Enrique Lomnitz
2013, Mexico
Rainwater collection system for low resource in urban areas

Harvesting rainwater is the solution proposed by the innovator Enrique Lomnitz to ensure the availability of water for daily use in cities. In Mexico City, water comes primarily from aquifers and the Lerma - Cutzamala system; both sources are overexploited, availability is intermittent and the network loses 30% due to leakage. Although Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world, is running out of water, there are no projects involving  the collection of rainwater to meet the demands areas where resources are scarce.

The Urban Island project, founded by Enrique in 2009, makes it possible for families with low water availability to be self-sufficient, while also offering an alternative to reduce the pressure on these two main supply sources, which are becoming increasingly degraded.

The proposal is based on an easily installed technology; the Tlaloque, is designed to adapt to the existing structure of Mexican homes and collect rainwater, filtering out the initial rainfall, which is the most polluted. More than 1,200 Mexican households are already benefiting from this simple yet innovative technology which, if deployed on a large scale, could provide 50% of the water supply to the entire city.

Enrique Lomnitz has been recognized for his urban island project on numerous occasions, such as the UN Best Practices Water Category in 2011, or the Genera-Pase Usted incubator scholarship in 2010, and is a member of several national and international associations. Furthermore, through the company Rain Solution of which he is a partner and founder, he has taken this rainwater harvesting system to buildings of particular architectural and cultural value, schools and businesses.