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Indigenous water harvesting and conservation practices: historical context, cases and implications
Expanded Title:Indigenous rainwater harvesting and conservation practices are the product of accumulated knowledge, practices and traditions which have evolved over many generations of experimentation and adaptation. These practices thus have inherent sustainability and present a sound platform on which to develop new practices aimed at maximising the benefits of ‘runoff farming’, as rainwater harvesting might best be summarised. The scoping study concluded that while there is substantial anecdotal evidence of agricultural water-use in South Africa since the stone-age, indigenous rainwater harvesting and conservation technologies have not evolved to the same extent as in the more arid areas of North Africa. This is explained by historical settlement in the wetter eastern half of South Africa and a cattle-based culture. The scoping study did identify 13 practices across the breadth of South Africa and reported in detail on ten of these: one distinctly indigenous (Gelesha practice), five indigenised (in that they are the product of local and external influences) and four more which are essentially contemporary-scientific methods. The techniques that were documented in detail covered scales varying from tens of thousands of hectares (saaidamme) to micro catchments of a few square metres in size.
Date Published:28/04/2009
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Agricultural Water - Commercial irrigation, Agricultural Water - Small holder irrigation, Agricultural Water - Rainwater harvesting, Wastewater Management - Agricultural, R & D - Water history
Document Keywords:Environment, Municipality, Rural
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Technical
WRC Report No:TT 392-09
ISBN No:978-1-77005-829-3
Authors:Denison J; Wotshela L
Project Leader:Denison J
Project No:K5/1777/4
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Umhlaba Consulting
Document Size:1 024 KB
Attachments:TT 392 Abstract.docx
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