This research deals with the storage and use of water in Mani, Greece. Water is of paramount importance in areas where drought and water scarcity is a running sore and defines their everyday lives. The fact that it is a symbol of life and survival makes it sacred, giving it an important place in folk tradition. The absence of water in Mani is due to its subsoil, which does not promote the creation of exploitable aquifers, because its ingredients do not withhold quantities of water, but instead, let the rain water leave to the sea. Thus, the gathering of water in water tanks is of vital importance.
The presence of water in the folklore studies, traditions and its relation to the social system in the region of Mani is the first part of the research work. It is followed by analysis of the storage media, primarily cisterns and their use on a daily basis in selected regions of the Messinian and Laconian Mani. The tanks and ponds were the only way to collect and store rainwater, and drinking fountains as projects of common benefit were not in common in the ‘Inner Mani’, in contrast to the ‘Outer Mani’. The fountains were public works or donations placed in the central squares across cobbled streets or highways and in rural areas serving the farmers. The fountains also used as places of cleanliness and beauty of men and women, and fulfill other social functions, as they were meeting and contact places of people. The cisterns are structures of rainwater storage. They were a key way of water supply, which is why they appear in almost every house, while the capacity was a criterion for dowry. Usually manufactured in underground dwellings or in their courtyard.
Finally, the research contains an extensive inventory of technical and construction details of tanks, their dimensions and their placement to the site.
The aim of the survey is the recording, standardization and archival preservation of these valuable structures which are now destroyed or changed use.