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2nd International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
St Thomas, Virgin Islands - June, 1984

Section B: Cisterns Worldwide

Paper B.2

Rainwater Cisterns in Iran

Seyed M. Hassanizadeh


Rainwater stored in surface or underground cisterns is the major source of potable water in many towns and villages in arid and semi - arid regions of Iran. In this work, a comprehensive study of the practice of storing rainwater for drinking purposes in southern, eastern, and central parts of Iran is conducted. More than 80 different places are visited and around 500 cistern systems are studied. All important aspects are considered and discussed in this paper.

Hydraulics of the system, including collection. and diversion is, generally, very simple and primitive. Structurally, however, the cisterns are well constructed and have been able to resist the forces of nature for some centuries. The major drawback and deficiencies of the systems lies in sanitary problems. Such deficiencies are not only associated with layout of the system, but also with the way of operating it. Maintenance of the system requires little work and is done once every few years.

Possible ways of improvement of traditional cistern systems are studied and some simple and practical methods are suggested. In particular, the idea of gravel-filled cisterns and their adaptability to local conditions are discussed. It is argued that gravel-filled reservoirs are proper alternatives to the traditional cisterns. Finally, the future role of rainwater as a reliable source of potable water for arid and semi-arid regions of Iran is fully discussed.

PDF of full document (20pp, 340kb)

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