Wednesday, April 5, 2006

JB: This is Earth & Sky, on the need for fresh water and the use of simple technologies in the developing world

DB: They can make a huge difference for some of the billion-plus people on Earth today who live in poverty so extreme that they are at risk of dying every day. Consider the Sahel region of Africa. It’s been in drought conditions for decades. When rains do come, reservoirs and wells fill up. But, in some places, the water has to be carried to farmer’s fields by hand.

Frank Rijsberman: In essence, it takes several thousand liters of water to produce a single kilo of rice or grain, like wheat, that we use for bread.

JB: That’s Frank Rijsberman, Director General of the International Water Management Institute, speaking to us from his office in Sri Lanka. He said that the world’s poor could be greatly aided by more investments in simple technologies to make water accessible for food production.

Frank Rijsberman: Treadle pumps, those are very simple pumps that are powered by a person at a cost, at the very simplest version, something like $20-25 to $100 for a fancy version. Then we also have things like micro-drip kits, and that means that you can actually have drip irrigation by starting with a large bucket linked to some small tubes that drip that water to your lettuce or other vegetables.

To read the full interview with Frank Rijsberman, click here.

Source: Earth & Sky Radio Series (link opens in a new window)