China holds rainwater harvesting training for developing countries

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A total of 35 water conservation specialists from 17 developing countries gathered in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, Monday for a training program on rain water harvesting technologies.

Sponsored by China's Ministry of Commerce and organized by Gansu Provincial Water Resources Department, the program runs from Monday to Aug. 6.

It would feature lectures, seminars and field surveys focusing on how to build "water cellars" to gather rain water and how to maintain water quality, said Kang Guoxi, chief of Gansu Provincial Water Resources Department.

He said the training courses would be done in English.

The majority of the trainees are from African countries including Mali, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Lesotho and Botswana.

Gansu is one of the driest provinces in China, with less than 300 mm of annual precipitation.

Since the 1980s, local farmers and specialists have developed technologies for rain water harvesting, storage, purification and irrigation.

The province has built 2.97 million rain water cellars, making drinking water easier to access for 2.63 million people and supplying water to irrigate 366,660 hectares of cropland.

A single cellar can store 30 to 40 cubic meters of water, enough for a family of 10 for five months during the dry season.

"The trainees are from countries with similar climate conditions, so we are confident these technologies will be helpful for them," said Li Yuanhong, president of the Gansu Institute of Water Resources.

China has held five rain water harvesting workshops since 2003 and has trained more than 200 water conservation specialists and officials from over 70 countries

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