International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
St Thomas, Virgin
Islands - June, 1984
Rainwater Cisterns in
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
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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