Every Last Drop: Rainwater Harvesting and Sustainable Technologies in Rural China

Overview

Over the past two decades a quiet revolution has been taking place in the countryside of China where hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. This book focuses on some of the practical actions and clever use of appropriate technologies which have been at the heart of this positive grassroots-driven change in rural Gansu Province. Key to this has been mobilizing the population and their expeditious use of rainwater harvesting both to dramatically improve crop yields and provide households ...
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Overview

Over the past two decades a quiet revolution has been taking place in the countryside of China where hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. This book focuses on some of the practical actions and clever use of appropriate technologies which have been at the heart of this positive grassroots-driven change in rural Gansu Province. Key to this has been mobilizing the population and their expeditious use of rainwater harvesting both to dramatically improve crop yields and provide households with reliable domestic water supplies. Since Gansu is semi-arid and stored rainwater a scarce resource, ingenious systems of providing crops with just the right amount of supplementary irrigation at critical periods have been developed. Challenges such as lack of fuelwood have been overcome by the development of simple low-cost solar cookers, which by focusing the sun’s rays using tiny mirrors can boil a kettle in minutes. These affordable units are now being produced at hundreds of small rural factories. The construction of low-cost greenhouses using plastic sheeting allows for the collection of rainwater and its use in efficient drip irrigation systems. By supplying vegetables and cash crops to local markets farmers have been able to repay their initial investment in under two years. The real significance of this case study is that most of the approaches described are based on universal principles of sustainable development.

Every Last Drop is recommended reading for engineers, planners, staff of NGOs, academics and students in the water, energy, and agriculture sectors.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book is a major source of tested techniques in the fields of water supply and agriculture for semi-arid lands, solar energy and erosion control. I happily commend it.”

Every Last Drop shows that great strides can be made against the severe challenges of water shortage and soil conservation without large expenditures by using the best of traditional technologies combined with modern science and innovation.”

“Now, not only those who have seen with their own eyes but also readers of this book will turn into believers of the huge, yet untapped potential of rainwater harvesting.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853397387
  • Publisher: Practical Action Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/28/2012
  • Pages: 160

Meet the Author

Zhu Qiang is with GRIWAC, China.

Li Yuanhong is with GRIWAC, China.

John Gould is the Project Coordinator, Engineering Projects for Developing Countries, Lincoln University, Cantebury, New Zealand.

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Table of Contents

Preface

1) Background to climate and historic water situation in Gansu
1.1 Shuijiao, the rainwater storage tank
1.2 The Traditional Shuijiao (Water Cellar)

2) Upgraded Water Cellar Designs
2.1 The Thin Walled Water Cellar
2.2 The Concrete Domed Water Cellar
2.3 The Cylindrical Water Cellar
2.4 Rainwater Harvesting System design procedure development

3) Replication of new rainwater harvesting techniques in Gansu
3.1 Reasons for the rapid spread of rainwater harvesting systems

4) Rainwater Harvesting based Irrigation Systems in Gansu
4.1 The challenge of dryland farming and innovative solutions
4.2 Rainwater Harvesting based irrigation systems
4.3 Principles and feasibility of Rainwater Harvesting based irrigation

5) Irrigation Methods using Rainwater
5.1 Simple and affordable Irrigation Techniques
5.2 Micro-irrigation using Rainwater Harvesting System
5.3 Micro catchments using rainwater concentration
5.4 Optimizing the irrigation schedule

6) Prospects for Rainwater Harvesting in Dry Areas

7) Solar cooker technology

8) Future plans and conclusion

Appendices
References and sources of further information
Index

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