Integrated water-harvesting and livestock water-point system [Greece]

Συνδυασμένο σύστημα συγκομιδής ομβρίων υδάτων και ποτίσματος αιγοπροβάτων

technologies_1206 - Greece

Completeness: 73%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Tsanis Ioannis

Technical University of Crete


Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Catastrophic shifts in drylands (EU-CASCADE)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Technical University of Crete (Technical University of Crete) - Greece

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Integration of a cement pan and collection well system for water harvesting and a trough serving as a livestock water point.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


An area of around 100 m<sup>2</sup> built out of cement or similar impermeable material forms an artificial watershed that drains into a well or tank, depending on landscape slope and system configuration. The well/tank, also made of cement to reduce losses due to infiltration, is covered in order to prevent water evaporation during the dry season. Its size depends on configuration and is ca. 40 m<sup>3</sup>. A detachable pumping system is used to draw water into a trough that is part of the permanent structure in a convenient location of the well or pan. The quality of water is maintained by keeping the collection area isolated from livestock using a removable chain-link fence placed on permanent metal poles. A grate is also installed at the opening of the well/tank to filter debris.

Purpose of the Technology: This system is installed in remote locations with poor access to fresh water. The water harvesting system collects water during the winter rains and snowfalls for use during the dry season. The trough of the system serves as a watering point for the user's livestock. This way the user can reduce the need of water transportation for his livestock, usually involving additional labor and transportation costs.
Besides the practical use of the water harvesting system, several functions are served with this installation. The existence of a source of soil moisture can cause a marked change in an otherwise very dry environment. Frequently these structures are jointly owned thus creating a sense of community among pastoralists.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Depending on initial slope, the water storage structure is designed. In relatively flat areas a well is dug and lined, whereas steeper slopes can be profited from by building part of the collection structure above ground. The later solution has a reduced cost and may also allow water extraction with natural flow. The technology can also be applied to extend the use of traditional wells by adding the rest of the structures. Exact sizing can be specified to allow storage of 10-20% over the average wet season precipitation in the area. After slope preparation, the collection structure, cement watershed and trough are constructed. The system is best established during autumn where temperature extremes that can make concrete curing difficult are less frequent. During the dry season, water can be extracted either by natural flow or a vacuum pump and channeled directly into the water point. Typically the cement structure and pumping system require little maintenance.

Natural / human environment: The harvesting system is best installed where the annual precipitation amount is sufficient but availability is hindered by seasonality, i.e. little natural storage exists and dry seasons yield little or no precipitation. The system is also most useful in remote locations with little or no access to water. Nevertheless, for the systems that require mechanical pumping, the location needs to be accessible by utility vehicle carrying relevant equipment and power supply.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:



Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 0.03 km2.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

The storage of the specific water harvesting system is part of a traditional well constructed around 1870 and the rest of the structures where added during the 90s though initiatives of the municipality.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing:
  • Nomadism
  • Semi-nomadic pastoralism
Animal type:
  • goats
  • sheep

Number of growing seasons per year: 1
Longest growing period in days: 298Longest growing period from month to month: 271-353
Livestock density: 50-100 LU /km2

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): precipitation seasonal variability causing water availability shortage during dry summers

Semi-nomadism / pastoralism: sheep/ goats

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • water harvesting

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

structural measures

structural measures

  • S5: Dams, pans, ponds
  • S11: Others

Main measures: structural measures

Specification of other structural measures: well and watering point

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

water degradation

water degradation

  • Ha: aridification
  • Hs: change in quantity of surface water

Main type of degradation addressed: Ha: aridification

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Hs: change in quantity of surface water

Main causes of degradation: droughts

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

Main goals: mitigation / reduction of land degradation

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The collection area, lined with cement, drains into the well through the collection point. A removable chain-link fence keeps the collection area isolated from livestock. A detachable pumping system can be connected to the pump installation point in order to supply the livestock water point with water from the well.

Date: 2/9/2014

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate

Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Main technical functions: water harvesting / increase water supply

Structural measure: well
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 5
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 3
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 3

Structural measure: collection area
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.1
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 10
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 10

Structural measure: watering point
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.2
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 1
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 5

Structural measure: fencing
Height of bunds/banks/others (m): 1.5
Length of bunds/banks/others (m): 40

Specification of dams/ pans/ ponds: Capacity 40m3

Catchment area: 100m2


I. Daliakopoulos

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Field preparation
2. Well digging
3. Building of cement well cover
4. Laying of concrete pan for water/snow collection Installation
5. Installation of pumping tube
6. Installation of cement watering point
7. Fence installation
8. Pump acquisition

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour Dam 1.0 2865.0 2865.0 100.0
Equipment Machine use Dam 1.0 580.0 580.0 100.0
Construction material Chain-link fence Dam 1.0 325.0 325.0 100.0
Construction material Concrete Dam 1.0 3270.0 3270.0 100.0
Construction material Cement pipes Dam 1.0 1940.0 1940.0 100.0
Construction material Pum Dam 1.0 390.0 390.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 9370.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 12168.83

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Pump maintenance once a year

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour Dam 1.0 50.0 50.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 50.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 64.94

Costs were calculated for the construction of a well in 2014 for an easily accessible location. Nevertheless, the specific system is built around a traditional well thus its actual cost was lower.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Costs mainly depend on the well/tank contraction and the accessibility of the construction area (slope, proximity to road network, etc.)

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

Winter rains

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: subtropics

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Landforms: On hill slopes configuration may differ, may not require pumping equipment
Slopes on average: Hilly (16-30%) configuration may change, may not require pump

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil fertility is low
Soil drainage/infiltration is medium
Soil water storage capacity is very low

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

> 50 m

Availability of surface water:

poor/ none

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • commercial/ market
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • groups/ community
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Population density: < 10 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 0.5% - 1%

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology: 5-15 ha, 15-50 ha, 50-100 ha

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
  • individual, titled

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


risk of production failure


land management

Water availability and quality

water availability for livestock


water quality for livestock

Income and costs


Comments/ specify:

Water does not have to be transported to distant locations

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency


conflict mitigation


Improved livelihoods and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

Expansive grazing and the form of transhumance practiced Crete requires a huge commitment of human capital. The transportation of water or ensuring water availability between or close to grazing grounds is an essential need of the livestock, especially during dry years. This technology contributes to the reduction of workload and to rendering transhumance more manageable.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quantity


harvesting/ collection of water


soil moisture


6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm well
local windstorm well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:



Initially, installation costs produce negative returns. Nevertheless the system requires little maintenance and the benefits emerge very soon, even after the first winter when the well has stored rain and snow water. As fuel expenses and human capital commitment for the transportation of water are significant, benefits predominate establishment costs within 2-3 years and maintenance / recurrent costs from the first year.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):



3 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

Comments on acceptance with external material support: The current trend is that traditional wells are converted to an integrated water harvesting system with external support from the municipality, thus foregoing the well construction costs.

There is a little trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Decreases workload and costs during the dry season.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Workload and overall costs can be enhanced by increasing the density of water harvesting systems.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Increases water availability for livestock during the dry season, promotes sustainable grazing.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Water availability can be sustained by promoting sustainable management of other grazing practices, e.g. maintaining a healthy LU/area ratio.
The system is decentralised and requires little maintenance.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

Links and modules

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