I would like to start with a definition of the term rainwater harvesting.
We understand and use it as a general term for most types of rainwater
catchment (but excluding floodwater harvesting): be it for agriculture
or domestic supply in rural areas. Today rainwater harvesting is also
applied in urban areas (Gould). Rainwater can be harvested from roofs,
courts, the ground as well as roads. In the following paper I will discuss
some aspects of rainwater harvesting in rural areas. The terms and concepts
of rainwater harvesting and rainwater catchment are used in the same way.
In his opening address at the 9th IRCSC (International
Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference), held in Brazil in July 1999,
Dr. A. Appan said:
"The concept of rainwater catchment systems technology is as old
as the mountains. The standard adage - as in all water supply schemes
is - store water (in a tank/reservoir) during the rainy season so that
you can use it when you need it most during the summer. In other words
'Save for the dry day!' The principles, methods of construction, usage
and maintenance are all available. And, most important of all, there are
very many financial models to suit developing and developed countries.
What is most needed is the moral acceptance of the technology and the
political will to implement the systems."
In this paper, we will follow the principal points of Dr. Appan's statement.