Water collection, distribution and use in Bonifacio, the capital of Corsica

The city of Bonifacio is situated at the extreme south of Corsica Island in France. The climate is characterised by strong and cold winds and irregular precipitations. Due to its strategic geographical location the city has been under siege quite a few times throughout its history.

The water supply for the city in general and the army in particular has always been a serious problem in Bonifacio. To ensure water during long lasting sieges and summer droughts the inhabitants of Bonifacio have developed systems relying on rainwater as well as groundwater exploitation.

To access the ground water they dug in the cliff a stair leading to a well / cave, from where they pulled up water. They also dug a well of 7 m diameter and 70 m depth, that is also surrounded by hewn stairs.

But the prevailing water management system in Bonifacio concerns the collection of rain water. Several ingenious systems have been constructed to collect water from the roofs and lead it to large scale cisterns that could water the whole city.  

In this case study these systems will be presented.