Water Harvesting and Conservation
In many farming areas, readily available water is in short supply. Although the total annual rainfall in an area may be enough to sustain farm needs, it is often distributed very unevenly so that long dry periods are interspersed with periods of intense rainfall. In many cases, a crop is unable to use a high proportion of this water, as much of it is lost through run off or leaching. This may also cause soil erosion and loss of soil nutrients.
The techniques described in this booklet aim to maximize the available water through water harvesting and conservation. Water harvesting techniques gather water from an area termed the 'catchment area' and channel it to the cropping area or wherever it is required. Conservation techniques conserve water within the biomass and the soil by reducing run-off and keeping the water where it falls, as much as possible.