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5th International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
"Rainwater Catchment for Future Generations"
Keelung, Taiwan, R.O.C. - August 1991

Section 5: Cistern Management and Operation Guidelines

Page 283

Optimization Of Ground Catchments To Maximize Rain Water Collection In South Africa

Cecil Chibi


About 40% of South Africa suffers semi-arid id to arid conditions with annual rain varying up to 200 mm. People staying in these areas are largely served by ground water through bore holes for their water needs. Typically the water is rich in dissolved iron or has an unacceptably high content of salt. The settlements in these areas, as is often the case, are sparsely distributed making it costly to import water. This means that the next practical and appropriate source to develop is rain water which is at the moment only exploited limitedly.

The importance of rain water as an alternative source have already been well documented elsewhere (e.g. Waller 1989) and will hence been assumed in this paper.

In the past the development of rain water catchment systems in South Africa has centred largely in the optimization of roof catchment Systems. Significant breakthroughs have been realized in work on water storage tanks. However, little has been done to explore the potential for ground catchment systems.,

This paper reports on work done by the Division of Water Technology (CSIR) to evaluate ground catchments that have been treated with four locally available materials viz a tar product, paraffin wax graded sand and gravel and gravel covered sheeting. To date the gravel-covered sheeting method. ha shown the greatest promise for use because the catchment plots are easy to prepare, the media affordable and most importantly deliver a reasonably good quality water.

PDF of full document (9pp, 240kb)

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