Facts on water harvesting


DCG's factsheet on water harvesting

Sébastien Fornerod | March 2012

Ensuring food security for people in the drylands is a challenge. Lack of soil fertility and water stress are two main factors limit agricultural production critical to food security. Rainfed agriculture which is common in the drylands (from 300mm rainfall per year) is highly vulnerable to climate change, causing rainfall to be more scarce and erratic. Harvesting of rain and runoff water, and effective management of water are ancient concerns of populations whose expertise in this area is important. But traditional responses are being challenged by the pace and unpredictability of the changes. The identification and study of these methods, their improvement and exchange between regions are significant steps in realizing their full potential, especially for small-scale farmers. Water harvesting and conservation are becoming two essential priorities of any national and local program aiming at ensuring food security in the drylands. The Drylands Coordination Group provides its research results for the policies to be are as effective as  possible.

Results presented in this factsheet are taken from following DCG reports:

  • M. Coulbaly, M.D. Doumbia, F.B. Fassikoye, D. Diarra, K.M. Traore, C.P. Reij, 2012 (to be published). "Le captage des eaux de pluie", Drylands Coordination Group.
  • Tesfay, G. 2011. "On farm water harvesting for rainfed agriculture development and food security in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: investigation of technical and socioeconomic issues". Drylands Coordination Group. Report No 61.
  • Tesfay, Haile. 2007. "Assessment of Institutional Setup and Effect of Household Level Water Harvesting in Ensuring Sustainable Livelihood. A Case study of Kobo, Almata and Kilte Awlaelo Woredas in Amhara and Tigray Regions of Ethiopia". Drylands Coordination Group. Report No 52.
  • Mitiku, H. and S. N. Merga, 2002. "Workshop on the Experience of Water Harvesting in the Drylands of Ethiopia: Principles and practices", Drylands Coordination Group and Noragric, Agricultural University of Norway. Report No 19.

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