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From this perspective, there is a need to better control in the hydrological cycle in cities, hence the current model of water and sanitation urban services need to undergo changes .The water industry has been seeking for alternatives for the sustainable planning of services provided [14,16,17].This article presents a literature review on rainwater usage in buildings in Brazil.
Worldwide, the average water leakage is 35%, and in Brazil it is close to 40% .
According to the Brazilian Diagnosis of Water and Sewage Services of 2015, the national average water leakage is 36.7% , i.e., in addition to wasting potable water, this index represents a high waste of energy in urban distribution services.
The literature review was based on a strategy that defined the main subject through the site to be investigated (buildings), the intervention made (the rainwater usage), and the expected result (the influence of intervention on the consumption of water).
Through this strategy, the key question to be investigated was: “What is the potential for potable water savings through the installation of rainwater harvesting systems in buildings? First, a portfolio of studies related to rainwater use system was obtained from CAPES (an agency of the Brazilian government for postgraduate studies), which keeps a website with doctorate’s theses and master’s dissertations published in Brazil, covering a period of ten years (2007–2017).
Even though there are records of rainwater harvesting over thousands of years , new technologies for rainwater harvesting systems in buildings have been subject of research in many countries in the lasts decades.
One of the main reasons for the adoption of rainwater harvesting systems in buildings is the potential for potable water saving by using rainwater for non-potable water.
The protocols were defined as the site to be investigated (buildings), the intervention (rainwater harvesting), and the expected result (influence on the potable water consumption).
Despite the variation of water availability in the country, it was concluded that there is a high potential for potable water savings when using rainwater in buildings in Brazil.
The evolution of public policies on rainwater is also assessed.
Thus, this paper presents the state of the art on rainwater harvesting and how it has evolved in Brazil, trends, future perspectives, and a comparison to studies developed worldwide.