Water Control Technology Design and Development

Four-year project (Rural Prosperity Initiative) to develop:
1) low-cost water control technologies that can be purchased without subsidy by the rural poor; are simple, maintainable, divisible, and scalable; and can be applied on small plots of land;
2) sustainable supply chains to manufacture and distribute the technologies and value chains to maximize the value of the agricultural outputs produced, thereby maximizing the incomes earned by the smallholders.
Four countries serve as the initial test-bed: Ethiopia and Zambia in Africa; and Nepal and Myanmar in Asia.


To develop efficient small-plot water technologies that are affordable for the rural poor earning $1 a day, and to implement value chains for high-value marketable agricultural products utilizing those technologies.


Design & Development work in relation to:

  • Affordable well-drilling technologies
  • A low-cost treadle pump
  • A manual pump for 40mm pipe to fit 60mm diameter well
  • A rope pump suitable for small scale irrigation
  • A micro-diesel engine capable of running on biodiesel fuel to power a suction or rope pump
  • Solar-powered water pumping options
  • Wind-powered water pumping options
  • Water bags as header tanks for drip irrigation systems
  • Trench- and crib-supported plastic cylinders for water storage
  • Tank/pond construction lining technologies for seasonal storage of rainwater or transported water for irrigation
  • Techniques and additional components for IDE’s existing very low-pressure-head drip irrigation systems
  • Low-pressure sprinkle irrigation systems
  • Short-furrow and mini-basin irrigation systems


214,000 euro


  • An array of affordable water control technologies has been improved or developed, field-tested and made market ready.
  • Manufacturing and distribution chains for some mature technologies.
2007 - 2010