International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
St Thomas, Virgin
Islands - June, 1984
C: Some Cistern Cystems
Urban Water Harvesting
System, Tucson Arizona
University of Arizona, USA
A urban water harvesting system in Tucson, Arizona is described. The system
consists of a 100,000 gallon reservoir fed through a 6-inch pipe by a 4-acre urban
watershed. In addition a 3-acre watershed is connected to the pond with both a
earth lined and fibreglass reinforced asphalt channel.
The 3-acre watershed includes the acre lot on which the reservoir is located.
A gutter collects the runoff from the house on this lot and directs it into the
pond. The front driveway" is paved and directly connected to the pond so
that a high percentage of its rainfall is harvested.
The reservoir is multipurpose providing irrigation for a large (4000 sq. ft.)
garden and orchard area in addition to landscape irrigation. Also in the future
the reservoir will provide sufficient water to take care of the flushing of toilets
for a family of 8.
The reservoir also is used for the raising of fish thus providing both food
and recreation. Trout is raised in the winter and tilapia in the summer. The pond
also provides swimming, rafting and aesthetic enjoyment in an arid environment.
The cost effectiveness of the reservoir is high primarily because of the high
watershed area to capacity ratio. With a relatively high demand the reservoir
refills several times each year. Only a small percentage of the rainfall on the
watershed is utilized because of the relatively small storage capacity of the
reservoir. This percentage of utilization is estimated to be about 1.5 percent.
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