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How we can store water to a height of 12m and water volume of about 3ooo liters

Ahana Shrestha
Practical Action
related country: Ghana
related country: Ghana

A question from Kwaku Bamfo Bandoh

we have dug a borehole from which we use a solar powered pump to store water to a height of 12m and water volume of about 3oooliters.I have just learned the possibility to use this set up to generate power as well.Will someone help me think through this?if this is possible we can share the water with the community while we generate hydro power as well.The community will enjoy clean water and power as well.

3 Answers


Hi Ahana,

Best wishes for 2107!

This is a very common question, but in fact you don't really want to store the water that high, you simply want pressure in your pipe system.

The good news is that these days there are much better solutions to get pressure in your pipes, other than constructing and expensive elevated reservoir, that needs maintenance and will certainly leak after a while.

If you look around you in the western world, you have probably noticed that you don't see so many water towers anymore as well. They are replaced with a system that is called: "Pressure on Demand" (PoD), Grundfos is one of the main suppliers in this.

However, this innovation has not yet properly introduced in Africa and other developing regions. People like to stick to what they know and often are afraid of something new.

The PoD system is simply a smaller subsurface reservoir (more easy and cheaper to make) with an additional pressure pump and a pressure valve. As soon as the pressure in your pipe system drops because people start to use water, in the morning of instance, the pump starts and keeps the pressure to your required minimum.

in case your pipe system is large you can add more secondary reservoirs or pressure pumps on the way.

If you make the all included costs, you will see that this PoD system is less expensive to operate and will have less system losses as well.


@:) cheers

Paul van Beers FairWater Foundation



I would add to this that PoD needs a power source. Which it sounds like Ahana does not have - hence the interest in micro-hydro.

So, while the sun shines, you are probably best to maybe consider adding panels to the solar system you have if you need more power. Simply pumping water to 12m elevation so that you can then use the water pressure to generate power makes little sense.

I would also add that PoD systems do fail and are more complex to repair than a leaky tank / pipe. The principle should be 'avoid pumping, but if you have to do it, do it once, do it early and do it as high as possible'.


Hello Ahana,

Can't add too much to the other great answers, other than to say this type of filter could be worth knowing about for your water storage project.

Peter J Hughes