RWH and Environmental Sustainability - 3R, MUS and more

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Topic Conversation Images / Documents

RWH and



- 3R, MUS

and more

Hi there - sitting with Teddy Twine from JESE Uganda and Deres Abdulkadir from RiPPLE Ethiopia deliberating how RWH can cater for multiple use. We are interested to learn how RWH can harness environmental sustainability. Does anybody has any concrete examples? Documents, photo's or any other type of information would be very helpful!

- R

Dear R,

Just a quick response from M and me.

1. Mostly, roof top rainwater is used for both drinking water, hygiene and some gardening; provided that there is sufficient storage and good management. For gardening, you need to be sure that you can water for the whole growth cycle. An alternative is nursing of trees. In many cases, young trees need only to be watered during their first years.

2. Possibilities become more viable in case you can you diversify your storage: e.g. a tank for drinking water with an overflow to a cheaper sub-surface tank, pool of infiltration into the soil for later use from a well. In these situations you'll have much more volume and you can better manage the water in a way that the water for drinking remains safe and saved. The infiltration in Bangladesh by Acacia is such an example.

3. Extend the chain of water use. Hand wash water and drainage water (grey waste water) can be used in gardening after a short 'treatment'; or through permeable hoses that prevent the need to have direct contact with the water.

For further descriptions and photos we have to invest in time. So we leave it with these thoughts, for the moment.

- D

Hoofd Programmabureau

Dear R,

RWH for multiple use in general means that water is used for productive uses like cattle water, irrigation etc, right? In general large volumes of water are needed especially for irrigation. There are low cost cement or plastic tanks but they still are expensive. There is the 3R approach, Retention, Recharge and Reuse One of the low cost options that can be made locally without environment risk are rainwater infiltration systems like recharge pits. In attach an option called Tube recharge which filters the water before it infiltrates in the ground. In this way it is imitating the natural infiltration.

Maybe useful in your meeting?


- H

Tube recharge. SHIPO 2 pag.15-3-2013.doc

Hello R (and please extend my greetings also to T),

Maybe you could explain a little better what you have in mind?

Obviously rainwater has an important ecosystem function and capturing (on a larger scale) it at another place might have a negative effect on some downstream ecosystems.

On the other hand, restoring spring flows through improved infiltrations (see example attached, but I know you are doing similar things in Uganda already) can have a strong impact on the natural vegetation below.

I also think that (rotating?) protected catchment areas could be a great supplement to range-land management, in order to let the natural vegetation recover in communal grazing areas. But I have yet to come across a good implementation example for that.

Best regards,

- K


Dear R,

Here you find some pictures of the construction of RWH tanks in a garden in Gambia, October 2013. The water is meant for drinking and irrigation both, depending on the owner. More information for T, you can find in the evaluation report of H.

You can ask for more pictures.

Best regards and success,

- P

JRH en Gambia 603.jpg

JRH en Gambia 468.jpg

Hans Hartung Rainwater Harvesting in Guinea-Bissau_5.pdf

Hi R,

We in Nepal are also promoting cement clay lined tanks for collecting waste water that can be used for irrigation (drip) for vegetable farming. Its capacity is up to 3 m3. Besides a better option is use compaction of the pond surface and use clay lining (red clay).

- I

Dear R,

Based on a review of RWH structures constructed in Ethiopia, the conclusion was that only unlined/earthen reservoirs or lined with geomembrane are economically feasible. Structures using mortar/cement lining or bricks are simple too expensive.

Best regards,

- O

Dear R,

A few pictures of smaller masonry RWH structure for 2 households to supply water for micro-irrigation using footpump and low-cost drip system in Goncha woreda in Amhara NRS constructed under CIDA-funded Sustainable Water harvesting and Institutional Strengthening in Amhara (SWHISA) Project.

Best regards,

- O

Household RWH structure.JPG

Low-cost drip system.JPG

Treadle pump to lift water from RWH structure.JPG

Dear R,

Attached a few pictures of a village RWH structure in Lay Ghaint woreda in Amhara NRS constructed by NGO "ORDA". Harvested water is used for watering animals and micro-irrigation using low-cost drip systems and only female-headed households are entitled to use water.

Best regards,

- O

Animal drinking trough.JPG

Low-cost drip system.JPG

Low-cost drip.JPG

Village RWH structure.JPG

Dear O,

Are these results published in a report that is accessible? I am finalizing a paper comparing different types of RWH structures in Ethiopia, and this information would be very welcome.

Best regards,

- R

Dear R,

The results of the assessment were published in "Profit from Storage; the costs and benefits of water buffering" (2012) by the 3R Water Secretariat (see 5.12: Surface water harvesting tanks, Amhara, Ethiopia; p.92-97). I have attached the document to this email.

Best regards,



Dear R,

Please see this link on Djerba, Tunesia where RWH is combined with house cooling in hot places...

All the best

- F

The Water Channel

Dear R,

In Burkina Faso, iDE is interested in sand dams built in silted rivers. Sand dams enable to retain runoff water and recharge groundwater. Thus it allows vegetation to return on river's banks and protect the local environment. Water may be used for irrigating large garden, watering livestock or drinking by means of wells connected to groundwater (MUS).

iDE has also developed a new kind of RWH tank called "Impluvium iDEal" (picture attached). This tank is made of metal sheets and a canvas cover instead of fibrocement. This structure is environmentally sustainable as all materials can be re-use for an other purpose and water may be used for irrigating a small garden or meeting domestic needs (MUS).

Moreover one major advantage of the impluvium iDEal is its reduced cost (711 US $ instead of 1811 US $ for a fibrocement one). This price decline is expected to create a new demand on the market and would allow a wide dissemination of impluvium in the region.



iDE Burkina Faso

IDE Burkina Faso.jpg