of 2004. Of the 7,000 households eligible for the subsidy, over 3 percent will use it to equip themselves with rainwater tanks.

Higashi-Nada ward is one of the areas that suffered the greatest damage from the Great Hanshin Earthquake, for example, the collapse of overhead highways. The residents suffered great difficulties because City lifelines were broken over a long period of time. The City received numerous opinions from citizens, for example "We feel safer with rainwater stored in a tank," and "Rainwater can be used in toilets in case water mains fail," and so on. The City also received a lot of inquiries from areas other than the area earmarked for the subsidies.

Posted: 2004/12/10 09:28:30 PM
Japanese version