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

Section 5: Current And Future Practices

Page 317

Integrating Rain Water Cisterns with Public Water Supply Systems

Yu-Si Fok
University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA


In recent years, many metropolitan centers have experienced water shortages, due partly to droughts as well as rapid urbanization. The latter has resulted in an oversubscription of existing water supplies. As a result, moratoriums on building permits have been reported in Orange County (Los Angeles, California) and in several counties in Hawaii. Developers in these areas were denied building permits and told to develop their own water source before building permits could be issued. As a result, many developers suffered losses in time, money, and business opportunities.

Thus, it is evident that alternative water sources must be found to alleviate water shortage problems in urban areas. Rain water-cistern systems are practical alternative or supplemental water supply systems which have long been used prior to the development of public water supply systems. During the 1977 California drought, Monterey peninsula residents recycled their limited 50 gal/person/day water rations to irrigate their gardens and lawns, and utilized rain cisterns to supplement their recycled water. These emergency water management practices reportedly reduced revenues to the water supply agencies, thus creating a financial problem for the water supplier, Therefore, when a potential, alternative water supply system is contemplated, related problems discussed in this paper should be solved before the alternative is integrated into the existing water supply system.

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