You are on page 1of 25

Introduction

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

What is water harvesting ? What are the benefits of water harvesting ? What are the limitations of water harvesting ? For which areas is water harvesting suitable ?

Where was water harvesting used traditionally ?


Where is water harvesting used at present ?

What is water harvesting?


A process of collecting runoff from a catchment area
Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

to be directly conveyed to a cropping area and stored in the soil profile for immediate uptake by the crops (i.e. runoff farming systems) or
1.

The principle
Run-on area = cropping area
or storage media Runoff area = catchment area

to be stored in a water reservoir for future productive uses


2.

domestic consumption

livestock watering irrigation

aquaculture

The main goals of water harvesting


Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

To secure water supply in dry areas where other water resources (surface water or ground water) are not available or are uneconomical to develop, in order to:
increase

the productivity of arable and grazing land which suffers from inadequate rainfall

increase yields of rainfed farming minimize the risk of crop failure in drought- prone areas desertification by afforestation, fruit tree planting or agroforestry

combat

supply drinking water for animals supply domestic water

The principle of water harvesting


Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production

Water Harvesting
Run-on area water Runoff area (catchment) water
Storage media

Unit 1 Introduction

Storage media

Irrigated crops
Annual crops / trees / pasture

water

Storage in the soil profile

The principle of water harvesting


Microcatchment
Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Floodwater harvesting

Macrocatchment

Catchment area
Roof tops
Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Courtyards, streets, public squares

Catchment area
Small ground surfaces

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

untreated treated

Catchment area
Slopes

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

untreated treated

Catchment area
Large, untreated catchment areas which feed seasonal water courses
Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Catchment areas
Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production

Roof tops Courtyards, streets, public squares Small ground surfaces untreated treated

Slopes

Unit 1 Introduction

untreated treated

Large catchment areas feeding seasonal courses

Storage media
Underground storage

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Soil Sediments

Storage media
Underground storage

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Cisterns

Storage media
Storage above ground

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Tanks and jars

Storage media
Storage above ground

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Ponds

Storage media
Storage above ground

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Reservoirs

Storage media
Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production

Underground storage

Soil
Sediments Cisterns

Storage above ground

Unit 1 Introduction

Tanks and jars Ponds Reservoirs

What are the benefits of water harvesting ?


Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Higher productivity (higher yields and less risk) Crop production in areas where it is normally not feasible Soil conservation (for macrocatchments on cropping area only) = less soil erosion

Pasture improvement = more livestock [= more desertification ?]


Improved re-/afforestation = less desertification

WATER HARVESTING

Suppression of salinity in soil = more productive land


Water conservation (tapping unused water)

Groundwater recharge = more water available

What are the limitations of water harvesting?


Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Climatic risks still exist

No guarantee for high yields


Methods scientifically not well established Very often limited experience of extension service

Possible conflicts between people upstream and downstream


Possible harm to fauna and flora Larger schemes and structures are difficult to implement (need acceptance by people, political backing and financial support)

For which areas is water harvesting suitable?


Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Arid, semi-arid and semi-humid areas Where water demand of crops is higher than supply because of

low rainfall and / or uneven seasonal distribution of rainfall and / or

high temperatures (high evapotranspiration)

Where rainfall exceeds 150 mm /year, if rain falls in the cool season Where rainfall exceeds 200 mm /year, if rain falls in the hot season and if no storage in ponds or reservoirs is provided

Where was water harvesting


used traditionally?
Asia

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production

America

Unit 1 Introduction

Jordan (since 7000 BC) Mesopotamia (4500 BC) Palestine (2000 BC-1200 AD) Yemen (since 1000 BC) Pakistan India Sri Lanka China

Arizona and New Mexico (1000 AD)

Africa

Tunisia: `Meskats, Mgoud and `Jessours Somalia: `Caag and `Gawan systems Sudan: `Haffire, `Teras etc. Burkina Faso: Pits

Where is water harvesting used at present in Africa ?


Examples: WH well documented Morocco Algeria Egypt Chad Mali WH most probably applied Niger Sudan Ethiopia Somalia Other countries Kenya Tanzania Zambia

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Where is water harvesting used in sub-Saharan Africa?


Some examples:

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Niger, Ader Doutchi Maggia area (Haussa): rock bunds, stalks and earth for water diversion in fields Burkina Faso (Mossi): rock bunds and stone terraces Mali : stone constructions, macrocatchments

Chad, Ouaddai area: small check dams


Burkina Faso: pitting (Zay), rock bunds Kenya, Turkana and Baringo area: many types Many more traditional water harvesting systems exist

In sub-Saharan Africa, water harvesting is still far below its potential!

Where is water harvesting used at present in Asia? (I)

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

WH well documented
Syria Jordan Saudi Arabia India Oman Yemen Iran China

WH most probably applied

Afghanistan
Pakistan

Other countries

Where is water harvesting used at present in Asia ? (II)

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

WH well documented

China

WH most probably applied

India

Myanmar

Vietnam Laos Philippines

Thailand Cambodia

Other countries

Summary
Water harvesting

Water Harvesting for Improved Agricultural Production Unit 1 Introduction

Is the collection and concentration of runoff water Can produce crops in areas with insufficient rain Can improve pasture and crop yield Is suited for arid, semi-arid and semi-humid regions Has positive side effects on: water and soil conservation Consists of a runoff area and a run-on area

The water is stored in the soil, in cisterns or reservoirs


Has been used traditionally in many (semi-) arid areas of the world

Its use is still far below its potential!