Rooftop water harvesting for managed aquifer recharge and flood mitigation in tropical cities: Towards a strategy of co-benefit evaluations in João Pessoa, northeast Brazil

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Victor S.G. Baptista - , Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Author)
  • Victor Hugo R. Coelho - , Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Author)
  • Guillaume F. Bertrand - , Universidade Federal da Paraíba, University Of Franche-comté (Author)
  • Gustavo B.L. da Silva - , Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Author)
  • Nelson O.L. Caicedo - , Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Author)
  • Suzana Maria G.L. Montenegro - , Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (Author)
  • Catalin Stefan - , Chair of Waste Management and Circular Economy (Author)
  • Jana Glass - , Chair of Groundwater Systems (Author)
  • Ronjon Heim - , Adelphi Research GGmbH (Author)
  • Anika Conrad - , Adelphi Research GGmbH (Author)
  • Cristiano das N. Almeida - , Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Author)


Intense urbanisation in many coastal areas has led to intensification of groundwater consumption, while reducing permeable areas and increasing the frequency and magnitude of flooding. Among the potential strategies to compensate for these adverse effects, which are expected to become worse as a result of climate change, rooftop rainwater harvesting (RWH) in combination with managed aquifer recharge (MAR), may be indicated. This work investigated the performance of different configurations of such a system, tested as a twofold sustainable stormwater and domestic water management tool in a tropical metropole (João Pessoa, Brazil). This area located over a sedimentary aquifer system illustrates the water security challenges of densely urbanised areas in southern cities. To that end, several configurations of rooftop catchments and storage volumes were evaluated, by simulating a MAR-RWH system connected to the regional unconfined aquifer (Barreiras Formation) through a 6″ diameter injection well. Rainfall-runoff-recharge processes and water balances were simulated using monitored high-temporal resolution rainfall data. The results showed that catchments ranging from 180 to 810 m2, connected to tanks from 0.5 to 30.0 m³, are the optimal solutions in terms of efficient rainwater retention and peak flow reduction. These solutions provided mean annual estimates of aquifer recharge between 57 and 255 m³/yr from 2004 to 2019. The results of this study highlight the opportunity for MAR schemes to reconcile stormwater management and water supply goals.


Original languageEnglish
Article number118034
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number342
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2023

External IDs

PubMed 37187070
WOS 001007605500001
Mendeley 8d054406-03de-3185-b553-05d45129a896
ORCID /0000-0003-4517-8091/work/142236821


Research priority areas of TU Dresden


  • Aquifer storage and recovery, Flood control, Groundwater, Injection well, Stormwater management, Urban drainage, Water, Brazil, Cities, Floods