|Water Manual for Refugee Situations (UNHCR, 1992, 160 p.)|
|7. Pumping equipment|
1. Once an adequate source of water has been established, arrangements are necessary to store and distribute the water to meet minimum needs on a continuing and equitable basis. The water source may be situated topographically higher than the refugee camp or the points where water distribution should take place; all efforts should then be made to study the possibility of conveying the water by gravity flow; operation and maintenance requirements of gravity fed systems are minimal and negligible if compared to the high cost and technical requirements of pumping systems.
2. In areas subject to seasonal flooding, or where the level of a river source varies markedly, great care must be taken in the siting of any pumps, distribution, storage and treatment systems. It may even be necessary to mount a pump on a raft.
3. Water can be raised in two basic ways: by hand, using some kind of water container or bucket, or by using pumps. A captive rope and bucket carries a low pollution risk and is more reliable and much cheaper than any pump. Where this system can meet the demand, it is to be preferred (not more than 200 people should depend on a well with one rope and bucket!). The importance of teaching refugees to use one single bucket does not need explanation. Nobody should be allowed to put individual containers into the source (See 5.29)
4. The main uses of pumping equipment in refugee water supply systems are:
i) Pumping water from wells or boreholes;
ii) Pumping water from surface water intakes;
iii) Pumping water into storage reservoirs.
Additionally, in some cases where gravity flow may not be used for other requirements, there may be a need to use pumping equipment for other purposes (feeding water treatment plants, boosting the flow through long pipelines, feeding water tankers, etc.); refugee water supply systems should use gravity flow as much as possible for these purposes as a way to minimize long-term requirements.