International Rainwater Cistern Systems Conference
Khon Kaen, Thailand
- January, 1987
Section A: History
Rain Water Cisterns in Israel's Negev Desert Past and
Tahal Consulting Engineers
The paper deals with water harvesting and management over
the ages in a country (Israel) of which sixty percent of its area has less than
250 mm of rainfall a year.
Archeological research and the Bible give ample evidence
that during the" Stone Age 5000 BC and the Bronze Age (2000 BC), this
desert was relatively well populated.
During and after the rains (which may fall on less' than 10
days a year) there is occasionally runoff. The inhabitants learned to control,
increase and store these floods and become "run-off" farmers or water
Storage was in underground cisterns excavated in soft
impermeable chalk formations with volumes of up to 300 cubic meters - enough
for 10 families and their flock for a whole year.
Groundwater aquifers form the "modern cistern" in
the desert areas. These are being refilled by construction of retention dams
and the release and controlled infiltration of the stored flood water into the
PDF of full document (17pp, 480kb)
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