A Stone Tank or Cauldron is a social technology for collective and communal use, which stores rainwater in areas that naturally favor the accumulation of water, where walls can be built to help increase its capacity.
A Stone Tank or Cauldron is a social technology for collective and communal use that stores rainwater, avoiding its waste, in areas that naturally provide accumulation such as slabs, cracks in stones or natural holes. The stored water is used for animal consumption, in plantations, food production, and domestic work. To increase capacity, walls are built around the natural cauldron, which serve as a barrier to store more water. The volume stored will depend on the depth of the tank. It is a common technology in mountainous areas or where there are stone slabs, which serve as a rainwater catchment area.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
“The Stone Tank or Cauldron encourages community organization to manage water based on these social technologies”.
With the Stone Tank or Cauldron, the local natural landscape is valued and its water expands production capacity. It is a social technology suitable for mountain ranges, where there are stone slabs or rock formations that contribute to water catchment, such as natural holes that naturally function as a reservoir during the rainy season. Its capacity is expanded with the construction of a wall that blocks the water outlet. It is for collective use and can be shared by up to ten families.
The natural landscape and its water storage capacity is expanded, allowing more water availability in the community;
The Stone Tank technology values the knowledge of family farmers in their identification for expansion and water management;
With the water from the Stone Tank, families can increase their food production capacity, guarantee water for their animals, and for domestic work;
The productive capacity of the community that has the Stone Tank increases, as it has guaranteed water for the driest periods;
As it is collective, the community water use strategy contributes to the local organization process. It can also be used for community activities, associations, groups, churches, etc.
HOW DOES LIFE CHANGE?
“The community has more water available for its plantations, for its animals, for domestic work”.
The water stored in the Stone Tank or Cauldron encourages community organization, which needs to collectively manage the use of water accumulated in the technology. Its uses, its care; it is all to be decided collectively. Not just its individual use, but also its use in collective areas, such as associations, churches, and groups. The community now has more water available for its plantations, for its animals, for domestic work. This generates productive but also financial autonomy, since the surplus can be traded. In addition to ensuring food security, as the food supply becomes constant according to the harvests. The time saved searching for water is also guaranteed, as long walks in search of water are no longer necessary, since it is located within the community.
- The breeding of small animals is strengthened and guaranteed even in the dry season, as there is water for the driest period;
- With the water from the Stone Tank the food and nutritional security of families is guaranteed with the production of food and the raising of animals
- It contributes to financial autonomy with the commercialization of items produced with water;
- The water in the Stone Tank increases the availability for work and domestic uses, as well as community tasks, in associations, groups, collectives, churches, etc.
“The rainwater stored in the stone tank made my dream come true”.
Maria Fortunado, Santo Antônio, Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil.
“Since I was a child, I witnessed my father and mother digging in, removing the stones. We were anxious about the rainy season, so the ditch would fill and we would have water for some time”.
Orlei Teles, Barro Alto, Bahia, Brasil
“Today we can say that we are happier, because our lives have undergone big changes that have come to strengthen our family and community dreams and alliances; not to mention that we have abundant water for our daily needs, because next to us we have a structure that will be cared for and preserved forever.”
Dona Helena, Doutor Severiano, Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil
HOW TO DO IT?
For the construction of the Stone Tank or Cauldron, it is necessary to identify a place that naturally accumulates rainwater, be it large cracks, caves, or natural holes, usually among granite, that store rainwater. They are usually found in mountainous areas. To increase its capacity, masonry walls are erected in the lower part or around it, which serve as a barrier to accumulate water. In the following step-by-step section, the construction process will be presented in detail, with tips and recommendations for good practices.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER IT?
The care with the Stone Tank or Cauldron is the collective responsibility of the entire community benefitting from the water. With good technology management, it is possible to have water during periods of drought that contribute to the area and its organization, in addition to family uses. Looking after the structure and the water management is essential for it to provide healthy water, storing a volume that would be wasted if there were no tank.
Maintenance of the structure
- The area near the Stone Tank must always be clean, without the presence of waste, avoiding water contamination, and practices that may compromise the stone slab area and the wall;
- In no way should poison or pesticides be used in the production so that there is no contamination of soil, water, food, or people;
- Annually, the wall of the Stone Tank must be maintained, preventing it from degrading.
Care in the management of water
- It is necessary to monitor the water quality every year;
- Animals should be avoided in the Stone Tank area so that there is no water contamination;
- It is important that the planting carried out with the water collected is agroecological, this avoids the risk of contamination of soil, food, and people, as pesticides are not used, but also, less water is used, since the mulch (dead covering) used in agroecological processes accumulates more water on the soil.
Cartilha Caminhos das Águas: Manejo Integrado da Água e Saneamento em Microbacias do Semiárido Brasileiro. AS-PTA, CAATINGA, CENTRO SABIÁ e DIACONIA. Recife : Centro Sabiá, 2012. 32p. : il.
Série Sertão que dá Certo – Desenvolvendo uma cultura de estoques e convivendo com as condições de Semi-Árido (2008). Ouricuri: CAATINGA.