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3rd International Rainwater Cistern Systems Conference
Khon Kaen, Thailand - January, 1987

Section E: Technology

Paper E.3

Rural Water Supply in The South Pacific

Tony Marjoram
Technology Specialist
Institute of Rural Development
University of the South Pacific


Water supply in the island states of the South Pacific is a particular problem. The islands are generally very small, with limited and often non-existent surface water resources. Only the larger volcanic island's have rivers or streams and reasonably consistent rainfall. The smallest coralline islands and atolls are forced to rely on even more limited supplies of groundwater, usually as a freshwater lens in the underlying porous substratum. More frequently, however, water supply is by rainwater catchment.

This paper will look at the various rainwater catchment practices in the South Pacific, and the increasing use of ferrocement water tanks. Particular reference will be made to different tanks and their design, construction, durability and possible repair. The discussion will consider economic as well as technological aspects of rainwater catchment systems and training-extension programmes. Several water supply projects in the region will be described and discussed. The paper will describe a ferrocement tank built without formwork that has been developed and propagated by the Institute of Rural Development.

PDF of full document (11pp, 570kb)

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