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

Section 5: Current And Future Practices

Page 294

Rural Rainwater Cistern Design in Indonesia

Yayasan Dian Desa, Indonesia


Water is difficult to obtain in some areas, such as the region of Gunung Kidul, which is located to the southeast of Yogyakart in Java. The main source of water in this area is rainfall. During the dry season, villagers spend much time and labor fetching water over great distances for domestic use.

In Yogyakarta, several ponds serve as catchment basins for rainfall that accumulates during the rainy season. This water is used for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing and also for livestock watering. Some of these ponds, which dry up during the dry season, are several kilometres away from the people who use them. Under such conditions, it is common for local inhabitants to search for water several kilometres from their homes.

In the Gunung Kidul region, the water table is quite deep – up to 160 m (525 ft), thus making it difficult to hand dig wells o exploit the groundwater. And because of poor economic conditions, local people traditionally catch rain water in jugs as it flows from the roof.

It is especially true that Indonesians living in villages place great importance on the joy and value of working together. This belief in solidarity is quite widespread for, within the activities of day-to-day living, there is constant contact and cooperation between neighbors. From this point of view, we believe that there is much to gain if a rural program for constructing rainwater cisterns of ferrocement and bamboo cement is encouraged especially in developing countries.

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