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

Section 4: Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture

Paper 4.27

Catchment Surface Study at Zhangjiakou City, China

Zhong-Ke Wang, Shu-Fang Wang, Qiangguo Cai, K.F. Andrew Lo
Bureau of Water Resources
Zhangjiakou City
Hebei Province


Zhangjiakou City is located in the northwestern part of Hebei Province. Precipitation is low (about 400 mm per year). Since surface and groundwater resources are often unavailable, droughts are a common occurrence. One solution to this water shortage problem is to make use of rainwater harvesting technologies. Since catchments are vital to obtain adequate volumes of rainfall runoff in rainwater harvesting systems, the objective of this study, therefore, is to initiate a pilot study to determine the best catchment surface for collecting the most runoff water and to demonstrate to local farmers the beneficial effects of rainwater harvesting to increase crop productivity.

Experimental design consists of 12 small field plots (2 x 5 m), with 7 ground surface treatments, namely concrete-cover, asphalt-felt, plastic-film, silicon-spray, compact-soil, waterproof-chemical-mix, and bare. Observation results from the past 2 rainy seasons (1999-2000) indicate that among all treatments, plastic-film, asphalt-felt, and silicon-spray surfaces produce more surface runoff than all other surfaces. Plastic-film is the best, followed by asphalt-felt and silicon-spray surfaces. Comparing the material plus labor cost, concrete-cover surfaces is the most expensive treatment averaging 16.9 yuan (US$ 0.125) per m2, followed by asphalt-felt (5.5 yuan), silicon-spray (5.0 yuan), waterproof-chemical-mix (5.2 yuan), plastic-film (2.5 yuan) and compact-soil (2.0 yuan). Accordingly, plastic-film is the best and most cost-effective material for treating the catchment surfaces. However, routine maintenance and replacement is necessary to achieve maximal and efficient runoff collection.

PDF of full document (1pp, 7kb)

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