admin | October 26, 2015
This week’s story from Kenya presents sand dams as one way of maintaining a community’s water supply through the dry season. Our script of the week describes a closely-related method for achieving the same result: the groundwater dam.
Groundwater dams store water underground, rather than on the surface. Water that is stored in the soil does not evaporate like water in ponds and streams. It is clean and healthy—parasites will not contaminate underground water. The key is to find ways to capture wet season rainfall and hold it underground. There are many ways to do this, both traditional and modern. But whatever method is used, the principle is the same: slow down the flow of water as it runs downhill.
Each region will have its own traditional solutions, based on its own unique needs for water, its soil structure, its climate, and its social structure. You will want to research the needs and capacities of your area to make the script relevant.
Groundwater dams require a fair amount of labour to construct, but the technology is not difficult, and the rewards are great.
This script shows how one community built a groundwater dam to solve its water problems. It does not provide step-by-step instructions on how to build a groundwater dam. Further technical details on how to build and maintain a groundwater dam are available in the resource materials listed at the end of the script.