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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 2: Rainwater Catchment in Humid and Arid Regions

Paper 2.1

Potential of Rainwater Cistern Systems for Bluefields, Nicaragua

Don H. Waller, E. Armijos-Luna, R.S. Scott
Centre for Water Resources Studies
Dalhousie University


Bluefields, located on the east coast of Nicaragua, has a current population of approximately 38,000, which is expected to increase by the year 2024 to approximately 96,000.

There are currently 5,340 dwellings and 249 other buildings in Bluefields; these numbers are estimated to increase to 18,900 dwellings and 630 other buildings by 2024.

Current water sources are:

  • an unreliable public supply that serves about 7 percent (about 2,700 persons) of the population 
  • shallow wells, of limited capacity and uncertain quality, that serve most of the population outside of the downtown core 
  • private water vendors, who provide in the downtown core a drinking water supply that is considered to be reliable in terms of quantity and quality, but very expensive 
  • collected rain water, which is used for cleaning and laundry by an estimated 20 percent of the population (about 7,600 persons), but only a small percentage of this use (in larger dwellings, schools, hotels) is in buildings that have gutters and rainwater storage.

There are no known examples of use of rainwater as a potable supply in Bluefields.

PDF of full document (4pp, 77kb)

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