Monday, July 16, 2012

40 – Rainwater harvesting

During my reading time yesterday I came across an article that caught my attention,

The paradoxes that afflict arid and semi-arid regions of Mozambique. This article, written in Portuguese, was published in a blog called Um outro Moçambique é possível.
This article reminded me of another, I had read a few days before, about an Indian citizen, Rajendra Singh, who has dedicated his life to the recovery of water streams that had been dry for years. Some of these streams had been dry for decades. Rajendra uses traditional methods of rainwater harvesting. As a result whole communities now have water and new opportunities for agriculture and raising cattle.
Rajendra has revitalized traditional techniques to build johads. Johads are earthen check dams. These dams are simple to build and serve two purposes. One is to capture rainwater. The water retained in the johad will seep into the soil recharging the local aquifer. Water wells will function better. The other purpose is to provide water for agriculture and cattle. Local animals and plants also benefit and nature has recovered.  
I did a quick search on the Internet using the word johad and the English equivalent, earthen check dams.  Among the many articles and documents available on this topic I found these two that can be downloaded using these links:
There are many more. It is a well known technique for rainwater harvesting and storm water control. 
I wonder how much of this knowledge can be used to recover land across our World. Land that has become arid or semi-arid and unsuitable for agriculture due to all sorts of desertification processes.

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