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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 4: Technology of Rainwater Catchment Systems

Paper 4.5

Rain Collection as Water Source For Small Rural Communities in Chiapas, Mexico: (A case study: technical and social aspects for transferring of rural technology in Mexico)

Martín Mundo-Molina, Polioptro Martínez Austria, Romeo Ballinas Avendaño, Miguel Raúl Ponce & Edgar Rafael Penagos
Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), Mexico


In Mexico there are many small rural communities with serious water supply deficiencies. The introduction of alternative, low-cost technologies represents means of supplying water such as through fog and rain catchment. In the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico, research is under way on rain water collection for human consumption. This research can then be applied in communities in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Veracruz, Puebla and throughout Baja California. In Chiapas, there are 19,972 poor rural communities, 15,712 of which have fewer than 100 inhabitants. The lack of a constant water supply is most severe in the highlands of Chiapas where the population is made up mainly of indigenous groups. The communities are on mountainous terrain with a widely dispersed population. These characteristics combine to make the provision of public utilities, such as water, electricity and sewerage, difficult with conventional means.

The combination of potability and low cost makes rain collection a viable alternative for rural areas, weather permitting. The Mexican Institute of Water Technology and Chiapas University constructed a rain water collector (RWC) in Yalentay Chiapas. The rain water collector constructed in Yalentay consists of four parts: 1. Roof of aluminum, for collecting rain water, 2. Underground-cistern, divided in two tanks, 3. Filters, to improve the water quality and 4. Regulator tank.

PDF of full document (4pp, 60kb)

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