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Traditional Rainwater Harvesting rediscovers ancient methods.

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Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) refers to ecological knowledge and practices of indigenous and local cultures. With a focus on Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) many different types of systems were designed based on scale, water usage and storage location. Over centuries, people in diverse geographical positions relied on rainwater and developed indigenous knowledge and techniques to harvest rainwater. These can be divided into these categories: Micro-catchment methods, Macro-catchment and Flood-water methods.

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting is a process that requires the concentration, collection and storage of rainwater for a number of purposes. This can be done in the same area where the rainfall takes place, or in a different area. This water can also be used immediately or later. Some examples of traditional rainwater harvesting include qanats, contour-bench terracing, spate irrigation, khuskhaba system, rooftop rainfall collection and cisterns.

Traditional methods may have a few challenges to overcome, but they have proven to be sustainable over long time periods. In order to fight environmental degradation of the present and future, it is important to develop holistic and sustainable strategies, especially in vulnerable regions.

For a more general overview and introduction to rainwater harvesting, please check out the Toolbox on Rainwater Harvesting. Further information on practical applications is given in the Land-based Rainwater Harvesting Toolbox, as well as the one on Aquifer Recharge, which provides you with knowledge on how depleted groundwater sources (aquifers) can be restored.

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Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Knowledge Video Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Literature Review DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Timeline Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Quiz Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Interactive Summary


The Toolbox contains knowledge and methods to revive the land, use synergies and develop degraded rural settings. Each entity in the Toolbox consists of a video and a short summary introducing the topic, a literature review for a more in depth insight into the topic, as well as a quiz to test your knowledge on the subject.

These publications are a result of collaboration with Master students, PhD students and researchers at the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection at Hamburg University of Technology. They are concerned with restoring degraded areas and creating new, not just inhabitable, but liveable spaces. All RUVIVAL publications are available in the readings section for free as a download as we support open access and source.

Furthermore, each toolbox contains a variety of other tools like calculators, manuals, handbooks or a database according to the topic.

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RUVIVAL produces e-learning material concerned with sustainable rural development. The project exists since 2016 as part of the Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU). The RUVIVAL Team produces the material at the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection (AWW) as part of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH).

The aim is to spread knowledge on sustainable practices. This e-learning website gives you the tools to implement sustainable practices in the area of sanitation, water and soil conservation.

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Veröffentlicht am

September 19, 2019





Sumbal Tasawwar

Zhuoheng Chen

Rahel Birhanu Kassaye

Ruth Schaldach

Antonio Seoane Dominguez

Tavseef Mairaj Shah

LRMI Metadaten