International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
USA - June 1982
5: Current And Future Practices
Cistern Systems: The
Ingham & Charles Franklyn Kleine
Department of Water Resources, State of California, USA
The California drought of 1976-1977 focused attention on the limits of conventional
water supplies at the state and the local levels. Most of the rainfall occurs
in the northern. portion of the State, whereas the principal metropolitan developments
are in Southern California. To provide water supply for these developments and
for agriculture, largely in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California, the
State Water Project (SWP) was developed to collect water in reservoirs in Northern
California, and to transport this water to Southern California using pumping plants
and over 64.36 x 104 m (400 miles) of aqueduct. The system is currently supplying
about 60% of its contracted entitlements. As originally planned, the ultimate
development of the system would require construction of new reservoirs and canals
beyond those now constructed. In many developed areas of the state, natural surface
and groundwater sources are fully developed. The 1976-1977 drought reinforced
California's recognition that her water resources were limited; this; coupled
with increasing energy costs for pumping water to major urban areas and political
and environmental changes occurring in the last 10 years, encouraged the development
of statewide programs to expand existing conventional supplies by reclaiming municipal
waste waters and to promote conservation practices fox both urban and agricultural
water users. Sometimes these programs involved the investigation into the potential
for innovative development of water supplies, such as coastal fog recovery and
cistern technology. California's program to develop cistern systems is unique.
In this paper will be discussed the background, elements, and benefits of cistern
technology and California's program encouraging the development of these systems.
It is hoped that this program will serve as a model fox other states when they
plan their overall water development programs.
The technical discussion presented in this paper will address the State's residential
usage of water, the advantages of grey water as an alternative supply of landscape
irrigation water, and the typical elements of cistern systems used in California.
Attention will then be directed to reviewing the regulations and management of
cistern systems; California's tax incentive program for developing residential
cistern water supplies; and a program for implementing demonstration cisterns
for planners, engineers, health officials, and the general public. The paper will
close with a presentation of cistern benefits to the individual region and the
state; and hence, governments' responsibility to encourage this worthwhile technology.
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