UNESCO G-WADI Workshop on Water Harvesting (cont.)


Appendix 2: Template for RWH Case Studies

UNESCO G-WADI is developing a web based set of short case studies demonstrating the applications of water harvesting RWH/MAR (Rain Water Harvesting and Managed Aquifer Recharge) in solving water scarcity problems in arid and semi-arid lands. The purpose of this activity is to disseminate, in a common format, the results of both published and unpublished work in a way that promotes the applications of the science and technology both to other workers but especially to a wider audience and especially a non-technical audience. This activity will also be linked with parallel activities by IAH (International Association of Hydrogeologists) on MAR.

A searchable database of case studies will be developed on the G-WADI web site (www.g-wadi.org/casestudies).  Each case study has a maximum of 1000 words and contains only illustrations that are useful for summarising the work and conveying the message to a wide audience. The following headings are proposed:

  • TITLE (author, date, address, e-mail)
  • Location
  • Main water harvesting aim(s) illustrated and social setting
  • Abstract (50 words)
  • Hydrogeological, climatic setting
  • Methodology and results of water harvesting studies
  • Findings and conclusions. Practical benefits, people affected, environmental, ecological impacts
  • Credits
  • Further reading – 2 or three specific references/web links
  • Two photographs maximum
  • Two conceptual diagrams (suitable to convey message to wider audience)

Appendix 4:
1004 Yazd Delcaration on Management of Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and Water Harvesting (WH)

We the participants of the Regional Workshop on Management of Aquifer Recharge and Water Harvesting in Arid and Semi-arid Regions of Asia, from Asia, Arab and European regions met in Yazd, Islamic Republic of Iran during 27-30 November 2004, to deliberate and exchange knowledge and experiences on the technical and policy issues on MAR and WH.

Noting Persia, as one of the first civilizations to introduce sustainable water technologies to the world. Iran hosted the regional workshop at the International Centre on Qanats and Historical Hydraulic Structures at Yazd, and following technical as well as plenary sessions of experts from 12 countries in the region together with international experts have agreed on the following conclusions and recommendations for action:

Recognizing the state of the art with regard to rainwater harvesting and management of aquifer recharge technology:

  • Harvested rainwater is a major additional supply of water, which provides a genuine solution to scarcity, improved quality and improved livelihood in many rural as well as urban areas
  • There is now increasing regional recognition of the effectiveness of harvesting techniques at different scales, with added benefits of groundwater quality improvement, flood hazard reduction and soil retention.
  • Sediment migration was identified as a significant clogging hazard that is managed with a variety of techniques
  • Traditional knowledge and technologies in the region (especially qanats) are shown to be highly effective and their persistence over two millennia provides a model of sustainability.  This knowledge needs to be maintained, disseminated and built upon.
  • There is a need to characterize active groundwater recharge versus palaeo-groundwater using suitable chemical and isotopic tracers as a basis of sustainable management and as a foundation for MAR.

Noting key policy issues:

  • Integrated water resource management (IWRM) strategies should recognize rainwater as an additional water resource, in addition to surface and groundwater.
  • Introduce and reinforce appropriate legislation and regulations to ensure demand management as a measure towards controlling water levels and stabilizing abstraction, notably to protect shallow aquifers and ecosystems
  • The involvement of all stakeholders in planning and decision-making is needed as basis of equity and sustainability over the proposed development of new resources.
  • There needs to be devolution towards community involvement in water management in favour of small to medium scale ventures involving WH and MAR
  • Monitoring strategies and protection guidelines must be improved through adaptive governance to detect improvements as well as deterioration in water levels and quality, to undertake appropriate and timely remedial actions.
  • Case studies of both good and bad practice should be documented for better policy formulation and implementation.

Recognizing the role of dissemination and training:

  • Need for regional training centres for MAR and WH to pass on basic practical skills, share experience and ensure proper standards. The International Centre on Qanats and Historical Hydraulic Structures in Yazd is seen as a pre-eminent model
  • Development of material in connection with MAR and WH for formal and non-formal training and general awareness raising as part of school curricula in ecology and sustainable environment and furthermore at all levels of society. 
  • The active role of the media in awareness raising should be encouraged and experience shared
  • Need for training of trainers for professionals at national levels in various areas related to MAR and WH including the use of chemical tracers and isotopes as well as physical techniques.
  • Networking of experience via the G-WADI network using UNESCO regional centres and also in conjunction with the IAH MAR Commission.

Emphasise the regional issues:

  • Iran among several other countries in the region, offers immense capacity for training in MAR and WH and we recommend development of appropriate regional training
  • Countries in the region should collaborate to develop a new international programme for effective development of the MAR and WH technologies as a possible alternative to large costly storage and transfer schemes. UNESCO should act as the catalyst in the process.
  • Special attention needs to be given (new projects and training) to those regions and countries in the region where experience of MAR and WH is weak.

And we the participants:

  • Call upon UNESCO, ISESCO, the International Centre on Qanats and Historic Hydraulic Structures and the Regional Centre for Urban Water Management to work closely with the member states of Asia and the Arab region to launch a regional network and a project on Management of Aquifer Recharge and Water Harvesting related to the IHP’s G-WADI network.
  • Invite international scientific associations to join hands in networking of regional institutions, exchange of success stories within the region and internationally.
  • Invite related UN Organizations to contribute to the regional project particularly in the area of capacity building and training including the use of tools such as isotopes and chemical tracers in monitoring and estimation of recharge and effectiveness of MAR schemes.
  • Invite funding agencies such as the Global Environmental Facility to support actions related to regional projects.

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