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4th International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
Manila , Philipines - August, 1989

Section A: Overview

Paper A.1

The International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981-1990) and the Progresses of Rain Water Cistern Systems

Yu-Si Fok
Water Resources Research Center University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawii


Rain water cistern systems have been used far domestic water supply as early as 2000 B.C. in the Middle East. They are developed to suit various life styles of their users in different environmental conditions.

By an unplanned coincidence, the First International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems was organized by the write during the beginning of the International Drinking Water Supply Decade (1981-1990). Subsequent ly, a series of conferences was followed. This paper reviews recent progress in rain water cistern systems' planning, design, development and management in some Pacific and Asian countries. So that their efforts to meet the Water Decade's goal: to provide all people with safe water in sufficient quantity and means to safely dispose of human waste, can be assessed. Proceedings of the 1st 2nd, and 3rd International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems are the main reference sources. Successful case studies are analyzed for the possible application to island countries in the Pacific.

Section B: Community Participation

Paper B.1

Participatory Strategies In Water Supply (Costa Rica)

M.A. Lorena Aguilar
FUNDATEC, Instituto Tenologico de Costa Rica.


Over the years, International Aid Agencies and government organizations in developing. countries have come to realize the importance of community participation in water supply and sanitation projects. In spite of this, important questions such as how to motivate communities or who or what contributions and responsibilities should they assume, remain only partially resolved.

From its inception, IRDC's Handpump Programme has encouraged research in this area of community participation, as it considers it an essential component in going from pilot research projects to widescale dissemination of water supply and sanitation technologies.

Between 1988 and 1988, the Centre supported a project in Costa Rica. This project looked into the adoption of the UNIMADE handpump to the Costa Rica environment. As part of this project, a number of participatory strategies (in response to the needs that were being encountered) was developed. These focused on community organization, health and hygiene education, and pump installation and maintenance.

Based upon this experience, these strategies have been adapted to include the participation of villagers as instructors in the social and technical aspects of the introduction and use of water supply technologies in other communities of the country.

Paper B.2

Replacing Community Participation With Ngo Participation - A New Approach

Janet K. Lugonzo-Campbell
Canadian Hunger Foundation, Kenya


Running the Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) programme in Kenya, the author has Learned that the `missionary` approach to village water projects by most development agencies in the past has been largely responsible for their very big failure rate. Most NGO's and agencies plan and implement a project, then wrestle with the problems of trying to encourage what they call 'community participation', which seldom succeeds.

The CHF begins by discussing. with the committee of a self-help water project,. group the possibility of their upgrading their embryo project to a business enterprise, in which CHF are temporary joint venture partners. The group registers itself as a Legal Society with enforceable obligations and responsibilities. The project becomes a financially self-sufficient enterprise run on business-like lines. The rules governing commissioning, operation and membership are established in a registered constitution. With both their contributions (in the form of share capital) , and the intergrity of the project safe-guarded by legal means, the willingness of even the poorest community to contribute their time and money is overwhelming. Protected and encourage. by sound business-like arrangements, the community provides acuity, all the labour, and significant material inputs. The CHF providas technical training and supervision of ccnstruction works, training in book-keeping, in project management, in recruitment, in the institution of checks and balances for the resolution of political problems, etc., and capital in the form of some of the expensive materials. The project is run entirely by full-time employees of the Society.

Paper B.3

Strategies For Overcoming The Obstacle Associated With “Software” Aspects Of Rainwater Catchment Systems Implementation.

J.E. Gould


During the last decade, significant progress has been made in rainwater catchment systems "hardware", namely in the development of low cost appropriate tank designs and construction techniques. Most of this work has been well documented and is available to fieldworkers throughout the world.

Strategies for overcoming the obstacles associated with the "software" aspects o€ rainwater catchment implementation have been less well documented. These include ways of tackling a lack of awareness, motivation, organization skills and resources amongst communities at grassroots level. Approaches to overcoming these obstacles, such as conducting preliminary surveys, promoting awareness and interest in rainwater collection, setting up organizational framework, arranging training courses and developing techniques for raising funds from both within and beyond the community are considered in this paper. Features common to successful project implementation strategies are outlined and case studies from Kenya, Botswana and Thailand are cited. In the global context, the need to promote interest and awareness in the potential benefits of rainwater catchment technology extends far beyond the need for pure community involvement and includes marketing the technology to government agencies and major international funding bodies. In order to secure the substantial external support needed by poorer communities to subsidize improvements in their water supplies, project proposals have to be presented in a way that donors can manage. Considerable coordination between different projects may be needed to secure this support.

Paper B.4

The Use Of Low-Cost, Self-Help Rain Water Harvesting Systems For Community Water Supply In Southern Kenya

Michael D. Lee & Erick Nissen-Petersen


The Mutomo Soil and Water Conservation Project has helped implement a wide range of water harvesting systems for the improvement of community water supply in the semi-arid Southern Division of Kitui District, Eastern Province, Kenya.

Several rain water cistern systems have been developed which harvest runoff water from rooftops, roads, compounds, springs and exposed bedrock. These compliment larger communal runoff water harvesting systems such as rock catchment

dams, earth dams and shallow well/sub-surface dams. They are low-cost, appropriate technologies involving a high-level of community participation in planning, construction and maintenance. Artisans selected from the local community and trained and equipped by the project have combined with women's and other selfhelp groups to install rain water tanks at most schools and public buildings in the Division.

The paper focuses on the approach adopted by the project in implementing rain water harvesting systems in a marginal, rural, semi-arid area wiih a predominantly subsistence economy. Some general recommendations and

conclusions are summarised from the experiences at Mutomo from 1982-1987 and the five standard tank designs adopted by the project and ranging from a seven cubicmetre tank system costing US $157-168, to an 78 cubic metre excavated tank costing US $690-870 inclusive are described.

Paper B.5

Rainwater Cistern System Training Through Community Participation In Nepal

Chindaprasirt, P. I and Upadhyay, S.


The rainwater cistern system concept is still new to the kingdom of Nepal. To promote this concept a training program was conceived by the Office of Peace Corps/Nepal. This paper aims to where and disseminate a ferrocement tank construction and rainwater catchment system training through community participation conducted successfully in July 1988 in the Jana Prakash Primary School, pakhara, Nepal for U.S. Peace Corps water supply volunteer engineers and their co-workers/ counterparts

Paper B.6

Community Participants In Drinking Water System: Project Experiences Of Women Development Section Ministry Of Panchayat And Local Development, Nepal

Uma Pradhan

Country Backgound

Nepal is a sovereign and mountainous Kingdom situated between the two big countries People's Republic of China and India. The country in the south, east and west is bordered by India and the North by Tibetan region of People's Republic of China. It is more or less rectangular in shape with 8¢5 kilometres in length and an averages of 200 kilometre in breadth. The total area of the Kingdom is 147181 Square Kilometres. Topographically, the country is divided into three distinct regions, the Tarai in the South, Hill regions in the middle and high land of the Himalayas ranges in the north. The altitude varies From 500 ft. in the south from sea level to 29,00 ft. in the north. Of the total Land, only 20% is cultivable and the rest being mountainous and barren. Its economy is basically agrarian and subsistence prevails in economic activities. accessibility is limited, 35 percent of the population has to walk about three days to reach a motorable road. Administratively, the country is divided into 5 regions, 14 zones and 'l5 districts. Each district is divided into Ilaka, town and viallage panchayat and urban centres. The total population of Nepal is around 16 million with an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent.

Drinking Water- System in Nepal

In 1976 eighty one percent of urban population and five percent of rural population had access to piped water. The urban population is small (6.4 percent in 1981) and concentrated in the three cities of Kathmandu valley it accounts for about 40 percent of the total urban population in 1981. A little more than 10 percent of population in the country had access to such system in 19'6. At present scarcity of piped water is increasing in the urban areas where as no significant. progress has been made in the rural areas because most of the annual investment has gone in maintaining the past projects.

Paper B.7

Ferrocement Rain Water Cistern Systems Technology: A Case Study On The DAC Experience Of Barangay Agcabugao, Cuartero, Capiz

Wilfredo Abejo / Wilfredo Amper


Development Assisting Center (DAC). as a wholistic approach to community 'development, aims to enable-people to manage their own development within the context of Christian love and community Concern.

The exper ience of the people 1n Agcabugao. Cuartero Capiz in adopting: the technology of a Ferrocement Rain Water cistern Systems tank yielded significant learning in the process of effective technology infusion The project also encouraged the community s involvement in each stage of planning implementation and evaluation.

This case study focuses on the following key factors that served to facilitate the effective process of technology transfer and community involvement

  1. the facilitative role of the chance agent in the person of the Community Development Worker. 
  2. a people-based development process which facilitated the effective problem solving, mobilization of resources leading the attainment of the goal 
  3. a need-based project ensuring maximum community support and involvement 
  4. maximization on. of local resources plus a strong network with other agencies as a contributing factor in project success 
  5. introduction of simple technology al lowing for an easy process of adaptation in the community. And 
  6. recognition of the significant role that women. play in development.

Paper B.8

Community Participation He Ferrocement Rainwater Collectors: The Capiz Experience

Jessica Calfoforo Salas


The paper is presented to highlight learnings on community from the experienced in Rainwater Collection Project: Philippines sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC - Canada) and implemented by the Capiz Development Foundation. The experience is significant because in spite of prevalent poverty in this province, certain communities were able to demonstrate the value of participation in acquiring benefits from a new technology: the ferrocement rainwater collectors. The experiment started with 30 ferrocement rainwater tanks built in 3 pilot areas and, 3 years later 300 rainwater collectors spread throughout the province without any programme for technology dissemination.

Several sad and happy episodes in community participation were studied. This paper presents story summaries about 3 communities whose group life and growth were facilitated by the need for water and the concern for rainwater collectors.

The experience underlined the different roles played by the people’s organisation, the rainwater catchment technology, health and sanitation practices participation of women and livelihood and income, and extension to other group projects in community building.

Section C: Socio-Economic And Political Concerns

Paper C.1

Rainwater Use In Bangladesh– A Case Study In Dacope Upozilla

Md. Daulat Hussain and A.T.M. Ziauddin
Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh


This study describes the present system of rainwater collection and storage facilities, the socio-cultural and economic aspects of rainwater use.

During the months of October to November, 1587, a three--week case study on rainwater use was conducted in Dacope, Khulna, a coastal region of Bangladesh. Since the area is located very close to the Say of Bengal, both ground and surface water contain undesirable level of salinity. Drinking water was an acute problem in the area. Normally, people of Dacope use water from pond, canal/ditch, river, tubewell or rainwater, depending on the availability. The study reveals the fact that a large number of people of the area has been drinking rainwater. People drink rainwater in the rainy season. But in the off-season they hardly drink rainwater because of lack of proper storage facilities. Roof discharge was a common method of rainwater collection. Gutters made of G.I. sheet, bamboo, betel nut tree and bark of banana tree had been used widely for rainwater collection. People store rain water in large earthen vessel. They periodically maintain the quality of stored rainwater using burnt snail shell.

The survey also indicated that about 75% of rainwater consumers preferred to have large storage facility although most of them could not afford it. Cost of rainwater collection was found to be Tk 0.29 per litre, which was the lowest among all water sources. An appropriate rainwater, storage facility may solve drinking water problem in the area.

Paper C.2

Water Supply And Water User Behaviour: The Use Of Cement Rainwater Jars In Northeastern Thailand

Nongluk Tunyavanich and Kevin Hewison


The supply of drinking water in the rural- areas of Northeastern Thailand has long been a problem. From the early 1980s the Thai government has attempted to ameliorate the problem through the promotion of 2,000 litre cement rainwater storage jars.

This paper, based an research conducted in two provinces of the Northeast, and over a four year period, examines a number of issues related to the government-sponsored jar programme, and villager acceptance of this new technology. These issues are; jar acquisition and ownership; construction quality; use of jar water; rainwater collection systems and access; water quality and cleanliness; taste preferences; increases in storage capacities; and current water shortage problems.

It is concluded that the government programme, while having its problems, has been largely successful, with the drinking water storage capacity of thousands of villages having been greatly improved. Villagers are now drinking relatively better quality water for longer periods during the year. Villager acceptance of these facilities has improved. The next step is to ensure that the full health potential of the jar programme is achieved. Recommendations about this and other issues are included.

Paper C.3

The Planning, Development And Construction Of A Typical RWCS Project Using The Total Concept: A Case Study In The Province Of Capiz

Dr Adhityan Appan, Cornelio
Nanyang Technological Institute Singapore

J Villareal Jr
Capiz Development Foundation The Philippines

Lee Kam Wing
International Development Research Centre (Canada) Singapore


Following the first International Conference in Hawaii in 1982 and a Regional Seminar in Khon Kaen, Thailand in 1983, the establishment of Rain Water Cistern Systems (RWCS) in developing countries seems to have acquired a new lease o€ life. One of the locations with most potential and, most important of all, the right attitude was the Province of Capiz in the Philippines. A preliminary field investigation in 1985 helped to confirm that there was a dire need for potable water in this area. Besides, it helped to identify the critical sizes of tanks required and the most appropriate material. to be used. The Government of the Province of Capiz came out with a proposal. that not only ensured proper participation and self-help of the villagers but also incorporated an excellent system of repayment of capital. Thus, the first set of trial RWCS was introduced with the help of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada in 1986. Following this, the movement gained momentum as there was public acceptance leading to better cooperation amongst the people. To date, not less than 500 tanks have been constructed and are serving the people of Capiz very well. This intense RWCS project, when completed, can be claimed to be one of the largest of its type in the world.

Section D: Institutional Aspects And Policy Matters

Paper D.1

Educating Civil Engineers About Rain Water Cistern System

Nik Fuaaad Nik Abllah
University Sains Malaysia


Water supply is a topic covered by all civil engineering curricula. Civil engineers must know how to plan, design and implement piped water supply to the community. Rain water cistern system has received little or no attention in most civil engineering curricula than more technically oriented centralised pipe water supply system.

Especially for developing countries where most of the population still lived in remote rural areas, rain water is a vital high quality though low volume source of water supply. Rain water cistern. system may not be the best water supply system but it definitely is the cheapest and most viable alternative for most undeveloped and developing countries.

A unique four-year civil engineering curriculum was drafted for Universiti Sains Malaysia to be offered at the undergraduate degree programme in the 1989-90 academic session. This environmentally inclined curriculum will among other things emphasise the less sophisticated technologies and rain water collection system is one of them.

Paper D.2

The Wash Rain Water Network

Dan P. Campbell
WASH Project, USA


The Water and Sanitation for Health Project has established a Rainwater Harvesting information Center (RHIC). RHIC has developed b i bliographic and ornan i zational databases to es t blish a rainwater network and organize ± literature per pertaining to rainwater harvesting There are nearly COO documents in the literature collection and 277 organizations and individuals in the rainwater network. A questionnaire has been distributed to network members to obtain information on rainwater research and projects. One issue of a newsletter entitled "RAINDROP" has been published and distributed also.

Section E: Environmental And Water Quality Aspects

Paper E.1

Qualitative Aspects Of Rainwater Use In The Federal Republic Of -Germany

Beate Klein and Martin Bullerman


An extensive research has been made on qualitative aspects of the use of rainwater for closet flushing, gardening irrigation and washing machines.

The quality of the roof water run-off was analysed using 20 parameters at 15 gaging stations. The selection. of the parameters depended on the demands of drinking water in the F.R.G. The measurements were carried out during the period of 1988/89. They showed systematical connections between water quality and roof materials, site facts, meteorology as well as the seasons. The quality of the run-off water was estimated regarding the mentioned uses. Conclusions for the design and operation of rainwater systems are deduced from the results.

Paper E.2

Cistern Water Systems in The U.S. Virgin Islands

J. Hari Krishna


In the U.S. Virgin Islands, cisterns are commonly used to collect rainfall and provide domestic water supplies. Since the rainfall varies considerably between different points on the islands, a simple formula is proposed that uses the average annual rainfall and roof area to compute cistern storage requirements. Alternative construction materials are discussed which might be less expensive than the conventional reinforced concrete cisterns that are usually built in the Virgin Islands. The results of recent water quality studies indicate that in many cases, cistern water does not meet the Safe Drinking Water Standards. Better cistern maintenance and disinfection procedures are necessary to provide good quality water for drinking and other domestic purposes.

Paper E.3

Investigation Into The Quality Of Roof-Harvested Rainwater For Domestic Use In Developing Countries: A Ph.D Research Study

Dr. George Michaelides
Dundee University, UK


Features in design, maintenance and operation of roof rainwater harvesting systems which affect the quality of the water obtained have been investigated by a research study of Dundee University in 1982-1985 A complete rainwater harvesting system for domestic water supply was built in the tropical environment of Mauritius incorporating features, excluding water treatment, that would optimise water quality. A programme of water quality monitoring was carried out mainly involving 55 bacteriological samples and 3° chemical samples from the water abstraction point at weekly intervals. The faecal coliform test was negative in 84% of the samples and the mean faecal coliform count was 1-1 per 100 ml. The results of total and faecal coliform examination would be acceptable by WHO Guidelines in 80% of the samples and fully or almost fully acceptable by other guidelines. According to these results, no water treatment is required. Even though pH and conductivity were high initially due to the leaching of cement from tank walls, the aesthetic water quality is also acceptable.

The diversion of the initial flush of rainwater, which is foul, was examined in the laboratory and new foul flush diversion systems were developed at Dundee University.

Paper E.4

Virulence Characteristics Of Bacteria Isolated From Cistern Water Systems In Rural Northern Kentucky, U.S.A

Dennis J. Lye
Northern Kentucky University, USA


In Situ membrane filter procedures were used to lest the potential virulence activities of bacteria isolated from surface, treated distribution, and cistern water samples. Cistern samples were found to contain higher levels of bacteria expressing haemolytic and/or cytotoxic activities than either the treated water samples or the natural surface water samples. Cistern isolates recovered from a variety of different isolation media exhibited higher levels of cytotoxic isolates than the other two sources. When the levels of multiply virulent bacterial strains were compared. Cistern water contained lower levels than surface water and resembled the treated water sources. However, the cistern water contained five times number of cytotoxic isolates that were found in treated water. Cistern water systems appear to have a decreased level of total bacterial virulence activity when compared to surface water but cistern samples exhibited The highest levels of cytotoxic isolates of ail water tested.

Paper E.5

Valuation Of Rainwater Quality: Heavy Metals And Pathogens

Wanpen Wirojanagud Pinthita Mungarndee band Patcharee Hovicitr
Khon Kaen University, Thailand


Stored rainwater will be a potentially safe and economic drinking water supply if it is free from any contaminants. This study proposed to determine the bacteriological and chemical quality of stored rainwater. The rainwater samples were collected from collection systems, outdoor and in-house storage containers. Information on sanitary practices which appeared to affect the quality of stored rainwater was also investigated.

The study have shown that all of those sampling points were bacteriologically contaminated. Pathogenic contamination was found in a few samples collected from those sampling points. The pathogens identified were Salmonella gr. B and gr. C, Aromonas sp., and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. It was also found that the unhygienic sanitary practices of the villagers were a major factor in bacteriological contamination. The heavy metals analysed in this study were Cd, Cr, Pb, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn. Most of the heavy metal concentrations compared favourably with the WHO drinking water standard with two exceptions, Mn and Zn. These two heavy metals are considered to affect the aesthetic quality only, and therefore are not significant to health.

The findings from this study indicate that only health risks evolving from the consumption of stored. rainwater would be due to bacteriological contamination rather than from heavy metal contamination.

Section F: Hydrological Data And Analysis

Paper F.1

Two Recent Methods For Computing Average Precipitation

P.W. France
University of Wales, UK


Three techniques, a traditional approach (isohyetal map) and two recent developments, (a distance weighted method and a finite element approach) have been used to estimate the average area precipitation on several different catchments. Since it is generally recognised that the isohyetal map technique produces the most accurate results of the traditional methods, these have been used as a basis for comparison with the values obtained from the two new techniques. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, but the results indicate that in terms of accuracy there is little difference between the techniques.

Paper F.2

Establishing Normal Monthly Rainfall For Rain Water Cistern System Design

A. Lo and S.H. Chiang
Chinese Culture University, Taiwan


To properly design and operate a rain water cistern system, it is necessary to understand the dynamic and stochastic nature of rainfall processes. These processes are greatly influenced by random variations as well as cyclical effects. However, there is no general theory available which establishes the length of record required to provide a representative normal period o£ rainfall. The purpose of this study attempts to establish such a value.

To investigate the variability of monthly rainfall over a long period of time, an island station on the Pacific (Western Samoa) was selected for a number of statistical tests. The length of records required was first computed by the stability of mean approach. The number of years necessary to reach different stability levels were established for each month of the year. For locations lacking long-term rainfall records, a relationship between the years of average and the tolerance limit at different confidence levels was developed using the classical statistical approach. A rough estimate of the required length of the most important input variable (rainfall) would aid in the design and operation of a rain water cistern system.

Section G: Catchment And Storage Systems

Paper G.1

Direct Development Of Rain Water Resources By Tameikes (Farmers Group Pond)

Isao Minami
Kyoto university, Japan


The rural region where no irrigation facilities were constructed in several hundred years had many Tameikes (farmers group pond) in the Setouchi of Japan. These tameikes are special facility of water resources for farmers who were suffering from serious drought and this is convenient structure reflecting their special social situation, then I would like to use the word "tameike" as a technical term. Tameike could be constructed and operated by farmers group and they has exclusive water right of tameike. The tameike is key facility of paddy rice production and of social activity of farmers and these farmers are active member for economic activity of agricultural corporation. We have transferred the tameike from Setouchi region to Northeast Thailand through cooperation study between Kyoto University and Chulalongkorn University, as the key facility of integrated small-scale rural development among rainfed paddy rice field on flat land of Notheast Thailand .Though there was strong salinity in round of Northeast Thailand the rainfall collected in tameike could dilute the salinity to the level of irrigable water. lt was very successful facility. We are going to show our experiences and theoretical evaluation for tameike of the region not only fresh ground water area but also salt ground crater area in Northeast Thailand

Paper G.2

The Use Of Rainwater As The Sole Source Of Supply In Aquaculture

Dr Adhityan Appan
Nanyang Technological Institute, Singapore

George Tay
Aquaculture Division Industrial Farm (Pte) Ltd Singapore


A novel water conservation methodology in Singapore is presented where both surface runoff and rainwater gathered from the roofs of structures are exclusively used in an aquaculture farm. In this farm which has a catchment area of 25 hectares, not less than 4% of the land area is covered by corrugated zinc roof. The annual rainfall of about 2200 mm is collected from both the roof and the remaining land area and stored in four large ponds. Water is continuously pumped to the fishtanks and aquatic plant tanks to top up the losses in the system. The wastewaters from the fishtanks are directed to facultative lagoons from which the effluent overflows into the water and algal ponds. The nutrient-loaded water at lower levels of the facultative lagoons are directed to the aquatic plants or algal ponds which reduce the nutrient contents and then overflow back to the facultative lagoons. This system does not need a supplementary source other than rainwater to. make up the losses and could be a forerunner for such schemes in other developing countries.

Section H: Delivery And Diversion Systems

Paper H.1

Study Of Diversion And Delivery In Rain Water Cisterns In India

Edward Pakianathan
Christian Industrial Training Association Madras, India


In some hilly areas in North West India, seasonal rainfall, being only source of drinking water, is collected in Household Jars and Cisterns of Brick, Masonry and Corrugated Tin. Presently concrete and Ferro-cement Cisterns are also built for adequate storage to meet family needs throughout the year. Rain water collected in Metal or Tile Roofs is conveyed through Gutter and Downpipe directly to the Cistern below. But nowadays because of increased road traffic, there is much settlement of dust on the roofs s in dry months. Roof Wash Filter and Diversion on for Foul Flush is introduced. Flexible pipes or Flap Valve and inverted 'Y' Pipe arrangements are used. System, however, is not very, effective as people neglect to manually change position after rains. The objective of this paper is to of offer a simple but Automatic Diversion System using a leaking Bucket and Counterweight principle. Water delivery from Cisterns above ground is by gravity flow.

Hand pumps are used for cisterns below ground, for which a more effective foot pedal pump is being tried out. For larger applications for community use, a simple, low cost single mast windmill, held in position by guy ropes, has been developed using components such as Bicycle and Hand Pump parts which are all easily available in the local market. Specifications, technical details and photographs presented. The paper also recommends suitable measures for promoting rainwater harvesting techniques in drought prone areas in India. and other developing countries.

Paper H.2

Hydraulics Of Rainwater Catchment Gutters

Richard J. Heggen
University of New Mexico, U.S.A.


In the author's observation, a frequent weak link in rainwater cistern system performance is the catchment gutter. Collected rainwater is spilled before reaching the cistern. In some instances, gutter maintenance is neglected. In some instances, gutter construction is faulty. In some instances, gutter design is fundamentally inadequate. This paper addresses design issues, the relation of precipitation intensity and roof area to gutter cross-sectional shape, size, slope and length. A spatially varied hydraulic profile solution is reduced to a general statistical rule for design. Consideration is given to aspects of gutter technology in developing regions.

Section I: Integration With Other Water Supply Systems

Paper I.1

High Water Bills: Can Rain Water Supplement Part Or Whole Of It?

P. Dharmabalan
University of Technology, Papua New Guinea.


Water resources in many developing countries around the world have been stretched to its 'Limits within the available financial resources. This paper looks at the problem in SRI LANKA as a model for other countries in providing Rain water as a direct source of water supply in many Urban and rural areas.

Further more, the paper spells out some design criteria for the effective sizing of rain water catchment systems in places where ever this system could be incorporated to reduce cost to consumers and pressure on suppliers.

Paper I.2

Proposal For A Dual-Mode Rain Water Cistern System In Industrial Areas Of Two Hectare Lots

Dr Adhityan Appan
Nanyang Technological Institute Singapore:


In 1968, the Jurong Town Corporation was established with a view to develop a predominantly industrial zone in the south-western part of Singapore. Land-lots of various sizes were allocated to industries according to their needs and, to date, only potable water is being supplied to most of the. industries. The quantity of water used in each of these industries: is as varied as the quality required for different purposes. It is approximated that that the average land area occupied by the larger industries is about two hectares. In this study, the potential volume of water that can be tapped independently from such small areas is studied taking into consideration the stochastic pattern of rainfall, the varying demand and quality of the rainwater. Also a simple dual-mode system that is economically viable is proposed wherein the perennial supply of water is guaranteed whether or not stored rainwater is available.

Paper I.3

Rain Water Cistern System - A New Approach To Water Supply Improvements In Nepalese; Hills

Ajaya Mani Dixit


Nepal is a land locked country with 83% of its area occupied by mountains. More than 50% of the country's population live in the hills, majority of which still have to be provided with safe drinking water. Broken topography and settlement pattern in the hills have resulted in hundreds of water schemes serving limited house-holds. This has caused difficulties in implementation, operation, and maintenance of water supply systems.

Deforestation and landslides are gradually depleting suitable water_ sources in the hills. Landslides have also damaged existing water systems. Use of Rain Water Cistern System (RWCS) can improve water supply situation in the hills. Analysis of rainfall, house-hold status, and storage method show that the system can be developed as primary water supply system in acute water shortage areas, or as a supplementary system during dry periods,.

The crucial question in the use of Rain Water Cistern System is, will it be socially acceptable ? People in the hills use running water and not still water for drinking and cooking. Rain Water Cistern System is a new concept and is not in use. Greater efforts are needed on the part of implementing agencies to ensure its wider use in Nepal.

Section J: Applications And Cost Analysis

Paper J.1

Rainwater Harvesting for Potable Water in The Eastern Llanos of Venezuela

Dr. David Holmes


Rainwater collection and storage represent a superior alternative to tank truck delivery for supplying the potable water needs of rural schools and health clinics in the Eastern Llanos of Venezuela. The lack of adequate storage facilities and handling methods has limited the use of rainwater in the past. With filtration, a covered tank, a solar-powered submersible pump and simple treatment methods, water quality can be guaranteed even after prolonged storage. The system is highly reliable and requires very little maintenance which is extremely important in the rural setting.

Potable water can be saved by substituting VIP latrines for flush toilets which typically consume around 50% of the available supply and do not stand up well under hard usage. This type of latrine virtually eliminates the problems of flies and odors.

Section K: Alternative Designs Of Rain Water Cisterns

Paper K.1

The City Of Rain: The Architecture Of Rainwater Collection In Singapore

Kevin Lim Chiow Teck
National University of Singapore


In Singapore where land area is limited, there is a need for more effective water conservation techniques and unconventional approaches to rainwater harvesting. This paper outlines the potential of rainwater collection in built-up areas through architectural design; involving a rethinking of conventional practises in site planning, building forms and building details. The instrument for- these explorations was a proposed "City of Rain", conceived in June 1988, sited at Marina South. In this city, collected rainwater became an alternative water supplywhich was proposed to be used to supplement the utilitarian needs of the city and in the creation of new amenities for the community. The aesthetic effects evolved from rainwater collection, the new amenities and other possibilities could foster a unique urban character in Singapore.

Paper K.2

Rain Water Cistern Systems In Northeast Brazil And North Yemen

Dr. Masami Ichikawa
University of Tsukuba


This paper deals with the situation and comparison of the tropical rain water cistern systems in Northeast Brazil and North Yemen (Yemen Arab Republic), both of which are located in the tropical arid or semi-arid regions.

Northeast Brazil (NORDESTE) consist of 8 states of Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara and Piaui. The writer surveys on natural environments of all states of NORDESTE and Santana do Ipanema located 170 km. to the west of Maseio, the capital of state of Alagoas. Rain water cistern in Santana do Ipanema in NORDESTE have three types in a village shown in Figs. 3, 4 and 5. All these cisterns have, roofs and water is in a better sanitary condition for human health, because it does not contain polluted water contaminated by human and domestic animal, but the water causes fragile teeth.

On the contrary, all the rain water cistern located in the vicinity of San'a, the capital of North Yemen, are located in the lower part of the villages and constructed by digging ground surfaces and some are in underground area only. They are all without roofs and take in water polluted by people and domestic animals. Consequently, foreigners visiting there cannot drink cistern water.

There are many types in tropical rain water cisterns in the world. We need to compare and examine these types and to select. the best cistern type from the viewpoint of sanitation.

Paper K.3

The Design And Evaluation Of A Rain Water Cistern System For WC Flushing

A. Fewkes
Trent Polytechnic, UK


The general problem concerns the use of rainwater for WC. flushing. In the United Kingdom 3{h of the potable water supplied to the domestic sector is used for the transportation of foul waste. This paper describes a method of obtaining the optimum storage capacity for which both the input and output are stochastic processes; that is, two unrelated time series. Two WC. supply systems are evaluated using a numerical simulation model. The findings indicate that the storage volumes of earlier designs were considerably aver estimated; moreover additional storage is of no use unless the catchment area is also increased.

PDF of full document (13pp, 300kb)

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