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close this bookWater Manual for Refugee Situations (UNHCR, 1992, 160 p.)
close this folder6. Water sources, their protection and development
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentGeneral
View the documentSurface water
View the documentRainwater
View the documentGroundwater
View the documentSprings
Open this folder and view contentsDug wells, boreholes, infiltration galleries


· Rainwater, groundwater from springs and wells, or water from municipal or private systems are usually of better quality than surface water from sources such as rivers, lakes, dams or ponds and should be preferred if available.

· Surface waters should be considered contaminated and must be treated or disinfected prior to use

· Physical protection of the source against pollution is essential.

· New or repaired source catchments and other system structures and equipment should be disinfected before use.

· Local knowledge and expert advice are necessary to assess most water sources and to develop new ones, especially groundwater sources.

· The collection of as much relevant data as possible on the region where refugees are located and on each water source as of the onset of a refugee emergency is important. This will allow the creation of a databank which, if later followed up, will provide useful information on the variations with time of yields and water quality, thus facilitating the tasks of the technicians in charge of planning and implementing longer-term water supply systems.