Water Harvesting Technologies revisited: Potentials for Innovations, Improvements and Upscaling in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHaTeR)


Time span of the project    2011-2015
Contact person
Dr Denyse Snelder (project director)
Project director
Dr Denyse Snelder
Project partners
CIS-VU (lead organization), Faculty of Science (VU); Newcastle University (UK); Stockholm Resilience Centre (Stockholm University, Sweden); Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania); World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF, CGIAR institute, Kenya); Kwazulu Natal University (South Africa); INERA (Burkina Faso); Arba Minch University (Ethiopia) 
Project sponsorEC-FP7
Project websitehttp://whater.eu

WhaterThe WHaTeR project aimed to contribute to the development of appropriate water harvesting techniques (WHTs) that are sustainable under current and future dynamic global and regional pressure, strengthen rainfed agriculture, improve rural livelihood and increase food production and security in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

In total 3 European and 5 African organisations were involved in this project: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (CIS-VU as coordinating institute), Newcastle University (United Kingdom), Stockholm Resilience Centre (Sweden), University of Kwazulu Natal (South Africa), Sokoine University (Tanzania), Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (Kenya), National Institute for Environment and Agricultural Research (Burkina Faso) and Arba Minch University (Ethiopia). 

Project activities were distributed over 13 Work Packages. One Work Package comprised a situation analysis - through revisits to water harvesting sites in 15 African countries studied previously by participating organisations. Four additional Work Packages concentrated on detailed research and technology development activities on cross-cutting themes including environmental sustainability, technology development, livelihood improvement, uptake and upscaling, and global and regional impact and were conducted in collaboration with four country-based Work Packages (in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania). One Work Package covered stakeholder communication and outreaching activities, and the remaining Work Packages consisted of project management, the compilation of a synthesis of research outputs, and the production of guidelines for WHTs. 

The expected impacts of the project comprise technology support for farmers, development of stakeholder communication networks, innovative water harvesting systems, tools for impact assessment, upstream-downstream land use, and policy support for integrated water management and adaptation to climate change to promote EU and African strategies on strengthening rainfed agriculture, food security and livelihoods.