Water Harvesting

Authored by: Gary W. Frasier

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Water harvesting is defined as “the process of collecting and storing precipitation (rain or snow) for beneficial use from an area that has been treated or modified to increase precipitation runoff.” It is an ancient practice over 9000 years old that is currently being revised as a means of supplying water for domestic use in small households, animal drinking water, and growing crops on small acreages. A relatively small area can provide significant quantities of water if collected and stored. One millimeter of precipitation will yield 1 L of water per square meter. This technique is very effective in areas where there are frequent precipitation events but little or no surface water. Many water harvesting systems are being used around the world, most notably in arid and semiarid, underdeveloped areas where there is plentiful labor. A properly designed and maintained water harvesting system can last for decades.

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