The African Market Garden: An innovative system for irrigated vegetable production (Google / Science News)

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Boost for home garden drip irrigation (IRINNews)

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BURKINA FASO: Boost for garden drip irrigation

OUAGADOUGOU, 26 July 2010 (IRIN) – It is raining in Burkina Faso – flooding in some areas – but aid workers and rural families are preparing for the dry season, when water shortages tend to kill off home gardens.

Helen Keller International (HKI) is set to distribute household drip irrigation kits to some 300 families in eastern Burkina Faso who are planting gardens as part of an HKI programme to boost consumption of essential nutrients.

While drip irrigation is used increasingly in commercial farms it is not widely used in individual gardens. “But given the water shortages, to continue encouraging families to grow and eat nutritious foods we are introducing this technique for home gardens,” HKI’s Olivier Vebamba told IRIN. Continue reading “Boost for home garden drip irrigation (IRINNews)”

Dig drip irrigation (Agriculture Guide)

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How to conserve water by using dig drip irrigation?

Water is very precious to all the humans and as well as to the plants. There only a very few percent of water in the earth can be used for drinking and they are called as the fresh water. They can be obtained from various sources such as the mountains, streams, rivers, rainfall, and underground water. This contributes only a very few percent, which hardly comes as 2% of the total water present in this world. This 2% water should be used in a very efficient and effective manner, so that all the living things are able to use this fresh water. The major amount of fresh water is utilized by the agriculture industry for irrigation.

Why does irrigation require so much water?

Dig Drip Irrigation

Irrigation is one of the important techniques in the field of agriculture. This is very important because this can only ensure the survival of the plant. If we irrigate the fields heavily with water, there are chances that the plant may die because of excessive irrigation. The water could also wash them away during irrigation if very strong force of water is released at the same time. On the other hand, if there is insufficient water, then also there are chances that the plants may die due to lack of water. So it is very important for the farmer to maintain the water content on the field.

How to ensure correct irrigation?


Use and Storage of Runoff Rainwater (Veggie Gardening Tips)

Read at : Kenny Point – Veggie Gardening Tips

Use and Storage of Runoff Rainwater

One thing that really stood out was the importance that is placed on water conservation in St. Croix despite the fact that the land is situated in the midst of a vast ocean. Fresh water is crucial to survival and a resource that is valued and preserved.

Every building is required by law to incorporate a design to capture and recycle runoff rain water rather than allow it to simply filter into the ground. Most businesses and residences sit atop cisterns that store thousands of gallons of runoff water for future use.

At the sustainable farm where I stayed, all of the irrigation water is distributed through drip tape and lines arranged on the soil’s surface to reduce losses through evaporation or spray drifts and to deliver the water precisely where individual plants are growing.

There are many advantages to the commercial use of drip irrigation systems and emitters but I’m beginning to consider experimenting with some type of drip system for my backyard in the near future.

Rain Reserve Water Conservation Kit

Your water supply may not be as dire as what I noted in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but here is a great system for catching roof water runoff and putting that rain water to better uses around your home and garden.

This kit includes everything that you need except the barrels (which can easily be sourced locally) to convert your homes downspout system into a water saving source of pure, distilled rainwater for irrigation and other non potable uses.

Best of all, this is a two barrel system that will provide you with twice the water storage capacity that you’ll find elsewhere. I used this kit to convert my downspout this past summer and the process was quick, easy, and painless! Now I always have a reserve of clean rainwater on hand to use in the garden, pond, or patio anytime I need it.


Kisss subsurface irrigation (D. HINTON)

On January 19th, 2009, David HINTON (Australia) wrote:

“Professor… I was interested in seeing the photos of the wetting patterns around the vegetables. I think we can help to conserve more water. You may not have seen our system but it has shown very good wetting patterns in the sands of Dubai through the summer period and I am interested in helping to conserve water and nutrients too. Our website is

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Anything else is a waste of water!

As featured on ABC’s The New Inventors – 2005 & 2008

If you could irrigate by capillary action what would you gain?

Because Kisss applies water directly to the root zone the following benefits are obtained:

  • Up to 70% less water than sprinkler systems
  • Up to 50 % less than above ground drip irrigation
  • Up to 30% less than subsurface drip irrigation
  • Reduced weed germination on the surface
  • Eliminates vandalism
  • Safe efficient fertilizer application
  • Improved resistance to disease

kisss subsurface irrigation wetting pattern

Kisss subsurface irrigation vs current drip irrigation

Algeria : Success of family garden project growing (Taleb BRAHIM / Willem)

UNICEF’s family garden project

Last week agronomist Taleb BRAHIM, coordinating engineer of UNICEF’s family garden project in the refugee camps of the Saharawis has sent some nice pictures, showing the successful production of vegetables in small-scale family gardens in the camp of Smara (S.W. Algeria) :

Taleb + cauliflower
Engineer Taleb BRAHIM surrounded by cauliflowers and tomatoes in a desert garden

Cauliflower, lettuce, sweet pepper and young tomato plants
Cauliflower, lettuce, sweet pepper and young tomato plants grown in the Sahara desert sand in a family garden of the Saharawi refugee camps.DSCNo252JPG

Red beetroot
Beetroots growing well in one of the family gardens, thanks to the use of TerraCottem soil conditioning compound (100g/m2). DSCNo310JPG

Young beans
Sand underneath the drip irrigation lines treated with the water stocking soil conditioner TerraCottem. Young beans developing well.

A small disk of spineless prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) with new shoots. This cactus if used as fodder for goats, sheep and camels. It grows well in many of the family gardens having the ability to adopt with the harsh climatic conditions of Sahara desert.(DSCNo306.JPG)

Watering Wisely (Dave’s Garden)

Read at : Dave’s Garden Weekly Newsletter

Watering Wisely

By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)
March 13, 2008

It seems like every time we pick up a newspaper or turn on the news there is some type of story about water shortages. Double digit water bill increases in urban areas or threats of running out of water in the southeast United States. We all need to do our part in conserving water whether we get it from a municipal water source or from our own wells. According to the US census bureau the 28 counties that comprise the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area has a population of some 5.1 million people. The majority of these people are in real danger of running out of water. Not a water shortage but totally running out of potable water for drinking, bathing etc. The record drought has Lake Lanier the primary source of drinking water for Atlanta and DeKalb County in danger of going dry within a few short months if much needed rain doesn’t arrive. Here in the metropolitan Detroit, Michigan area double digit water hikes are a fact of life in suburban communities supplied by the Metro Detroit water system. Those of us who are gardeners have our own unique decisions to make as far as how we use our water, how often and how much. I have some tips on how to use your water wisely, how to conserve it.  We could carry it on our heads like the lady in the thumbnail picture above, but I have some more efficient ways in order to use our water supply efficiently.

Drip Irrigation Systems Continue reading “Watering Wisely (Dave’s Garden)”

Algeria : Successful gardening by Saharawis in the Sahara desert (Willem)

Today, engineer Taleb BRAHIM, Saharawi coordinator of the UNICEF-project on “Construction of family gardens and school gardens in the Saharawis refugee camps” has sent interesting legends to some of his pictures taken in January-February 2008.  These pictures show the remarkable successes booked with this project, which contributes to food security and production of fresh food, enhancing the level of vitamins and mineral elements in the refugees’ food, thus managing some aspects of malnutrition and contributing to public health, in particular that of children.

Although the Saharawis refugees are mostly nomads or fishermen, training and capacity building sessions with a small number of Saharawis engineers conducted to a swift build-up of horticultural experience within the families, living already for more than 30 years in these refugee camps.  More and more families are currently constructing their own garden, surrounded by a fence or a brick wall, in which the soil conditioner TerraCottem is applied to keep the soil moistened with a minimum of brackish irrigation water.  This soil conditioner is making desert gardening possible, even easy and successful.  It contributes to sustainable development within the refugee camps.  As it also improves the effects of drip irrigation or other irrigation methods, application of this technology offers possibilities to solve a number of problems in other refugee camps, mostly located in harsh environments all over the world.

The pictures below show undeniably some of these interesting opportunities :

Smara garden 2008-02
Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Picture No. 117 : One of our demonstration gardens. Soil treated with the water stocking soil conditioner TerraCottem to keep the sand underneath the drip irrigation lines moistened for a considerably longer period (less irrigation water, more biomass production).

Smara garden 2
 Picture No. 125 : One of our Saharawi engineers showing families some agricultural practices, like thinning the vegetable seedlings.

Smara garden 3
 Picture No. 128 : Different crops growing in one of our new family gardens.  It’s clear that our Saharawi people need more training on agricultural practices: less seeds should be used on these small beds to have the vegetable seedlings growing at the right distance between the plants.

Smara courgettes
  Picture No. 138 : Vigourous courgette plants growing in one of our first family gardens.  Improvement shown by the significant enhancement in plant growth when using TerraCottem soil conditioner.

Smara courgettes 2
Picture No.150 : Giant courgettes (zucchinis) produced on desert soil.  Our people still need more information on the suitable time for every agricultural practice, like the one for harvesting courgettes.

Picture No.153 : Tomatoes grow well outdoors in harsh conditions of the Sahara desert.  It means that agriculture or horticulture becomes possible in a soil fertilized with the TerraCottem soil conditioner, a compound with water stocking substances, fertilizers, root growth activators and volcanic rock.

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Smara garden 4
 Picture No.155 : The new garden of a family without any former experience in agriculture. The right methods and technologies, but also training and capacity building are important factors for success.  Follow-up by agronomists or horticulturists remains necessary.

South East same as Sahara for drought risk (Google / Telegraph)

Read at : Google Alert – western sahara

South East same as Sahara for drought risk

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor

The South East of England will be at risk of serious water shortages which could lead to higher bills and rationing by 2030, according to a report published today.

  • English countryside could be changed forever
  • Water meters for drought hit homes
  • The region has been classed as one of the areas of the world at the highest risk of severe droughts because of changes in rainfall and a boom in the population.

    Without new “drip” irrigation systems for farmers and higher water prices to restrain over-use by consumers there is a danger there will not be enough to go around, warns the report. The report, by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, already classifies a swathe of the South East of the country in the same bracket as the Sahara. This is because of the availability of water per head of the population. This drought-prone area is expected to expand significantly because there is expected to be less summer rainfall as a result of global warming and because the population of London and the South East is expected to grow. Similar problems face the Mediterranean, California, eastern Australia and the western United States as well as the whole of North Africa. The report, which is to be presented to an international gathering of ministers in Paris today says that the problem of sharing out scarce water resources can be solved by pricing water more realistically. Continue reading “South East same as Sahara for drought risk (Google / Telegraph)”

    Globalisation and Environmental Challenges (AFES-PRESS)

    Peace Research and European Security Studies (AFES-PRESS) e.V.

    PD Dr. Hans Günter Brauch, Alte Bergsteige 47, 74821 Mosbach, Germany, 3 March 2008

    ( 49-6261-12912  2 49-6261-15695  :  afes @  ≤

    Globalisation and Environmental Challenges: Reconceptualising Security in the 21 st Century

    I would like to draw your attention to a new major book co-edited by:

    Hans Günter Brauch, Úrsula Oswald Spring, Czeslaw Mesjasz, John Grin, Pal Dunay, Navnita Chadha Behera, Béchir Chourou, Patricia Kameri-Mbote, P.H. Liotta (Eds.): Globalization and Environmental Chal–len–ges: Reconceptualizing Security in the 21 st Century. Hexagon Series on Human and Envi–ron–mental Security and Peace, vol. 3 ( Berlin – Heidelberg – New York: Springer-Verlag, 2008), 1176 p. 85 illus., ISBN: 978-3-540-75976-8

    Comments on this new book on global environmental change and water issues : Continue reading “Globalisation and Environmental Challenges (AFES-PRESS)”

    Algeria : Fresh food in refugee camps (UNICEF / Willem)

    The UNICEF-project “Construction of family gardens and school gardens in the refugee camps of the Saharawis” (Tindouf region, S.W. Algeria) is contributing in a very efficient way to food security and public health in the refugee camps.  Continuous efforts to construct more and more family gardens are complemented by sending seeds collected by European citizens, who do not throw seeds from tropical fruits (melon, watermelon, pumpkin, papaya, avocado etc) or leftovers from vegetable seeds (used in their own garden) anymore in the garbage bin or on the compost heap.

    For more info, have a look at :
    where you will find introductory texts in different languages.

    Here are some images taken in family gardens by engineer Taleb BRAHIM, coordinator of the project, in January-February 2008 :


    Tasty lettuce in Sahara desert soil of the Smara refugee camp

    Bottle gardening in Smara

    Different plant species grown in plastic bottles (nursery) before planting in the desert sand.  Two advantages are registered : limiting irrigation water in the nursery and eliminating littered plastic bottles in the desert.

    TC and drip irrigation

    What a magnificent feeling when growing for the first time in 30 years fresh vegetables, full of vitamins and mineral elements, in the desert sand with an amazing minimum of brackish irrigation water (after mixing TerraCottem soil conditioner to a depth of 25 cm of soil along the dripper lines of the drip irrigation system).  Left : red beetroot; Center : onion; Right : cabbage and lettuce.  A success story in the combat of desertification, the care for food security and for public health, and the enhancement of annual income.

    WATER FOR ALL NEWS – Issue 35 (IISD)

    Read at :

    [Water for All News – February 2008] Rain, Rain, Come Again: Harvesting Rain to Fight Water Scarcity



    Issue 35, February 2008

    Rain Rain, Come Again
    Harvesting Rain to Fight Water Scarcity

    Online Version –

    People have collected rainwater to augment scarce water resources as far back as 6,000 years ago. From the simple rain barrel at the end of a downspout to the complex domestic potable system with filtering and disinfection, harvesting rain has not only provided safe drinking water to millions of families; it has also improved liquid waste management by lessening erosion, increased soil moisture levels for urban greenery, increased ground water table through artificial recharge, and more. This issue will focus on how individual households and entire communities made rainwater harvesting work for them.


    Qin Guoying on Practicing the One Plus Five Model for Rainwater Harvesting

    Our project runs on donations,” says Guoying Qin, head of the Water Cellars for Mothers Project and Deputy Secretary-General of the China Women’s Development Foundation, “so our credibility and effectiveness are musts.” After raising over $47million in 7 years, the project’s partnership with public and private donors and the media have built more than 100,000 cellars and benefited 1.3 million people. Can they sustain the partnership to help more people in the coming years?


    People’s Republic of China: Water Cellars Change Drought-Affected Communities’ Lifestyles

    Costly, arduous, and time consuming. That’s how the women of drought-affected areas in the PRC described their daily task of fetching water from faraway sources. But thanks to good ideas, donations, bricks, and concrete, they now have enough water at their doorsteps. All it took was the construction of a water cellar that harvests and stores a year’s worth of drinking water, with some to spare for irrigation.

    India: 36 Roofs for 24/7 Water—Harvesting Rainfall in Badlapur

    Kulgaon-Badlapur, among the faster growing towns in Mumbai, has taken the age-old tradition of rainwater harvesting to a whole new level. With rain gutters and pipes, the people connected the roofs of 36 apartment buildings to form a system for capturing and storing rainwater. Continuous water supply and the greening of Badlapur are only the start of the benefits. What’s next for this town now that they have tackled their water supply problem? Continue reading “WATER FOR ALL NEWS – Issue 35 (IISD)”

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