International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association
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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 2: Wordwide Experiences of Rainwater Catchment Systems

Paper 2.2

Considerations for developing guidelines for rainwater catchment systems in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Henry H. Smith, Yu-Si Fok & Leroy F. Heitz
Water Resources Research Institute
University of the Virgin Islands
#2 John Brewer's Bay
St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands, 00802-9900, USA


The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) is one of the few areas in the world where harvesting of rainfall contacting roof surfaces and subsequent storage of this water is required by law. High construction costs as well as standards of living with high demands for potable water, require that the mandated rain harvesting systems are designed, constructed, operated and maintained as efficiently as possible. The USVI has collaborated with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to compare design practices that are utilized in the USVI and FSM. The USVI and Hawaii also collaborated on an examination of legal, economic, and institutional factors affecting rainwater systems in Hawaii and the USVI. These collaborations reveal that much is to be gained through detailed examination of practices and standards for rainwater harvesting systems that evolved independent of each other but with the same primary goal. While the long and many experiences with these highly developed systems in the USVI provide the other countries with options for future courses of actions, the USVI can gain much by the fresh and novel approaches taken by these countries in order to improve its rainwater utilization practices.

PDF of full document (6pp, 25kb)

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