International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
Rainwater: Quality Issues
on the Harvested Rainwater Quality in Rural Areas of Southern Nigeria
Peter Andrew Ani and L.O. Mberede
"Mirindu" Enugu Catholic Diocesan Water Programme
Nigeria, email: email@example.com
Water is life is an old axiom. The level of availability
of potable water could serve as a yardstick for measuring the quality
of life especially in developing countries.
Nigeria has a total landmass of 923,768 sq km. About half
of the country is underlain by basement rocks, which comprise of metasediments,
granite gress, quartzite granite etc. Whereas the other half is underlain
by sedimentary rocks comprising of shale, sands, silt, clay limestone,
The country is endowed with an estimated 267,000 million
cubic meters of surface water, and about 52 million cubic metres per year
of groundwater potential. These vast potential notwithstanding only 30%
of the rural populace, 35% of semi urban and 50% of the nations urban
dwellers are served with potable water. The outstanding water supply gap
is augmented through other means including rainwater harvesting.
Annual precipitation varies from less than 500mm per annum
in the arid north to about 3000mm per annum in the humid south. Evaportranspiration
is less than annual precipitation in the South but there is more annual
precipitation in the arid north. The rainy season spans May to October
in the north but April to November in the south.
Rainwater harvesting is a practice as old as the emergence
of man on earth. Initially, the quest was more for quantity rather than
quality. As development progressed, the quality of the available water
became addressed. Catchments system ranged from thatched roofs, earthen
pots, cut calabashes, corrugated iron sheets, household cisterns, communal
ponds to use of discarded burrows pits and earth dams. The quality of
rainwater harvested from these catchments systems vary significantly.
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