Farms that are idle during summer months due to scarcity of water can now be made productive. This is what a newly developed hydro-powered water pump guarantees.
“Using water to pump water” is how Dr. Reynaldo C. Castro and Mary Ann Baradi of the Philippine Rice Research Institute Batac, Ilocos Norte, the developers of the machine, sum up what the technology they developed is about. The hydro-powered water pump uses the energy generated by the movement of a flowing water to drive a commercially available water pump to allow water from its nearby source to flow to the farms.
The technology is especially useful during dry months when farmers choose to leave their farms idle because transporting water from its sources which are usually far costs too much. This means foregone productivity and income that should have come their way had their lands been used.
The study cites that in Ilocos Region alone, there are 34,860 ha of farm whose agricultural productivity is not optimized due to lack of facilities for irrigation. The problem is due to the expensive pumping of water from its sources to the farms.
Although motorized pumps are available in the market, farmers do not have the resources to buy them. Hydraulic rams, designed to aid the transport of water from its sources to farms, only work on places with sufficient drops in elevation. In addition, hydraulic rams are also expensive. Treadle pumps, aside from being laborious, are also limited by their pumping capacities and the height where water could be pumped.
This lack of cost-effective alternative makes the hydro-powered water pump appealing.
After two experiments and going back to the drawing board to improve the prototype, the researchers came up with a hydro-powered water pump that is simple, effective, and economical. The final prototype of the machine, after undergoing modifications, can pump up 102 cubic meters of water per day more than the water requirements of one hectare of corn.
This hydro-powered water pump may not have the sophistication most often looked for in newly developed machinery, but it has the potential to increase agricultural productivity and income, employment, and sustainability.
The researchers suggest that an aggressive promotion and use of the hydro-powered water pump will lead to productivity of idle lands during dry months, and increased productivity and income for our farmers.
For more information, contact:
Bureau of Agricultural Research
Department of Agriculture
3/F RDMIC Bldg., Visayas Ave.
cor. Elliptical Rd., Diliman Quezon City 1104
Trunklines: 928-8505 or 927-0226
Local Nos. 2043, 2042, 2044
Fax: 920-227 or 927-5691
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
D.A. Compound, Elliptical Rd.,
Tel. Nos. (632) 929-6065 to 67 / 920-3991 / 928-1134
source: Maria Lizbeth Severa J. Baroa of www.bar.gov.ph. “Using Water to Pump Water; The Hydro-Powered Water Pump”, Reynaldo C. Castro and Mary Ann U. Baradi, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Batac, Ilocos Norte (This paper was an entry to the 2004 National Research Symposium sponsored by BAR under the applied research category)