Irrigation system with DRAINMAX

Improving Rainfall Information and Rainwater Usage for Adapted Agricultural Production under High Climate Variability in Burkina Faso

With extreme rainfall variability, frequent droughts and floods, food production in sub-Saharan Africa is at high risk. As part of the AgRain research project, INTEWA developed a novel capillary rainfall retention and subsurface irrigation system for this purpose. This stores seepage water from precipitation underground, which then rises upwards via the capillary effect without pumping energy. Depending on the location, green areas are either irrigated (irrigation system) or the surrounding area is cooled using the evaporating water with 670 kWh/m³ to prevent heat islands in urban areas (evaporative cooling). In a direct comparison in demonstrators at the Aachen site, the new system was able to save 50 % irrigation water and also generate 53 % more yield at the same time without using any pumping energy.