In this study, the performance of rainwater harvesting (RWH) was assessed in terms of potential applicability for rainwater saving and non-potable water supply. Rainwater collecting from roofs of buildings was simulated in two cities with cold and semi-arid climate, namely Qazvin and Sanandaj. Rainfall statistics, information on the storage tank size, building roof areas and water demand (non-potable) were obtained. Buildings with roof areas of 100 m2 to 300 m2 were considered for the present study. It can be concluded that for cities located in cold and semi-arid climates, at least 60% of non-potable water can be supplied from roofs with a large area, a minimum 16% and maximum 70% for a low roof area, a minimum 8% and maximum 44% of the days per year from harvested rainwater. It is also found that for cities located in cold and semi-arid climates, it is possible to achieve at least 70% of non-potable water from large surface roofs. For the studied cities, with increasing tank size (1,000 to 5,000 L) rainwater saving was tangible for the same roof areas.

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