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WHaTeR: Partners


Site: WHaTeR - Water Harvesting Technologies Revisited
Course: WHaTeR - Water Harvesting Technologies Revisited
Book: WHaTeR: Partners
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Date: Tuesday, 17 September 2019, 2:53 AM

Arba Minch University (AMU)

The Water Technology Institute in Arba Minch University, founded in 1986, has been mandated to offer both undergraduate education, conduct research and provide community services in the areas of water resources. Since 2004 it has got the authorization to postgraduate in the field of Hydraulics & Hydropower, Irrigation and Water Supply & Environmental Engineering. . The university has now diversified its programs to include colleges of agriculture, college of natural sciences, college of Business and economics, college of Social sciences and humanities and others. The institute has about 300 academic staffs and has long tradition of partnering with international institutions in conducting joint research and training. The institute hosts a regional Applied Training Center for Nile Basin countries, center of excellence on Mini-Hydropower and center on solar power energy. The Institute has a strong experience in international collaborative projects of similar kind dealing with watershed management, water supply and rural sanitation in peri-urban areas, river engineering and hydrological modeling.

Main task in WHaTeR project: Arba Minch University will lead an integrated country-based study (Work Package 10) having as major tasks to identify the various water harvesting systems and investigate their effect on livelihood improvement and food security, and to assess the potential of WH for small scale irrigation and determine their impact on disaster risk reduction, and to analyse the uptake and upscaling of WHTs.


  • Adane Abebe, Leader WP10: Ethiopia integrated case study
  • Guchie Gulle, Researcher WP10
  • Ermias Alemu, Researcher WP10
  • Samuel Dagalo, Researcher WP10


Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)

INERA (created in 1994) is one of the four institutes of the Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques et Technologiques (CNRST) in Burkina Faso. Its mission is to develop and test sustainable agricultural production options and environmental management techniques. INERA has one research and training centre (CREAF) and five regional research centres (CRREAs) spread over the country’s five agro-ecological zones. Research is in four domains: Livestock (DPA), Crop (DPV) and Forestry (DPF) production, Natural Resources Management and Farming Systems (GRN/SP). The institute holds laboratories and support offices and has 82 researchers (PhDs in multi-disciplinary domains), 129 technicians and 214 support personnel.

INERA has a long experience in managing projects. The research focus of many projects is on integrated soil fertility management, rehabilitation of degraded lands for improved and sustainable crop production. Since 1960, the Saria research station houses long-term experiments on (i) soil fertility management under different fertilization modes and cropping systems with sorghum, cowpea and cotton; (ii) mineral fertilization, organic matter (compost, crop residues), soil tillage and fertilization, protected areas management at the "central plateau" region. Through a special programme on soil and water conservation (SWC) and agro-forestry (AGF) at the central plateau, INERA developed and improved the SWC techniques addressing optimum spacing between stone rows on farms, performance and improvement of Zai techniques, mechanization of Zai pit establishment, and alternatives for stone rows such as grass strips. In addition to these contributions, INERA contributed to capacity building among farmers’ organizations and upscaling of water harvesting and nutrient management technologies (e.g., through projects funded by CORAF, the Challenge program for water and Food in the Volta basin from 2004 to 2009). INERA has much experience with technology transfer with tests in PAPEM (support points for pre-extension of multi-location experiments) based on participatory, action research with farmers.

Main task in WHaTeR project: INERA will lead an integrated country-based Work Package (9) with a strong field-based component on the testing of the impact of (improved) WHT adoption on water and nutrient interactions for different cropping systems in at least two agro-ecological zones using participatory approaches.


Korodjouma Ouattara, Leader WP9: Burkina Faso integrated case study

Sokoine University of Agriculture

Sokoine University of Agriculture, established in 1984, offers undergraduate and postgraduate training in various fields of agriculture, forestry, livestock (veterinary medicine), and Rural Development. The University has various research programmes such as the Soil Water Management Research Programme (SWMRP) started in 1990 leading to considerable experience in soil water management including rainwater harvesting. The SWMRP is implemented by 15 researchers and six research associates and has five administrative staff.

SWMRP has an excellent track record of research in the field of climate change and soil water management. Highly relevant studies for WHaTeR include DFID projects (e.g. R7888; R8115; R8116), Smallholder Systems Innovations project (WORTRO/Sida) and IDRC-DFID project on climate change adaptation.

Main task in WHaTeR project: Sokoine University will lead an integrated country-based study (Work Package 12) with a strong field component testing technological improvements of WHTs in upstream and downstream areas representing different agro-ecological zones.


Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (SearNet)

SearNet is hosted by the World Afgroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The network has been generated out of a partnership between the Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA) in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) of New Delhi, India, with a joint programme (initiated in 2002) on "A Network for Green Water Harvesting in Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia". When RELMA merged into ICRAF in 2006, the joint programme expanded with a second phase to include the Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network and the Rainwater Harvesting Implementation Network (RAIN) covering now 18 countries, i.e., Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Somaliland in the Eastern African region, and six countries in Southeast Asia.

The network has first concentrated on awareness creation, strengthening national and regional networks, conducting policy research and evaluation, and capacity building but currently also addresses capacity development among (non-)governmental and community-based organizations, the academia and private sector to implement rainwater harvesting practices on the ground. Through the Netherlands-funded programme on Improved Capacity in Rainwater Management for Sustainable Development, it addresses overexploitation and pollution of river and groundwater (blue water) by promoting "green water" harvesting (all-purpose water harvesting at household/farm levels with emphasis on water for agricultural production).

Main task in WHaTeR project: SearNet will have as main task to lead the Work Packages 3 and 14 on “stakeholder interaction and communication” and “dissemination”. Whereas the former will be approached as an thematic RTD activity in the field of communication science, however, serving the design of policy recommendations for adequate and efficient knowledge transfer (and exchange) among stakeholders, the latter will concentrate on networking, showcasing project activities and results (with focus on Sub Saharan Africa) for increasing WHT understanding among the public at large.


Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC)

The Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) advances trans-disciplinary research for governance of social-ecological systems with a special emphasis on resilience - the ability to deal with change and continue to develop. SRC, funded by Mistra, is a joint initiative of Stockholm University, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

SRC administrate the Baltic Nest funded by EU, project KnowSeas (FP7-ENV-2008-1), and the Urban Social-Ecological Atlas, with partner sin South Africa, India, Australia, Turkey, USA, and Finland. SRC researchers took part in the Smallholder Systems Innovations (SSI) project funded by WORTRO/Sida (2004-2008) SRC researchers contributed to the Comprehensive Assessment for Water Management in Agriculture, led by the IWMI. Currently, Barron is coordinating watershed research project on environmental and livelihood aspects in partnership with IWMI, FAO, IFPRI, IDE. The SRC holds a research project on Adapting to changing climate in drylands: the re-greening in Sahel (2010-2012) funded by Sida with Univ. of Abdou Moumouni, Niger, and INERA, Burkina Faso.

Main task in WHaTeR project: SRC will have its main tasks in leading two thematic Work Packages (4 and 8): one investigating the impacts of WHT adoption on catchment hydrology and water-related ecosystems services in selected pilot catchment sites, and another one investigating the drivers of change on a global to regional scale, the outcome of which will serve the development of scenarios to be used in the modelling of impacts of WHT potential spread in different agro-climatic zones.


  • Jennie Barron, Leader WP4: Environmental Sustainability and WP8: Global and Regional Impacts
  • Issa Ouedraogo, PhD researcher WP4
  • Timos Karpouzoglou, PhD researcher WP8



University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN)

The University of KwaZulu-Natal has identified the broad field of water as a key strength and is  consolidating water related teaching and research across colleges, faculties and schools at the University in an effort to provide a comprehensive range of services in support of Africa’s development needs. The UKZN is a core member of a recently established NEPAD Network of Centres of Excellence in water in support of NEPAD’s Water Flagship Programme “Securing and Sustaining Water“. The network has been founded with the full support of AMCOW. Through this network and related activities, UKZN is establishing a comprehensive transdisciplinary capacity building and scholarship programme aligned with its key strengths.

The School of Bioresources Engineering and Environmental Hydrology (BEEH) at UKZN is hosted by the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science and has extensive research experience in 1) Measuring and Modelling the Water Resources Impacts of Global Environmental Change (including large and small scale agricultural development, 2) Development and Application of Hydrological Modelling Systems, including the use of GIS and remote sensing, 3) Water Resources Management, including irrigation and agricultural needs. These studies take place at a range of scales through focused research in experimental research catchments, e.g. Potshini, Weatherley and Wartburg and “real” operational test catchments, particularly the Mooi-Umgeni, Thukela, and Berg River systems in South Africa, the Kilombera River Basin in Tanzania and the transboundary basins of the Inkomati and Orange Rivers.

Main task in WHaTeR project: The School of BEEH will lead an integrated country-based study (Work Package 11) having as major tasks to improve, test and apply a model for identification of WHTs and conduct an in-depth assessment of WHT impacts and potential trade offs based on upstream-downstream interactions at various pilot catchment sites. The model will serve as a tool for policy makers and regional development planners in Sub Saharan Africa.


  • Graham Jewitt, Leader WP11: Catchment study South Africa
  • Lauren Bulcock, PhD researcher WP11

University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (UNEW)

The School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has a long tradition within Newcastle University of addressing the needs of research, teaching and professional development concerned with food, farming and rural development. The School brings together 60 academic staff across a wide range of disciplines within the natural and social sciences. The School hosts the Centre for Rural Economy, the Nafferton Ecological Farming Group and the Centre for Renewable Energy from Land.

Many academic staff within the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development have a strong record of leadership of and participation in collaborative EU funded research projects. In addition, researchers within the school are associated with the multidisciplinary Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability and with the Developing Areas Research Network, which is a focus for international development interests with Newcastle University.

Main task in WHaTeR project: This School of Newcastle University will have its main tasks in leading two thematic Work Packages (5 and 6): one investigating the impact of WHT adoption on livelihood within beneficiary communities and downstream non-beneficiary communities, and another investigating technical performance of WHTs and assessment of WHT knowledge and technology transfer.


  • Liz Oughton, Leader WP5: Livelihood Improvement
  • John Gowing, Leader WP6: Technological Improvement
  • Lisa Bunclark, Postgraduate researcher WP5 and WP6

VU University Amsterdam (VUA)


The Centre for International Cooperation (CIS) is the focal point the VU University Amsterdam for international development cooperation for over 25 years, with about 30 staff members of multiple disciplines and partners all over Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Centre maintains an extensive network and academic cooperation with African institutions through programs like SaVusa (South Africa–VU Strategic Alliances), Desmond Tutu program and SanTrust/SANPAD.

The Centre has been active with research and capacity-building programs since 1992, with projects on soil and water conservation and poverty alleviation (e.g., UNEP/GEF funded project on Stimulating Community Initiatives in Sustainable Land Management (SCI-SLM) in Africa, community-based natural resource management projects, projects on the management of national parks and Transfrontier Conservation Areas in South Africa, capacity building projects through Centre’s Units on Education & Training and Management & Organizational Development and ICT, e.g., bridging programmes for disadvantages communities to enter institutes of higher education in Limpopo Province, teacher training programmes, programmes on institutional strengthening and support systems at universities in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe).

Main task in WHaTeR project:The Centre’s main task is the coordination and management of the project, website development and maintenance, communication with EC in Brussels (Work Package 1). In addition, the Centre will lead the Water Harvesting Technologies (WHT) revisit reviews and studies (Work Package 2).


The Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at VU University Amsterdam was created in 1971, and has built up considerable experience in dealing with the complexities of environmental issues. It's research community of about 100 staff addresses challenging problems and offers pragmatic and innovative solutions. The institute has repeatedly been evaluated as the best Dutch research group in its field.

IVM has an excellent track record of research in the field of climate change, water management and adaptation. Highly relevant studies for WHaTeR are for example the ADAPTS project, which aims to increase developing countries' adaptive capacities by considering rainwater harvesting and soil and water conservation technologies and the Blue Nile project, which focuses on soil and water conservation and basin management in the Nile.

Main task in WHaTeR project: IVM will lead a thematic Work Package (7) with Research and Technological Development (RTD) activities on Water Harvesting Technologies (WHT) upscaling and uptake, gathering data on barriers and opportunities, and conducting analyses on the basis of which recommendations can be given on the creation of enabling conditions for WHT uptake in regional economic and development plans.


See also:

Centre for International Cooperation (CIS) 

Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)