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

Section 5: Legal and Political Aspects of Rainwater Harvesting

Paper 5.4

Why to Promote Rainwater Catchment Systems in the Brazilian Semiarid Tropics?

Johann Gnadlinger


Actual situation of rainwater catchment in the Brazilian semiarid tropics

The 9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference held in Brazil in 1999 gave a fresh impetus to grassroots and governmental organizations to tackle water demand and supply issues more seriously. Today, as a visible result there are cistern building programs underway in many parts of the Brazilian Semiarid Tropics (BSATs). Some 20,000 new cisterns have been built in the past two years.

These initiatives converged in a big project called "One Million Cisterns for Northeastern Brazil", carried out by non-governmental organizations and mostly financed by the government. The outcome of the program, however, is still uncertain since it depends on many factors, especially the prevailing political situation. Therefore consciousness raising among the people, organizations, technicians and politicians is still necessary. This paper explains why to use rainwater catchment systems in the BSATs. These reasons are important for the political discussion in Brazil and they might be useful for other semiarid regions of the world.

The need for rainwater catchment systems in the BSATs

Learning from experiences in China, where studies using the GIS - Geographic Information Systems- method to identify potential rainwater catchment areas (Mou, 1999) were used, I will present maps of ranks of rainwater catchment demand for the BSATs, based on the two factors, rainfall and hydro-geology, and a combination of both.

PDF of full document (5pp, 29kb)

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