3. Why is there a decrease of rainwater
harvesting systems in the world?
On the Yucatan peninsula, the decrease of rainwater harvesting methods
was partially caused by the struggle between different indigenous peoples,
but mostly because of the Spanish invasion in the 16th century. The Spanish
colonizers introduced another agricultural system, various new domestic
animals, plants and European construction methods. These were not adapted
to the environmental and cultural realities of the Yucatán.
In India similar reasons caused the disappearance of rainwater harvesting.
The British colonial system was only interested in taxation, thus forcing
the people to abandon the village based water harvesting systems and causing
the collapse of a century old system.
The technical progress of the 19th and 20th century occurred mostly in
the so called developed countries in moister moderate climate zones without
a need for rainwater harvesting. As a consequence of colonialization agricultural
practices from moderate climate zones were implanted in drier climate
zones. Furthermore, emphasis was put on big dams, groundwater development
and piped irrigation projects with high input of fossil energy and electricity;
this was another reason that rainwater harvesting techniques have been
set aside or totally forgotten.