International Seminar Rainwater Harvesting Techniques - Towards Effective Adaptation Strategies
The objective of this seminar is to exchange and gather knowledge of different water harvesting techniques in Africa and the Arab regions. It is desired to assemble the available information about the use, implementation and design of water harvesting techniques in the region. Participants will be asked to comment their experiences on this topic and the difficulties encountered. A cooperation network of the participating professionals will be created.
The UNESCO Global Network on Water and Development Information for Arid Lands (G-WADI) program aims to strengthen the global capacity to manage the water resources of arid and semi-arid areas. Its primary goal is to build an effective global community through integration of selected existing materials from networks, centers, organizations, and individuals who become members of G-WADI.
In the last decade, climate change has influenced changes in the frequency of the droughts and the patterns of precipitation events in the arid and semi-arid zones of Africa. As a consequence, monthly discharges in watercourses have decreased and the availability of water for human consumption, riverine ecosystems, agriculture, hydropower plants and industry is diminishing. On the other hand, it is being common that precipitation events are more intense than before, what limits the infiltration process and urges the development of infrastructure to store and retain runoff water.
Techniques for harvesting rainwater have been used since first human civilizations. However, the climate issues plus the increasing population and water consumption require these techniques to be more sophisticated and efficient. Additionally, infrastructure for rainwater harvesting has to be installed in areas where there was never any need for them and where experience regarding their use and design is lacking.
Through the Water Security Project, funded through the Flanders UNESCO Trust Fund (FUST), the implementation of effective adaptation strategies is promoted (Expected Result N°1- Activity 2: Implementation of Adaptation Strategies and Climate Risk Management in pilot areas). Additionally, this activity is part of the IHP Phase VIII ´Water Security: Responses to Local, Regional and Global Challenges´ and particularly the G-WADI program to enhance the knowledge and capacity of African professionals linked to water resources, by exchanging their experiences and creating a cooperation network on water harvesting techniques.
For this reason, UNESCO-IHP and the UNESCO Category 2 Regional Center for Capacity Development and Research in Water Harvesting (RCWH) are organizing the seminar “Rainwater harvesting techniques: Towards Effective Adaptation Strategies”. In an effort for starting with a background of published experiences on rainwater harvesting techniques, speakers will be asked for a five-page document that will be part of a formal publication and also part of a online database of experiences that will be located on the G-WADI web-page (http://www.gwadi.org/).