International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
USA - June 1982
1: History Of Cisterns
Rain Water Cistern Systems
for the Himalayan Region
Gupta & Vidya Sagar Katiyar
Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, India
The Himalaya receives very heavy to heavy rainfall during the monsoon months
of July to September. The annual rainfall varies from 900 to more than 2 000 mm
in the western Himalaya, and even more in the eastern Himalaya of Assam, the location
of Chirapunji, which means "always raining". During the monsoon months,
the region receives more than 80% of the total rainfall.
Most of the rainfall is lost as runoff into streams and rivers and causes problems
of flooding in the lower reaches of the rivers. Acute scarcity of potable water
is experienced in the region. Rural women are the worst sufferers because they
have to walk long distances to fetch drinking water from far-off streams and springs.
Due to heavy deforestation in the catchment areas, perennial springs supplying
potable water have dried. Rainwater cistern systems could easily meet drinking
water requirements in many areas, while in others, water could be harvested for
livestock and life-saving protective irrigation.
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