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Assessment of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in Poor Rural Communities: A Case Study from Yatta Area, Palestine

Faculty of Graduate Studies, Birzeit University, P.O. Box 14 Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine
Institute of Environmental and Water Studies, Birzeit University, P.O. Box 14 Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine
College of Engineering and Technology, Palestine Technical University, P.O. Box 6037 Kadoorie, Tulkarm, Palestine
Department of Chemistry, An-Najah National University, P.O. Box 7 Nablus, Palestine
5 – International Hydrology and Water Resources, P.O. Box 61003, NL-1005 HA Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 585;
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
PDF [426 KB, uploaded 28 March 2019]
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Yatta is a town located nine kilometers south of Hebron city in the West Bank of Palestine. The town houses over 100,000 people of which 49% are females and has a population that doubles every 15 years. Yatta has been connected to a water network since 1974 serving nearly 85% of its households. The water network is old and inadequate to meet the needs of the population. Water supply made available to the area is limited, estimated at 20 L/capita/day. Residents are thus forced to rely on water vendors who supply water that is 400% more expensive with a lower quality compared to municipal water. Therefore, rainwater harvesting is a common practice in the area, with the majority of households owning at least one cistern. Rainwater harvesting is of great socio-economic importance in areas where water sources are scarce and/or polluted. In this research, the quality of harvested rainwater used for drinking and domestic purposes in Yatta was assessed throughout one year. A total of 100 samples were collected from cisterns with an average capacity of 69 m3, which are adjacent to cement-roof catchment areas of 145 m2 average surface area. Samples were analyzed for a number of parameters including temperature, pH, alkalinity, hardness, turbidity, total dissolved solids, NO3, NH4, chloride and salinity. Results showed that most of the rainwater samples were within World Health Organization (WHO) and Environment Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for chemical parameters. Microbiological contents such as total Coliforms and faecal Coliforms bacteria were tested. The research also addressed the impact of rainwater harvesting systems on different socio-economic attributes of the local community through a questionnaire that had been filled out before any sample was collected. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainwater harvesting; cisterns; water quality; socio-economic; Yatta rainwater harvesting; cisterns; water quality; socio-economic; Yatta

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Al-Batsh, N.; Al-Khatib, I.A.; Ghannam, S.; Anayah, F.; Jodeh, S.; Hanbali, G.; Khalaf, B.; van der Valk, M. Assessment of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in Poor Rural Communities: A Case Study from Yatta Area, Palestine. Water 2019, 11, 585.

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