International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture
Harvesting for Afforestation in Dry Areas
Institute of Water Resources Management
Hydraulic and Rural Engineering,
In arid and semiarid regions, where rainfall is not sufficient
to sustain a good seedling/tree growth, water harvesting for afforestation
is applied. Water harvesting can significantly increase the rate of tree
establishment in drought prone areas by concentrating the rainfall/runoff
These advantages are countered by the problem of unreliability
of rainfall, which can be partly overcome by interim storage (cisterns,
small reservoirs etc.). Modern hydrological tools (e.g. calculation of
rainfall probability) allow a more precise determination of the necessary
size of the catchment area (Prinz et al., 1998).
There are two major groups of water harvesting techniques:
(1) Rainwater Harvesting, which is the collection of runoff and its use
for the irrigation of crops, pastures and trees and (2) Floodwater Harvesting,
also called 'Spate Irrigation', which uses the floodwater of ephemeral
streams and rivers.
Parameters: The most important parameters to be taken into
consideration in selecting a water harvesting technique for afforestation
are: (1) rainfall distribution and rainfall intensity, (2) topographical
condition, (3) runoff / infiltration characteristics of the location,
(4) water storage capacity of soils, cisterns and reservoirs, (5) the
type of fruit, nut, or forest tree, (6) available technologies and socio-economic
conditions and preferences of the cultivator.
PDF of full document (4pp, 26kb)
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