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

Section 6: Related Topics

Page 332

The Terrace-Cistern System: New Perspectives in Soil and Water Management

Ulpio Nascimento
Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Portugal


The basic idea presented in this paper is the combination of two very old techniques- land cultivation in terraces and rainwater catchment in cisterns -to form a terrace-cistern system whose potentialities are expected to exceed that of either technique by itself.

Such a system can open new prospects for land and water management. In the case of soil management, rainwater catchment for irrigation will make possible the reclamation of waste land and/or the introduction of new crops with higher yields. And for water management, a direct benefit will be the increase in the available water resources as a result of the collection and utilization of runoff; indirect benefits include the diminishing of soil erosion, and consequently, improving the operation of reservoirs and channels.

One may ask in what circumstances the implementation of this system becomes practicable from the technical and economic points of view. To throw light on this question, the Laboratario Nacional de Engenharia Civil recently started the research project reported here and which will require further research to solve some of the problems. That such research is needed is beyond question. In some of the most recent literature on water management, Cunha et al. (1980) concluded that research is not only necessary but also urgent.

This paper is presented to the International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems to profit mainly from any criticism and comments and to hopefully elicit cooperation in the pilot studies and the work to be done.

PDF of full document (6pp, 230kb)

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