International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
"Rainwater Catchment for Future Generations"
Keelung, Taiwan, R.O.C. - August 1991
Lack of adequate water supply and sanitary facilities continues to pose serious
problems in many countries worldwide. Most rural communities rely solely on natural
water sources such as rivers, streams, open wells, and springs. These water sources
are, however, often contaminated or even polluted. In some countries women and
children are sent to far away places to fetch for safe drinking water. For the
past decade, ferrocement tanks and jars used to store rainwater are regaining
popularity as demands for water continue to rise at ever faster paces. Rain Water
Cistern Systems (RWCS) have been proven to be an effective alternative for urban,
as well as rural, water supplies both in developed and less developed countries.
In developed countries, rainwater may supplement public water supply; whereas
it may be the only alternative in rural areas where groundwater is unfit for human
The 1991 International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems is the fifth
in an official series which began in Hawaii, June 1982, originated by Dr. Yu-Si
Fok (the "Father" of RWCS). Coincidentally, it also marked the beginning
of the United Nations' International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade
(1981-1990). Subsequent conferences were held in Virgin Islands (June 1984), Thailand
(January 1987), and Philippines (August 1989). Each conference has attracted over
one hundred interested scientists, policy makers, planners, implementers and students.
The results are well documented, application-oriented and the published international
proceedings have been widely acclaimed by the scientific community. The International
Organizing Committee, during the 4th Conference in Philippines decided to hold
the 5th Conference in Taiwan. It was not only an honor but also an opportunity
for the scientists in Taiwan. Partly due to negligence in the past, we in Taiwan
have not been very active in conserving our water resources. This conference will
provide the necessary impetus to re-evaluate our present stance and strategies.
The Fifth Conference has the theme "Rain Water Catchment' for Future Generations".
The purpose of this conference is to bring together, scientists and end users
together and to present recent advances in rain water cistern and catchment systems,
to exchange information on strategies for improving rain water cistern and catchment
systems operation, and to provide a forum for discussions and contacts for all
people concerned. It was also designed to focus on future research needs and applications
of rain water cistern and catchment systems, as well as to assess the achievement
of rain water cistern and catchment systems in meeting the United Nations' Water
Responses to our call for papers for the Fifth Conference was overwhelming.
The organizing committee finally decided to print 70 submitted papers in one volume.
These papers report original work conducted in 32 countries. Consequently, the
papers prepared for this Conference represent an excellent review of the state-of-the-art
of rain water cistern systems research throughout the world.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all sponsors
and co-sponsors of this conference. Without whose support, this event would not
have been accomplished. We are appreciative of many authors who followed the detailed
guidelines provided for manuscript preparation exactly, were timely in submitting
their manuscripts, without their cooperation our preparation works would be unendurable.
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