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1st International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA - June 1982

Section 3: Design, Cost, And Policy

Page 194

Rain Water Collection and Utilization at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India

R.K. Sivanappan,
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India


"As free as the land, air and water" is an age-old expression, which men have used for hundreds of years to signify the things that nature has bountifully provided, as contrasted to the type of wealth that has a tangible value, usually as a result of human efforts in reworking natural elements. But today the old phrase is largely empty. It has lost most of its original significance and at present water has become such a scarce resource that it is called "Liquid Gold" in many parts of the world, especially in the Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is needless to say that man simply cannot live without water. He must have it to drink, to meet domestic needs, to raise crops and to cooperate his manufacturing industries. And the demand for water is steadily increasing as civilization becomes more and more industrialized.

The place of water in the agricultural and in the overall economy is clearly established. It is indispensable to any form of life and action. It can be man's greatest friend or one of his most destructive enemies. Under control, it performs a host of vital tasks in addition to achieving its final and supreme purpose in providing man with a resource necessary to life itself. Uncontrolled, it wreaks havoc with floods and carries our most precious top soil out to sea.

Taking all these elements into account and in looking to the future to 2000 A.D. and beyond, we must carefully plan and harness every drop of available water in the dry areas. If we should fail to act now, with intelligence and decision, we would place our children in a position of deadly peril. There are several avenues of approach and all of them must be explored and used to the fullest practicable extent. One technique among these is water harvesting.

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