Rainwater harvesting is an effective alternative practice, particularly within urban regions, during periods of water scarcity and dry weather. The collected water is mostly utilized for non-potable household purposes and irrigation. However, due to the increase in atmospheric pollutants, the quality of rainwater has gradually decreased. This atmospheric pollution can damage the climate, natural resources, biodiversity, and human health. In this study, the characteristics and physicochemical properties of rainfall were assessed using a qualitative approach. The three-year (2017-2019) data on rainfall in Peninsular Malaysia were analysed via multivariate techniques. The physicochemical properties of the rainfall yielded six significant factors, which encompassed 61.39% of the total variance as a result of industrialization, agriculture, transportation, and marine factors. The purity of rainfall index (PRI) was developed based on subjective factor scores of the six factors within three categories: good, moderate, and bad. Of the 23 variables measured, 17 were found to be the most significant, based on the classification matrix of 98.04%. Overall, three different groups of similarities that reflected the physicochemical characteristics were discovered among the rain gauge stations: cluster 1 (good PRI), cluster 2 (moderate PRI), and cluster 3 (bad PRI). These findings indicate that rainwater in Peninsular Malaysia was suitable for non-potable purposes.

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