News

Goodbye from RUVIVAL

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Dear followers, the RUVIVAL project will be completed by the end of the year. Our funding by the Hamburg Open Online University will expire, so we will not create any new learning content. But don’t worry – our content will stay online! You can find all our learning content on the Hamburg Open Online University website.

We will also continue with the RUVIVAL Simulation Game and offer another round of the educational game in spring 2021. The registration and further information about the game can be found on this page.

Also in 2020 we could continue the success of the last years. After all, what began in 2016 with a small team had numerous results and effects. We would like to highlight our greatest successes in the following.

Happy Holidays from RUVIVAL

Highlights of RUVIVAL

  • Together with Master students, PhD students and researchers at the Hamburg University of Technology we developed 19 Toolboxes. Each toolbox represents a bundle of different learning materials containing knowledge and methods developing rural environments.
  • We have also provided a virtual classroom and published 6 Lectures by guest lecturers on various topics related to rural development and reviving the rural.
  • To increase the accessibility of our learning materials, we have translated our content into Spanish, French, Urdu and German. This has demonstrably led to the distribution of the materials in other countries.
  • We have founded our own publication series, which is available for download via Open Research at the Hamburg University of Technology. In the RUVIVAL Publication Series 6 volumes were published.
  • In 2020 the RUVIVAL Simulation Game was successfully held for the 6th time. In this game students and other interested people plan several eco-towns in a simulated world. So far, over 600 people took part in the game, mainly students from Hamburg University of Technology and ICAM France.
  • Our making-of series shows how the different parts of the project were created.
  • In 2019, we partnered with Global Water Dances (GWD) to portray and support dance performances at a global event. These highlight a local water issue and improve the audience’s understanding of the importance of water.
  • Throughout the years we have given presentations about the project and released various publications. These are summarised on our Press & Publications page.

We proudly look back on successful years of knowledge transfer for the revival of rural areas. We would like to thank all our project partners, but also our followers and learners. Let us not forget that change is possible.

Goodbye

Your RUVIVAL Team

News

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 6 is Out!

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Volume 6 of the RUVIVAL Publication Series is out! As this is the last volume, there is only one literature review this time. This literature review gives you an overview on sand storage dams and most recent research on the topic. A sand storage dam is a type of groundwater dam, a rainwater harvesting technique consisting of both an impermeable structure built across sandy riverbeds in seasonal streams and a crest raised above the riverbed. These have the potential to increase the water storage capacity and the yield potential of seasonal sandy rivers by trapping coarse sediments coming from the upstream catchment area in the dam. The optimal performance of a sand storage dam depends strongly on the proper selection of a suitable siting place, a tailor-made spillway design, which minimises the risk of siltation and appropriate construction procedures. While water in sand storage dams is of good quality, this can be affected during abstraction, transportation or storage.

Learn more about Sand Dams in the RUVIVAL toolbox on this topic!

As with previous papers, this paper has also been reviewed by members of the RUVIVAL Community.

All our publications are available to download for free via the library of Hamburg University of Technology. The previous issues can be accessed here.

Lecture Parts

System of Rice Intensification, Part 4: SRI with Intercropping

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Welcome to Part 4 of the lecture System of Rice Intensification by Tavseef Mairaj Shah. This part has a focus on the combination of SRI with intercropping. The following key topics are addressed:

  • SRI as an agroecological strategy
  • Potential synergies under SRI
  • Intercropping with rice under SRI

After you finish this part, you can take the lecture quiz and test your knowledge.

Creative Commons LicenseSystem of Rice Intensification, Part 4: SRI with Intercropping by Tavseef Mairaj Shah is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Quiz

Quiz

Overview

SRI Rice Main Post

Interactive Lectures

Interactive_Lecture

Part 1

SRI Part 1

Part 2

SRI Part 2

Part 3


Allgemein

This was the participation of RUVIVAL at the University:Future Festival!

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Last week, the RUVIVAL team had the opportunity to present itself with its own booth at the digital showcase of the University:Future Festival. A video, mission statement and logo were presented, and on Wednesday additional questions could be asked and answered in Space , an interactive space simulation in which laptops fly through space and users are supposed to interact with each other. During several talks various appealing projects were presented, for example the page netlogo, which provides programmable model environments for the simulation of natural and social phenomena.

All in all, the festival was an exciting opportunity to expand the network and to inform interested people even this year!

News

RUVIVAL with its own booth at the digital showcase of the University:Future Festival!

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The RUVIVAL team is very happy to participate with its own booth at this year’s University:Future Festival. The event will take place from 6th to 8th of October online.

The festival is organised by the association Stifterverband, which is the only one that offers holistic consulting, networking and support in the fields of education, science and innovation. The association describes the festival as follows:

“The University:Future Festival is breaking new ground as the first digital festival on higher education in Germany: For three days, the University Forum on Digitisation will bring together teachers, students, university management and other stakeholders from universities, politics and society and create a virtual space for the exchange of ideas on digital higher education”.

The RUVIVAL team will be represented by Dr. Ruth Schaldach and Mascha Frey.

News

Toolboxes on Agricultural Practices, Agroforestry, Livestock and Living Terraces are from now on available in German!

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Today we are publishing the next four German language Toolboxes, which are now accessible on the HOOU website. Have fun and enjoy learning!

Agricultural Practices Toolbox
Agricultural Practices vary geographically and internationally.
Agroforesty Toolbox
Agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry.
Livestock Toolbox
Livestock plays a vital role in the food and water nexus.
Terraces Toolbox
Terraces control erosion and build soil.
News

Summer Break Is Over – More German Toolboxes On Sustainable Water Use Available

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Since our summer break is over, we are continuing to publish German toolboxes as promised. You can find them on the HOOU website. Have fun with it!

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Toolbox
Decentralised Wastewater Treatment tackles water pollution in rural areas.
Terra Preta Sanitation Toolbox
Terra Preta Sanitation rediscovers a biowaste/sanitation system.
Urine Utilisation Toolbox
Urine Utilisation fertilises soil for non-food agriculture.
Sustainable Irrigation Toolbox
Sustainable Irrigation saves water in agriculture.

News

Summer Break

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A lot has happened in the last few months. We have published new learning content every week: introducing new learning tools, translating our ‘Making of’ section to Urdu, publishing the first toolbox contents in German, and successfully completing the fifth RUVIVAL Simulation Game.

The RUVIVAL Team is taking a summer break in August. No new content will be published during this time. In September we will continue with new toolboxes in German and French! And new English and Spanish content will follow.

We hope you have a nice summer!

News

With Amazing Proposals RUVIVAL SimGame Fifth Edition was Successfully Completed

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We did it one more time! The 5th edition of the RUVIVAL SimGame 2020 has successfully concluded on Tuesday 23th June. The hard work of all students during the two months yielded wonderful outcomes and exiting debates on Sustainable Development.

Despite the students’ different locations and the particular challenges this year’s edition faced, all eco-planners could work together for the same goal, thanks to the online SimGame communication system. All town meetings and our final conference were held in the form of an online video conference. This multimedia concept made it possible to develop two plans for two different sites with very diverse environments.

Over the course of two months, teams of students from the Hamburg University of Technology in Germany and ICAM in France worked hard on planning two new Eco-Towns in a simulated world. This round gathered 67 eco-planners among them 14 bachelor and 28 master students from TUHH and 25 students from ICAM. They were supported by external participants contributing to the game by playing the role of Eco-Town inhabitants.

This year’s task was to plan one ecological settlement in Wales and one in Ethiopia. Each development plan had to be based on solutions that endure an ecological balance between soil, water and energy while providing the needs of the inhabitants in terms of housing, income, food, transport and waste assimilation. The plan also includes the assessment and mitigation of the Eco-Town’s ecological footprint. For this purpose, different groups of students were formed and were responsible for certain aspects of the development plan, town affairs and communication.

This year the Media & RMC Group reported in our virtual newspaper about the town meetings and planning progress. They kept track of the planning discussions and stayed well informed on the future inhabitants’ needs and requirements. Just as in real life, the virtual Eco-Towns planning benefited from the intense exchange and interactions that took place.

Earth, the main character in our simulated world, was responsible for publishing all the important announcements and sometimes interesting news. Earth had an important management role, since, well… you know… Earth knows everything in the world. Earth coordinated and moderated communication with the outside world, as well as the Travel Agency, Newspaper and Conference Center.

The Simulation Game keeps growing and we are already looking forward to the learning, knowledge transfer and exchange that is to come for 2021. Stay tuned!

Allgemein

RUVIVAL Toolbox now available in German!

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As we had promised, the RUVIVAL Toolbox is now available in German! We start this week by publishing the first Toolbox on World Water Resources completely in German and we’ll continue posting the rest in the next weeks. The German translations will be available on the HOOU website.

screenshot_toolbox
Screenshot of the German RUVIVAL Toolbox

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter to keep updated and be notified when new content is released.

News

Making of RUVIVAL now in Urdu!

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Many people are involved in developing RUVIVAL learning materials. This is both a challenging and rewarding process. On the one hand, it requires thorough planning and elaborate coordination, but on the other, unique perspectives, linkages and expertise emerge from this exchange. We strongly feel that this is a story that needs to be told alongside the sustainable rural development content you see on our website as the finished product. This is why we are excited to announce: Making of RUVIVAL is now also available in Urdu!

Urdu Version: روائول کی تیاری

English Version: Making of RUVIVAL

Here you can have a look at the various elements, about the technical and pedagogic aspects as well as about the experiences of those taking part, You can explore Making of RUVIVAL Simulation Game, Stop Motion Videos, Community Projects as well as a look into how the Toolbox Elements are made. We will keep adding more material to this section as we expand our work in 2020.

Ever since its beginning, RUVIVAL is on a mission to reach a wider audience and spread the word on sustainable rural development. Now this word is also available in Urdu. Therefore, we welcome the Urdu speaking community to our growing RUVIVAL network.

News

Update: World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practice Cases – Terra Preta Sanitation

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Today we updated our world map of sustainable environmental practices. Now you can also find case studies on Terra Preta Sanitation – and you can take part!

World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practices

The presented case studies are only a small selection. Do you know of an important case study that is missing? Or do you want to add pictures or further material? Please, send us a message using our contact form and share your ideas with us! We are happy to work with you on an additional pin or add your pictures.

Stay tuned for the publication of the next topics!

News

Simulation Game addition to Making of RUVIVAL and Insights

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Making of RUVIVAL gives you a peek into the inner workings of RUVIVAL. Here you can learn how we produce Open Educational Resources (OERs) and other content on our webpage. Today, we have published a new post about our simulation game. This post, Making of RUVIVAL Simulation Game, details how the RUVIVAL team runs the simulation game.

Also, check out the Insights article we wrote about this process! Our Making of RUVIVAL Simulation Game article can be found with this link (available only in German).

Insights Magazine of the Technical University Hamburg

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Making of RUVIVAL

Making of RUVIVAL Simulation Game

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This article was first published in German on Insights.

This is the beginning of a series of Making of publications on the RUVIVAL simulation game. Every year, the participants have 7 weeks to plan eco-villages. 2020 makes this the fifth round. The aim of the series is not only to share our experiences and invite participation, but also to enable others to reproduce or adapt this simulation game according to their needs.

Currently, it is still possible to enter this year’s game. You can still take on the role of a fictitious person who intends to settle in the community later.

Registration for the RUVIVAL Simulation Game

The imagination can be given free rein and can be brought into the planning process.

Making Of Simulation Game Part 1 – The Locations

This first part deals with giving an overview of the concept. Furthermore, the objective of the game is explained: plan an ecological settlement with the mission to reduce the ecological footprint and increase biocapacity.

The english version of the slides are soon available:

Making of RUVIVAL Simulation Game by Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This will be followed by deeper insights into the technical implementation and didactic aspects of the current round, as well as an overall summary.

News

Community Project addition to Making of RUVIVAL and Insights

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Making of RUVIVAL gives you a peek into the inner workings of RUVIVAL. Here you can learn how we produce Open Educational Resources (OERs) and other content on our webpage. Today, we have published a new post about our community project. This post, Making of Community Project, details how the RUVIVAL team created the posts and media for our community project.

Also, check out the Insights article we wrote about this process! Our Making of Community Project article can be found with this link (available only in German).

Insights Magazine of the Technical University Hamburg

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Making of RUVIVAL

Making of Community Project

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This article was at first published in German on Insights.

The Community Project is a partnership between RUVIVAL and Global Water Dances. Global Water Dances began in 2011, with the goal to use dance to raise awareness on water issues and to encourage the creation of solutions for water preservation and conservation through community engagement. Each year they organise a worldwide event to achieve this goal. In 2019, RUVIVAL decided partner with Global Water Dances to promote 8 sites and to report about them in more detail on the RUVIVAL website.

A call for scholarships for groups from Africa and India was part of this project. The goal was to increase participation in this global event from these countries and we reached this aim. On the 15th of June in 2019 RUVIVAL cooperated with 7 sites in Africa and one in India: Ganvie (Benin), Johannesburg (South Africa), Durban (South Africa), Bwaise and Beach House in Kampala (Uganda), Diani (Kenya), Kilifi (Kenya), and Motakondur (India). On June 15, 2019, each of these eight dance troupes partook in the Global Water Dances event, successfully raising awareness and encouraging their neighbors to action.

Afterwards, RUVIVAL’s work began. Our objective after the event was to publicise the hard work of each site. We collected photos, videos, music, and photo and video release forms from the sites. For each site we published a post. The process of creating these posts is discussed below.

Video Editing

Using raw footage of the event from each site leader, nine videos were made. One was an overview of all eight sites. (This can be found at our Community Project page.) The others were three minute videos, specific to each event. (These can be found at their respective posts: Johannesburg, Durban, Kilifi, Diani, Ganvie, Beach House, Bwaise, Motakondur.)

First, we analysed the footage that each of the sites sent and then used Final Cut Pro to edit them. While editing, we cut out the parts that were unusable. A section was unsuitable if it was not of sufficient quality or if an audience member was in the frame. (We did not get consent from the audience members to use their images in our videos.)

After this initial editing, some of the videos were already about three minutes long; so, further editing was not required. For those that were longer, we had another look and whittled the video down to its most interesting and important scenes until the video was three minutes long. Once the videos were the required length, we added the intros and outros, including credits.

Intro and Outro Slides for Kilifi Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Post Creation

We wanted each post to have some unity. Each post had at least a video (see above for more information), an event summary, photos, and a background on the dance group. Additional sections were added depending on the information gathered by our contact person from each sites.

Creating the summaries of the events took quite a bit of communication with the groups. We focused on collecting the following information:

  • the motivation of the artistic director and/or site leader in joining the Global Water Dances event,
  • the meaning behind the choreography,
  • and the water issues explored and ‘discussed’ at the event.

After the initial draft, the posts were reviewed by the respective contact person of each site, edited and finally approved for publication. This ensures that the message they were trying to convey was accurate and that no misunderstandings occurred.

All material was published at the end of 2019 and distributed through several social media channels in order to rise awareness on water issues.

To see more about these sites, please visit our Community Project page.

News

Applications for the 2020 RUVIVAL Simulation Game are now open!

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We are happy to announce that the 2020 RUVIVAL Simulation Game applications are now open! The online game will officially start on the 28th of April. We recommend, that you join us from the start, as you will get to observe and participate then in the entire planning process! Late applications will also be accepted, in case there are still free spots left.

So, how do you apply for the Simulation Game?

1. Go to the Simulation Game page, get further informed about the game and fill in the registration form.

2. Shortly before the start of the Game (23th of April), you will get an e-mail invitation to join our system.

3. Join us in planning new and improved ecological towns!

We look forward to having you on board!

RUVIVAL Simulation Game Image Logo RUVIVAL Simulation Game
Go to registration

News

RUVIVAL Learning Tools

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Explore the newest addition to our website: RUVIVAL Learning Tools. Click on a tool type below to open a page that lists all learning contents using this specific type of learning tool.

You can also find this list of learning tools in our RUVIVAL Toolbox. Speaking of which, the contents of the RUVIVAL Toolbox are getting a design makeover! We are hoping that the new setup will make it easier for you to navigate through the topics of sustainable rural development.

News

Happy Holidays from RUVIVAL

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After 3 years of weekly new online learning content, RUVIVAL is ready for a short holiday. We will be back in January with the German translation of our lecture System of Rice Intensification, Spanish translations of our Toolbox Sand Dams and much more! In 2020 we will change our publication day: new Toolbox elements, Lecture parts or news will be added on Tuesdays! Also, we are planning for a new design!

Happy Holidays from RUVIVAL

RUVIVAL Highlights of 2019

Do you still remember our news about publishing 100 posts? Well that was two years ago and by now we have 650 posts online! At the end of 2019 it is time for a little yearly review. Next to publishing more online learning content, these are our RUVIVAL Highlights of 2019:

In addition, we went to several events and conferences. We can look back to another successful year of RUVIVAL and thank all our project partners. Happy holidays from RUVIVAL!

News

RUVIVAL at the DAAD conference Virtual Exchange

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We were honoured to participate at the international conference ‘Virtual Exchange – Borderless Mobility between the European Higher Education Area and Regions beyond’ organised by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD – Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst).

In the session ‘Building Up Expertise and Capacities’ Ruth Schaldach presented RUVIVAL as an e-learning project for sustainable development along with Durban University from South Africa. The focus of the conference was set on building up more cooperations with African Universities, especially in the field of cooperative online learning. The RUVIVAL Simulation Game is one example for a cooperative international learning experience.

Logo DAAD

Video

Kilifi

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At Kilifi Creek, the Kilifi Dancers performed ‘Maji ni Uhai’ (Water is Life). The objective was to create awareness on how to save and utilise water.

Creative Commons LicenseKilifi Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Using a traditional Giriama song for music, the performance was a merger of traditional and modern dance. Choreographer, Mohamed Ismat, mixed these different styles into a stunning dance with a clear message: ‘Water is life; use it sustainably.’

The location of the performance is symbolic. Kilifi Creek is an important coastal water source, not only for the community of Kilifi, but also for the world at large. It flows into the Indian Ocean, connecting Kilifi to people around the world! The residents value the creek for the many resources and beauty it provides.

The creek is even more precious to the community as Kilifi is very drought-prone. Every drop of water is extremely important. In fact, the residents have organized a weekly beach clean-up, to protect their water. This performance is just another step in safeguarding their future.

Creative Commons LicenseMaji ni Uhai Images by Rebella Afrique Media are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Kilifi, Kenya

The Kilifi Dancers is an interesting mix of volunteers, youth and community groups, and local dance groups. The troupe was formed specifically for this event.

Site leader, Mwanase Ahmed, partnered with local conservation initiatives, the local university, environmental clubs, the local international school, the local government and the Kilifi community to help raise awareness about these water issues.

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Video

Diani

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Students from the Peace Village Education Center performed ‘Maji, Maji’ on June 15 in Diani, Kenya. As a part of an awareness campaign, the performance highlighted the scarcity of fresh water in the area.

Creative Commons LicenseDiani Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The performance was split into 4 parts:

  1. a call and response song, performed in Kiswahili,
  2. the Global Water dance,
  3. a local dance,
  4. and a participatory dance with the audience.

Peace Village Primary School is situated, specifically, in the Maweni neighborhood of Diani. Maweni experiences marginal and absolute poverty; many residents do not have running water in their homes. And, if there is running water, it is usually salinated. In this area, access to clean water and sanitation is limited, salinised, and often overpriced. The Soa song, used in the third part of the performance, was created to bring awareness to Maweni’s water issues. During the chorus the children shout ‘Maji, Maji’, which means ‘Water, water’ in Kiswahili.

Creative Commons LicenseMaji Maji Images by Fred Mwenda are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Diani, Kenya

Kate Bouchier was the site leader and choreographer for this event. She, also, represents Family Thing.

Family Thing uses dance as a vehicle to provide opportunities for empowerment, support and a sense of belonging to marginalised, stigmatised and/or vulnerable peoples.

The dancers are all students from the Peace Village Education centre. This centre is a small school in the Maweni area of Diani beach which works with children from predominently poor families in the surrounding areas.

Other Activities to Raise Awareness

The activities below were conducted prior to the dance in order to raise awareness of local water issues.

  • The students from Peace Village learned about the importance of clean water and sanitation.
  • Video interviews were conducted asking the school children and local members of the community what are in their opinion the most important water related issues.
  • Posters and flyers were created highlighting the importance of clean water and sanitation.
  • Talks were conducted about local sand harvesting, which is the process where sand is collected, or extracted from the local reefs.
  • Information was shared on local websites and Facebook pages, including Diani public groups.

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Video

Motakondur

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Students from Zilla Parishad High School in Motakondur, India performed on June 15. Organized by Divya Sree Madichati and choreographed by Sriman, the dance focused on the importance of potable water.

Creative Commons LicenseMotakondur Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The major objective was to create awareness of the lack of clean drinking water and emphasise its importance. In Motakondur, the fluorine content in the water is 10-20 times higher than the amount permitted in WHO regulations; therefore, fluorosis is common.

Fluorosis affects the teeth and bones, especially in children under the age of nine.  Long term effects of the disease have lead to the death of many residents. Most of the residents were unaware of the consequences, and therefore, continued to drink this water. Now, after a new awareness campaign from the government, the residents began to search for water free of fluoride and impurities.

Most of the water in this area is fluoridated, and treatment to remove fluoride is expensive, if not impossible. Consequently, the villagers of Motakondur must travel long distances to find potable water for their families. Thus, those who do not have the means to travel must use this fluoridated water.

As educating the younger generation is key to preventing fluorosis, the GWD performance was held at the local high school. In order to collect non-fluoridated water, the staff has to walk more than 20 km to provide potable water for the school. The water is then stored in a tank, where students can access it.

Creative Commons LicenseMotakondur Images by Divya Sree Madichati, Satheesh Ankam and Srimanprasanna Kumar Marumamula are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Motakondur, India

The performers were students from Zilla Parishad High School. They consisted of both dancers and musicians. The villagers composed the song, Puvvula Bomma, for the dance.

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Video

Durban

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The KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre performed a five-part event in Durban. Choreographer and site leader, Vusi Makanya, focused on the droughts common to the area.

Creative Commons LicenseDurban Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It is home to 49 million people. As more and more people migrate into cities from rural villages, the pressure for Durban to meet water demand is ever increasing. Here, Umgeni is the primary source of water for over 3.5 million people. The residents are especially concerned about water shortages in and around the city.

The aim of the choreography was to remind us of the power of water as it moves through our lives. Split into five sections, each routine carried a specific message:

  1. Some people walk long distances to get water.
  2. Water is a vital source of life.
  3. Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a distant land.
  4. Droughts are deadly.
  5. Fresh water is crucial for drinking.

This event raised awareness about the role water plays in social and economic development with the view of changing the attitudes and behaviours of the people.

Creative Commons LicenseSouth Africa in Drought Images by Vusi Makanya are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Durban, South Africa

The KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre (KMSDT) is a non-profit organisation situated in Durban. KMSDT aims to make cultural events accessible to the public by performing in public spaces. Additionally, the organisation provides children around the city the opportunity to learn how to dance.

Founder and artistic director, Vusi Makanya, organized and choreographed the GWD event.

Special thanks are given to the UMoyo Restaurant and the Parks, Recreation & Culture department of the eThekwini municipality.

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Video

Bwaise

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Dancers from the Kawempe Youth Center of Kampala, Uganda performed to underline the importance of clean drinking water. Site leader, Lennie Kleinen, focused on waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid.

Creative Commons LicenseBwaise Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Bwaise is one of Kampala’s largest urban slums. The people of Bwaise face housing, drainage, water and sanitation issues daily. The area has severe flooding after heavy rains, causing outbreaks of cholera and typhoid. Bwaise residents have been relying on often polluted underground water streams for everyday domestic use. Up to today, Bwaise does not have a piped water system.

During the performance, the Kawempe Youth Center dancers used different styles of dance. They combined traditional dances with contemporary techniques. Wearing traditional dress, the performers carried clay water pots and jerrycans as a medium through which they could communicate their message. The event was held near a centrally-located, heavily polluted body of water, where every minute thousands of people pass by.

Creative Commons LicenseBwaise Images by Whitsaflicks UG Limited are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Kampala, Uganda

Kawempe Youth Centre uses dance to make an impact on the community. Individuals, ranging from the ages of 14 to 24, consist of 15 dancers and five drummers. The group aims to motivate the community to improve their lives and their environment.

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News

RUVIVAL partners with Global Water Dances

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RUVIVAL and Global Water Dances worked together to support eight sites during the 2019 GWD event. Located in Asia and Africa, each site choreographed a performance to highlight a local water issue.

Today we updated our community page to include community projects concerned with rising awareness on pressing issues like water scarcity, pollution and other water related issues. For more information about this project, visit our new Community Project page with the first three posts for the sites in Johannesburg, Beach House, and Ganvié. Each Thursday in the next three weeks more project site videos will follow.

Video

Ganvie

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Ganvie is situated on the surface of Lake Nokoué in the South of Benin. The dance group Missimidé de Ganvié performed Atchi (a site-specific dance) to send the message ‘Welcome to the Water’.

Creative Commons LicenseGanvié Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

In the eighteenth century, many Beninese fled the slave raids on the coast to Lake Nokoué. Here, they created a thriving village on the lake. Over time, the residents have formed a communion with the water.

But life is not perfect; the water in Lake Nokoué is saline. Therefore, the residents cannot drink its water. Wells have been drilled around the lake, but they are no longer productive. In order to live, they make long trips on boats to find fresh water and return loaded with containers of potable water. It is quite a paradox: to live on the water, but not have any to drink.

The performance is a play on these boat trips. The dance is an imitation of the daily routine most residents must make just to get clean drinking water.

Creative Commons LicenseAtchi Images by SunRise Films are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Ganvie, Benin

Missimidé de Ganvié is local dance group, consisting of dancers and musicians. The choreographer, François Gnonlonfoun, is a native of the region. Using the knowledge and experience he has gained living on the lake, he created a powerful performance.

Future Plans

Ganvie is not the only part of the country with water issues. In the North, access to water is becoming more and more difficult. Groundwater tables have lowered, exasperating the problem. In coming years, SunRise Films and Ayéman Aymar Esse plan to organize their future GWD performances in this region of Dassa.

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Video

Beach House

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The Beach House event took place on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala, Uganda. Here, three local dance groups were joined by orators to motivate their community to combat water pollution.

Creative Commons LicenseBeach House Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lake Victoria is one of the largest lakes in the world. It is also the major drinking water source for Uganda. However, water pollution is a major problem here. Contamination from single-use plastics is of particular importance to the Ugandans.

Site leader and choreographer, Jill Pribyl, organised an impressive event to raise awareness of this problem. Dancers from the Soul Ballet Studio, the Clay Dance Company and Break Dance Project Uganda came together to perform several dances on June 15. Guest speakers, Dr. Tindimugaya, Dr. Bhasdkar, Dr. Gidudu and Stefan Deconinck, spoke about the issues facing Lake Victoria and how to affect change.

Audience members were educated on the distribution of clean water in Uganda. Additionally, they were urged to pledge to reduce their use of single-use plastics.

Creative Commons LicenseMovin’ on Dance Images by Masinde Deo are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Kampala, Uganda

The Clay Dance Company is a church-affiliated troupe that was founded in 2009. They continue to give performances in Uganda.The Soul Ballet Studio is located in Kampala. Break Dance Project Uganda is a program that works with youth throughout the country to promote positive social change.

Dr. Tindimugaya is a representative of the Ministry of Water and the Environment. Dr. Bhasdkar and Dr. Gidudu are Fulbright Scholars from Makerere University. Stefan Deconinck is from the International School of Uganda.

Future Plans

Dr. Tindimugaya was the opening speaker for the event. He was so inspired by the use of dance to promote a global issue that he has promised to continue to find ways to use dance in other communities to promote the reduction of pollution.

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Video

Johannesburg

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A local theatre company, Sketch Productions, performed Droogfontein to raise awareness about Johannesburg’s water-related problems.  Artistic Director, Hannah Nokwazi van Tonder, focuses on the issues related to water scarcity and lack of proper water treatment in the performance.

Creative Commons LicenseJohannesburg Video by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Droogfontein, or dry fountain in English, is a good play on words. A well working wordplay as many places in South Africa have ‘fontein’ in their name. The name is also a commentary on capitalism. There is no new land to call ‘fontein’, yet the capitalist owners continue to deplete these ‘fountains’ until they are dry, leaving little to none for the rest. We, as humans, can no longer find the sources of the springs of life that we so desperately need.

The performers are residents of a fictitious town, Droogfontein. They search for the true source of life, a fountain of water. But people are not perfect, and so the source is exploited and taken for granted. Will the community recognize the importance of protecting this precious water or is the name droogfontein a prophecy?

Creative Commons LicenseDroogfontein Images by Masego P. Chale are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Johannesburg, South Africa

Hannah, along with her choreographers Quinton S. Manning and Joel Leonard, collaborated with a team of eight performers from the ages of 11 to 26 to help make this performance a site to behold. All come from the group, Sketch Productions.

A note from the Artistic Director

I remember the first drought I ever experienced. The water crisis was so bad that we had to wait every week for trucks to come into town and bring us water. But this was not free; we had to pay large sums for it. From that moment onwards, I made sure to speak out not only about water shortages, but also the human impacts of the water crisis. Even to this day, I experience issues. Where I live now, we always see water in the streets, smelling less like water and more like sewage. Additionally, we constantly have water shortages, leaving us without.

I was humbled to be a part of the Global Water Dances community. Staging Droogfontein, for me, was less about giving a performance and more about raising awareness about Johannesburg’s water problems. Many times we see the city as this all giving, all divine construct, when many times it fails to provide for our daily needs. [Hannah Nokwazi van Tonder]

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News

RUVIVAL at Campus Innovation 2019

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As in the past three years RUVIVAL Team members were invited to Campus Innovation Hamburg. This year, the U15 Dialogue on the Future of University Teaching will take place as part of the conference. The motto of the two-day event is sustainability and digitalisation, which fits very well with the topics of RUVIVAL.

Logo Campus Innovation

On Friday at 13:10 Dr. Ruth Schaldach and Tina Carmesin will hold a workshop together with other projects of Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU). Participants will have the opportunity to get to know game based learning arrangements developed within the HOOU.

Find more information below:

RUVIVAL Presentations and Publications

HOOU Sessions (link in German)

Campus Innovation (link in German)

News

Update: World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practice Cases – Agroforestry

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Today we updated our world map of sustainable environmental practices. Now you can find case studies on Agroforestry – and you can take part!

World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practices

The presented case studies are only a small selection. Do you miss an important case study? Or do you want to add pictures or further material? Please, send us a message using our contact form and share your ideas with us! We are happy to work with you on an additional pin or add your pictures.

Stay tuned for publication of the next topics!

News

Update: World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practice Cases – Aquifer Recharge

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Today we updated our world map of sustainable environmental practices. Now you can find case studies on Aquifer Recharge – and you can take part!

World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practices

The presented case studies are only a small selection. Do you miss an important case study? Or do you want to add pictures or further material? Please, send us a message using our contact form and share your ideas with us! We are happy to work with you on an additional pin or add your pictures.

Stay tuned for publication of the next topics!

News

RUVIVAL now in German and Urdu!

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Hallo!

!السلام عليكم

We are excited to announce: RUVIVAL is now also available in German and in Urdu!

We regularly publish new German e-learning content and we will start today with a lecture on Raw Earth Construction:

German Version: Lehmbau

English Version: Raw Earth Construction

We will start to publish material in our lecture section and keep up in 2020 with material in the toolbox.

In addition, these two Toolboxes are now available in Urdu: Traditional Rainwater Harvesting and Decentralised Wastewater Treatment.

Urdu Version: روایتی بارانی پانی سے کاشتکاری

English Version: Traditional Rainwater Harvesting

Urdu Version: گندے پانی کا غیر مرکزی علاج

English Version: Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

Each post with a German or Urdu version available will have this indicated at the top of your screen.

Ever since its beginning, RUVIVAL is on a mission to reach a wider audience and spread the word on sustainable rural development. Now this word is also available in German and Urdu. Therefore, we welcome the German and Urdu speaking community to our growing RUVIVAL network.

Lehmbau

Lehmbau

روایتی بارانی پانی سے کاشتکاری

گندے پانی کا غیر مرکزی علاج

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Overview

Introduction to Greenhouses

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Greenhouses are built to protect plants from harsh climates and to provide warmth throughout the year. Additionally, they help to save water in water scarce regions.To get a sufficient yield of crops, the plants need a stable and a suitable climate. Generally, these conditions are not always given as most regions have to face weather extremes.

The following overview will give you information on greenhouses in general, their pros and cons and successful examples of greenhouses in rural regions around the world.

Introduction to Greenhouses by Shivam Rai and Kevin Bobert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

News

RUVIVAL at Klimawoche Hamburg

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On the 28th of September 2019 you can meet RUVIVAL during the Klimawoche Hamburg (Hamburg Climate Week) at Bücherhallen Hamburg (public libraries). The aim of the Klimawoche Hamburg is to initiate a dialogue with the population on the sustainable development goals between actors from business, politics, the environment and society.

You will have a chance to meet the RUVIVAL founders Ruth Schaldach (Project Manager and Editor in Chief) and Tina Carmesin (Editor). Come and experience RUVIVAL first hand!

What: RUVIVAL during the Klimawoche Hamburg at the public libraries Bücherhallen in Hamburg

When: 28th September 2019, 12:00 – 15:00

Where: Hamburg Zentralbibliothek, Hühnerposten 1, 20097 Hamburg

Bücherhallen Hamburg Logo

Find more information below:

Facebook event (link in German)

Bücherhallen Hamburg (link in German)

Klimawoche Hamburg (link in German)

Read more about our previous cooperation with Bücherhallen Hamburg below:

RUVIVAL at Bücherhallen Hamburg

A review: RUVIVAL at Bücherhallen Hamburg introducing the Simulation Game

News

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 5 is Out!

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The 5th Volume of the RUVIVAL Publication Series is out! This volume starts with an introduction on the global soil status, which in the past decades has continued to deteriorate. This is followed by two literature reviews. The first one focuses on soil erosion and explains the mechanisms that cause it, both natural and human-induced. Additionally, it presents soil conservation practices from around the world. Lastly, the third paper deals with traditional ecological knowledge regarding water management practices. It concentrates on rainwater harvesting methods and introduces two case studies from India.

As with Volume 4, the papers in Volume 5 have been reviewed by members of the RUVIVAL Community. We have now also started the reviewing process for the papers that will be included in Volume 6, which will be published in the first half of 2020. Join our community and comment on these papers here!

Cover page Publication Series Volume 5

Founder and editor in chief Ruth Schaldach about the RUVIVAL Publication Series:

“We hope to connect with the knowledge of a broad and diverse audience and provide a deeper understanding of research fields important for sustainable rural development and in areas in need of landscape restoration.”

All our publications are available to download for free via the library of Hamburg University of Technology. The previous issues can be accessed here:

Volume 1

RUVIVAL Volume 1


Volume 2

RUVIVAL_Publication_Series_Volume_2



Volume 3

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 3 cover

Volume 4

Cover page RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4

Reading

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 5

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RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 5 covers the topics of global soil status, soil erosion and traditional rainwater harvesting methods:

  • An Introduction to the Global Soil Status (pp. 7 – 17)
  • A Literature Review on Soil Erosion Quantification and Measurements (pp. 18 – 31)
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK): Rainwater Harvesting Methods – A Review (pp. 32 – 47)

RUVIVAL Publication Series

Find all volumes of RUVIVAL Publication Series here.


World Soil Resources

Soil Erosion

Traditional RWH

News

Update: World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practice Cases – Urine Utilisation

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Today we updated our world map of sustainable environmental practices. Now you can find case studies on Urine Utilisation – and you can take part!

World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practices

The presented case studies are only a small selection. Do you miss an important case study? Or do you want to add pictures or further material? Please, send us a message using our contact form and share your ideas with us! We are happy to work with you on an additional pin or add your pictures.

Stay tuned for publication of the next topics!

News

Update: World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practice Cases – Rainwater Harvesting

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Today we updated our world map of sustainable environmental practices. Now you can find case studies on Rainwater Harvesting – and you can take part!

World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practices

The presented case studies are only a small selection. Do you miss an important case study? Or do you want to add pictures or further material? Please, send us a message using our contact form and share your ideas with us! We are happy to work with you on an additional pin or add your pictures.

Stay tuned for publication of the next topics!

News

New Working Paper on Sand Dams!

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We have just published a new working paper on the topic of sand storage dams! You can help us improve the content of this paper by sending us feedback, suggestions and further ideas on the RUVIVAL Community Writers Corner.

The final version of this Literature Review will be published in Volume 6 of the RUVIVAL Publication Series in the first half of 2020.

Don’t forget to send your comments before the 31st of December 2019 so that the authors can consider them for the final version.

Click here to open the category Writers Corner.

Category Writers Corner RUVIVAL Community

Click on the element below to read the literature review.

Working paper on sand dams



Read more about the RUVIVAL Community here.

Literature Review

Sand Dams Literature Review

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In arid and semi-arid regions of the world, sand storage dams can help store water during the rainy season for later use with easy accessibility for local residents. If constructed correctly, a sand storage dam can be a reliable water supply option. The following Literature Review gives you an overview on sand storage dams and most recent research on the topic.

 

News

Making of RUVIVAL and Insights on Stop Motion Videos

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Making of RUVIVAL is a section on our webpage for peeking into the back office of RUVIVAL. Here you get to know how we produce Open Educational Resources (OERs) or the yearly game. Furthermore, we collaborate with the online magazine Insights of the TUHH. Therefore, you will sometimes find our insights published first in Insights.

Insights Magazine of the Technical University HamburgThis section will grow and it will be worth stopping by regularly as we will publish new content every two months. Together with the first article, we start by providing material for your own stop motion video production. Just follow this link and maybe get inspired to produce your own video. Here you can see our stop motion video collection:

Let us know if the content is useful for you and if you use the material for producing your own OERs, we will be very happy to get to know about it. You can send us a message using our contact form.

Stay tuned for announcements and subscribe to our newsletter.

News

Fourth Round of RUVIVAL SimGame Completed Successfully

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The RUVIVAL SimGame 2019 has successfully concluded on Tuesday 25 June, with the dazzling display of wonderful outcomes yielded from the hard work of students during the two months. Three virtual Eco-Towns were planned, 1 located in Wales and 2 in Ethiopia. Over one hundred students joined in the game as eco-planners – 68 from TUHH in Germany and 37 from ICAM in France supported by external participants contributing to the game by playing the role of Eco-Town inhabitants. They united for the same goal and worked without hindrance despite of the different locations thanks to the online SimGame system.

Tasks in the Eco-Town planning game

The fundamental task of the students was to plan the future Eco-Town and find ways to incorporate various water and energy solutions with sustainable agricultural practices, while taking into consideration the specific challenges resulted from different geographic, political, economical and climatic conditions, as well as the diverse opinions of the inhabitants. To accomplish the final task, the students have gone through several steps and formed into different groups responsible for the respective development plans and town affairs. Approximately 370 posts and 1300 comments were created during these processes which paved the way to the final achievements.

It would be unfair to leave the SimGame without mentioning those important management roles. First is our Earth, the main character in the virtual world, who is responsible for publishing all the important announcements and sometimes interesting news. Earth knows everything in the world and gives direction by answering their questions.

This year over 50 articles were published in our newspaper reporting about the town meetings and planning progress. Each article was also discussed in the comment section and all participants were not only up to date, but also well informed on new developments in the area of environmental practices and technologies.

Travelling to other parts of this fictional world was made possible by the Travel Agent, the smart robot who is responsible for the travel agency. Overall 22 travel tickets were issued to the participants, most of which led to Ethiopia and Arba Minch being the most popular towns. The currency in the game to get a ticket were written articles as we considered the spread of useful knowledge as most valuable.

Town meetings and a final conference were held in form of an online video conference so that it was possible for all participants to present and discuss the concepts not just in written form. This multimedia concept made it possible to develop three elaborate plans for three sites with very diverse environments.

RUVIVAL in 2020

As in the real life, the virtual world will keep growing and improving from the intense exchange and interactions. We are happy to announce that the next round is already planned for 2020! We are in negotiations to get more Universities, especially from Africa, involved and hope to find more future inhabitants from all over the world willing to share their knowledge. Stay tuned for the next round of SimGame!

DIY

Open Source Solar System

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Distributed, or decentralised energy systems can be build with Open Source Renewable Energy Hardware. Within the Hamburg Open Online University project Collective Open Source Hardware, short cos(h), step-by-step instructions were created to build your own open source solar system. The tutorial is based on Libre Solar components and offers a modular system that can be set up, depending on power and storage capacity requirements. Basic understanding of electrical engineering and programming is required for a successful construction.

Manufacturing of a Solar Charge Controller

A charge controller feeds electrical power from solar panels (or wind turbines or bicycle generators) in the battery storage system. If electricity should be stored in batteries, a charge controller is always required, as it prevents the battery from overloading or overcurrent. Cos(h) created a manual that shows how to manufacture a MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) charge controller. It is a PCB (printed circuit board) for running an electrical solar power system.

Click here to open the cos(h) tutorial and build your own MPPT.

Photos from the MPPT manufacturing:

Images by cos(h) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Assembly of a Solarbox

This tutorial shows you how to connect the previous constructed charge controller with solar panels, batteries and loads directly. However, a solarbox can be created individually.

Another cos(h) tutorial shows how to assemble a solarbox, which is a small scale mobile energy system (consisting of batteries, electric components like a charge controller and connectors for connecting power generation units like solarpanels)

Click here to open the cos(h) tutorial and assembly your own small scale solar system.

Libre Solar Box Overview by cos(h) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Other Open Source Hardware:

Global Village Construction Set: 50 different industrial machines: Open Source Ecology

 

More information:

Video: What is Open Source Hardware?

cos(h) Tutorial

cos(h) Git Lab

Libre Solar Website

Libre Solar Community Platform

 

News

RUVIVAL now in French!

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Bonjour! We are excited to announce: RUVIVAL is now also available in French!

We regularly publish new French e-learning content and we will start today with a lecture on Raw Earth Construction and System of Rice Intensification:

French Version: Construction en terre crue

English Version: Raw Earth Construction

French Version: Système de Riziculture Intensive

English Version: System of Rice Intensification

Each post with a French version available will have this indicated at the top of your screen.

Ever since its beginning, RUVIVAL is on a mission to reach a wider audience and spread the word on sustainable rural development. Now this word is also available in French. Therefore, we welcome the French speaking community into our growing RUVIVAL network. We will start to publish material in our lecture section and keep up in 2019 with material in the toolbox.

Construction en terre crue

Construction en Terre crue

Système de riziculture intensive

SRI

Find photos from the launch event below (pictures by Jorrit Specker)::

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Click & Play

Aquaponic Farming using the Asian Clam

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This Toolbox element was created in cooperation with high school students. Read more here

Aquaponic farming is a combination of aquaculture (in this case, growing Asian clams) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil). The main advantage of aquaponic farming is that the system is easy to operate as you only need to circulate the water, to feed the animals and to harvest the plants. The most obvious advantage is that two food sources can be grown in one system. In order to demonstrate the benefits of an aquaponic system, pupils of the Goethe Schule Harburg (School in Hamburg) built a small-scale model under supervision of their teacher Olaf Zeiske. It consisted of four compartments along with a pump and circulation system and they continually monitored the circulation of nutrients.

Here is the report from Felix Leuner and Emil Regelski on their version of an aquaponic system:

We ran the model for six months. During which, we observed that green algae caused many problems. Therefore, it must be monitored closely. Without proper maintenance, the algae would build-up in the tubes of the circulation system and, finally, clog them. To prevent this from happening, a screen could be placed at the inlets of the tubes or bigger tubes could be used.

Due to the fact that we built the system in direct sunlight, we lost much water due to evaporation. This was done with the intention of providing the algae with as much sunlight as possible. Our recommendation would be to construct an aquaponic farm in half-shade. By doing this, you can prevent the system from both overgrowth of algae and also too much evaporation.

Aquaponic Model System by Felix Leuner and Emil Regelski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Aquaponic Farming by Felix Leuner and Emil Regelski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

News

A review: RUVIVAL at Bücherhallen Hamburg introducing the Simulation Game

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Last weekend we offered a workshop at at the public libraries (Bücherhallen) in Hamburg. After the welcome and introduction by project manager Ruth Schaldach, Tina Carmesin presented the overall concept of RUVIVAL.

The main topic of the event was the RUVIVAL Simulation Game. Ruth Schaldach described the game design and showed the game platform. After this, the participants were asked to explain their vision of ecological towns and a discussion started. In the end the registration process for participating the game was shown.

Last week, the 2019 RUVIVAL Simulation Game officially started. We are more than happy that in this years edition we have already 125 participants registered in our system! The first planning tasks were executed and fruitful discussions evolved. Since 2017 students in Hamburg, Paris and Toulouse face the challenges to plan ecological towns in the simulated world created by the RUVIVAL Team. However, everyone can participate! If you want to take part in the game find further information and the registration form here.

We are looking forward to another exciting game. We hope to see you online!

Find more articles about the Game in our News Section.

RUVIVAL Workshop at Bücherhallen Hamburg

We thank all workshop participants for their interest and involvement. Furthermore, we thank Bücherhallen Hamburg for the invitation and support during the event.

Stay tuned for next event announcements and subscribe to our newsletter.

News

RUVIVAL at Bücherhallen Hamburg

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On the 4th of May 2019 you can meet RUVIVAL at the public libraries (Bücherhallen) in Hamburg. We take part in a series of events organised by Hamburg Open Online University and Bücherhallen. According to the motto of this event series ‘shape your digital future’, we want to show you how to participate in our RUVIVAL Simulation Game.

You will have a chance to meet the RUVIVAL founders Ruth Schaldach (Project Manager and Editor in Chief) and Tina Carmesin (Editor). Come and experience RUVIVAL first hand! 

What: RUVIVAL at the public libraries Bücherhallen in Hamburg

When: 4th May 2019, 14:00 – 15:30

Where: Hamburg Zentralbibliothek, Large event room, level 1, Hühnerposten 1, 20097 Hamburg

 

Bücherhallen Hamburg Logo

Find the program and learn more about the Hamburg public libraries here (link in German).

 

UPDATE

We offer a game meeting on 7th May 2019,17:00 at Hamburg Zentralbibliothek in room 2.4.

During this meeting we can help you with register the game, translation or explain you further details. This meeting also offers a place for game participants to get together and discuss further ideas. However, you can also play the game solely online, without coming to the meeting.

We are looking forward meeting you!

News

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4 is Out!

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We are excited to announce that the new volume of the RUVIVAL Publication Series is out! This volume talks about the challenges faced by the lack of energy supply and wastewater treatment. Especially in rural areas of developing countries is the electrification and rural water supply challenging. However, sustainable decentralised technologies are available and reviewed in this Volume.

Finally, in this volume we tried a new peer review process and invited our audience to participate as editors. Volume 5 and 6 is still under review or production and you can also be part of our community by following this link. You get the opportunity to read and review our working papers and to contribute your knowledge.

Cover page RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4

Founder and editor in chief Ruth Schaldach about RUVIVAL Publication Series:

“Beyond providing open access to research to a broader public and making it available for practitioners, we strive to directly include our readers in the process of developing our ma­terial.”

As all our publications, RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4  is available for free download via the library of Hamburg University of Technology. The previous issues can be reached here:

RUVIVAL Volume 1

RUVIVAL Volume 2

RUVIVAL Volume 3

Reading

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4

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RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4 covers the following topics: Distributed Renewable Energy Supply and Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment.

  • Energy Access for Sustainable Rural Development: Literature Review on Distributed Renewable Energy for Rural Electrification in Africa (pp. 8 – 38)
  • Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment for Rural Areas with a Focus on Resource Recovery (pp. 39 – 64)

RUVIVAL Publication Series

Find all volumes of RUVIVAL Publication Series here.


Rural Energy Systems

Toolbox Rural Energy Systems

Decentralised WWT

News

Contribute to the World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practice Cases

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RUVIVAL is on a mission to revive rural areas around the world. As there is diverse sustainable development in motion we are developing a world map of sustainable environmental practices. Today we publish our first topic on Check Dams. Soon we will release more topics and pins on the map in the area of: Agroforestry, Rainwater Harvesting, Urine Utilisation and Aquifer Recharge – and you can take part!

World Map of Sustainable Environmental Practices

The presented case studies are only a small selection. Do you miss an important case study? Or do you want to add pictures or further material? Please, send us a message using our contact form and share your ideas with us! We are happy to work with you on an additional pin or add your pictures.

Stay tuned for publication of the next topics!

Maps

Sustainable Environmental Practice Cases: a World Map

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The world map shows case studies on sustainable environmental practices. Specifically, these cases stand for different approaches in different climate zones. Click on the pins and you will get more information on cases in the area of Check Dams, Rainwater Harvesting, Urine Utilisation, Aquifer Recharge, Agroforestry and Terra Preta Sanitation. You can choose the different topics from the drop-down menu.

Additionally, you can find more detailed information on each topic in our other Toolboxes.

The presented studies are only a small selection. Is there an important case study that is missing? Or do you want to add pictures or further material? Please, send us a message using our contact form and share your ideas with us! We are happy to work with you on an additional pin or just add your pictures.

 

News

Applications for the 2019 RUVIVAL Simulation Game are now open!

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We are happy to announce that the 2019 RUVIVAL Simulation Game applications are now open! The game will officially start on the 7th of May. We recommend, that you join us from the start, as you will get to observe and participate then in the entire planning process! Late applications will also be accepted, in case there are still free spots left.

So, how do you apply for the Simulation Game?

1. Go to the Simulation Game page and get further informed about the game.

2. Fill in the registration form.

3. Shortly before the start of the Game, you will get an e-mail invitation to join our system.

4. Join us in planning new and improved ecological towns!

We look forward to having you on board!

RUVIVAL Simulation Game

Go to registration

 

News

Digital Changemaker group visits the TUHH

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A couple of weeks ago we had a visit from the student group Digital Changemaker. They are part of the German Forum for Higher Education in the Digital Age (Hochschulforum Digitalisierung). This group is made up of 15 students from all over Germany, studying in different fields. They are working on improving digitalisation at the university level, looking at different aspects such as innovative and didactic learning formats, platform solutions, sustainability, e-participation, etc.

The students visited the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) to get to know different projects from the Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU). Carla Orozco Garcia from RUVIVAL showed them how we create Open Educational Resources (OERs) in form of stop motion videos. They visited her in the editing room, where she showed them our video-making process. This starts by creating a storyboard. Then, the video elements are drawn, printed and cut out. Afterwards the video is filmed at the studio and finally, it is all put together with a video editing software.

If you are interested in learning more about this process, take a look at our Making of RUVIVAL Stop Motion Videos section.

News

Global Water Dances

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RUVIVAL partners with Global Water Dances and you can be part of the global dance event!

Apply until the 31th of March 2019 here.

Global Water Dances aims to use the international languages of dance and film to raise awareness on issues related to water. The project promotes awareness and a behavioural shift toward solutions for water preservation and conservation through community engagement.

Water is one of the central topics in our RUVIVAL Toolbox and a part in each of the Lectures. However, now you can be part of an international movement to raise awareness on water issues. Therefore, join one of the events as a dancer, choreographer, film maker or organiser.

Already ample dance groups have registered for the event and you can make the next dot on the site map by organising an event in your area (worldmap of registered sites). If you are a dance group from the African continent, there are special funding opportunities possible, just register and you will be contacted.

Let’s dance for water.

News

Conference on Permaculture, Sustainability and Water on La Gomera

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Ever since its beginning, RUVIVAL is on a mission to spread the word on sustainable rural development. We just visited the island of La Gomera to be part of a conference on permaculture, sustainability and water.

Local and international experts presented innovative ideas in the context of rural development, sustainability and water use. However, we also enjoyed taking the opportunity to network in workshops and engage in mutual exchange with likeminded people. We swapped seeds, got to know local projects and enjoyed regional products and music.

Specific topics were discussed in working groups, such as permaculture, reforestation, ecological cultivation practices, eco-tourism and water reuse. Thus, about 100 participants as well as representatives of the Island Council found common interests and connecting points to further develop the island of La Gomera in a sustainable manner. All in all it was a successful start for future cooperation and more events.

Poster Conference on Permaculture, Sustainability and Water La Gomera
Programme of the Conference on Permaculture, Sustainability and Water on La Gomera (in German)

The meeting was organised by Finka Alexandria and Allerhand am Alpenrand in cooperation with the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection, RUVIVAL, AIDER (Insular Association of Rural Development of La Gomera) and the Island Council of La Gomera.

Have a look at some photos from the event (pictures by Sara Hornig):

 

Logo Finka Alexandria
More information about our new project partner
Finka Alexandria will follow soon. Stay tuned!

Find out more about our existing cooperations and project partners in our News section.



Interactive Image

Distributed Renewable Energy Supply for Rural Areas

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Distributed energy systems can be divided into mini-grid and stand alone systems. Click on the purple hotspots to learn more about distributed renewable energy supply for rural areas.

Distributed Renewable Energy Supply for Rural Areas by Tina Carmesin and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Handbook

Geological Background for MAR Systems

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If you want to design a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) system, an understanding of the geological background at your site is necessary.

Aquifers consist of different rock and sedimentary layers. The type and characteristics of these layers determine whether and how much water can infiltrate. A high porosity and permeability is helpful for aquifer recharge, but not all layers have the wanted properties. Moreover, the geological history varies from region to region, therefore it is helpful to include a local geologist into the planning process of a MAR.

The following slides provide you with a basic geological understanding on rock types and their important properties: porosity and permeability. A quiz is included to let you check on your gained knowledge.

Geological Background for MAR Systems by Marwin Krull and Birthe Kristina Hohm is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Click & Play

Check Dam Design Tool

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This check dam design tool helps you to design a check dam. It shows an example of a longitudinal view of a check dam section in a catchment. Each check dam needs a design accordingly to its location. Therefore, after you decided on a perfect spot with suitable local building material, you need to calculate the specific dam measurements. Click the green plus-buttons and a manual will pop up. They specify the calculation of certain values such as the size (height, length, width) of a check dam or the space between each check dam.

Check Dam Design Tool by Dominik Kettig and Thu Zar Aung is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Summary

Rural Energy Systems Summary

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Energy systems play a crucial role in sustainable rural development. Let’s see how much you have learned or you already know about it! Click on the right answers, to compile an energy systems summary! If there are still some parts you are not familiar with, you can always check out the rest of the Toolbox element.

Rural Energy Systems Summary by Tina Carmesin and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Video

Land-based Rainwater Harvesting Video

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The following video will give you an insight into the topics of land-based rainwater harvesting. For more information, make sure to check out the rest of the material on this topic. Enjoy!

Land-based Rainwater Harvesting by Valerie Mehl, Ayodeji Oloruntoba and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Video

Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment for Rural Areas Video

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The following video will give you an insight into integrated decentralised wastewater treatment for rural areas. For more information, make sure to check out the rest of the material on this topic. Enjoy!

Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment for Rural Areas Video by Usama Khalid is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Click & Play

Synergies on Small Organic Farms

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Did you know that smallholder farmers produce as much as  70 % of the world’s food? What is more, organic agriculture is developing rapidly and the share of agricultural land and farms continues to grow in many countries. What are the characteristics of small organic farms and why are their important for sustainable development?
Click through the hotspots to find out!

Synergies on Small Organic Farms by Wilhelm Lotze is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Quiz

Facts and Misconceptions about SRI

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SRI stands for System of Rice Intensification. Although not a new technique, many questions about SRI remain unresolved. Its proponents and critics still debate the proclaimed SRI benefits. By August 2018, more than 800 scientific papers on SRI have been published, discussing this concept. Below you will find some facts and misconceptions about SRI. Try to guess which ones are true and which not. You can always learn more about this topic in our Interactive Lecture on SRI.

Facts and Misconceptions about SRI by Julia Stümpel and Banu Sengül is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

News

New Making of RUVIVAL Section

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Many people are involved in developing RUVIVAL learning materials. This is both a challenging and rewarding process. On the one hand, it requires thorough planning and elaborate coordination, but on the other, unique perspectives, linkages and expertise emerge from this exchange. We strongly feel that this is a story that needs to be told alongside the sustainable rural development content you see on our website as the finished product. This is why we are introducing a whole new Making of RUVIVAL section. Here you will be able to read more about how different RUVIVAL elements are created, about the technical and pedagogic aspects, as well as about the experiences of those taking part.

Making of RUVIVAL

Allgemein

Making of RUVIVAL

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Sustainable rural development is an answer to a multitude of complex pressing issues that require global attention. The responses to these issues are equally complex and the best ones are those that draw synergistic connections and offer holistic solutions. In the making of RUVIVAL, these complexities are recognised and addressed, both when it comes to problems and solutions. That is why in developing RUVIVAL learning elements, different tools, materials and styles are used, for a comprehensive learning experience. Some elements have a more technical or practical nature, while others are more theoretical. Some are text based and others are image based.

Collaboration is key for developing RUVIVAL into the open access e-learning platform it is today. You can see all RUVIVAL collaborators in the Team list. Beyond this, the newest project addition RUVIVAL Community is helping to bring invaluable knowledge sources and practice examples.

In the following, you will learn how all these different components come together when creating RUVIVAL. Click on the elements to learn more:

News

Help us translate RUVIVAL into YOUR language!

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When we first launched RUVIVAL back in 2016, we decided to do so in English, in odrer to reach the widest audience possible. However, our goal has always been to reach bigger and broader audiences. As you already know, RUVIVAL is from now on available both in English and Spanish, but we do not want to stop here! This is why we are reaching out to you, our community, to ask for your contribution towards making RUVIVAL multilingual and truly global!

There are several ways in which you can help us translate RUVIVAL. Of course, you will be given due credit for your work and be listed as a contributor on our website. The general discussion regarding translation will take place in the RUVIVAL Community discussion forum. Here both the technical and linguistic details will be discussed. Our stop motion videos are also open for community contributions, which can be done through our YouTube channel. You are free to send us your translation on the topic of your choosing – whether it is your research topic, your favorite RUVIVAL element, or information you think is useful to the people in your community. We look forward to your contributions!

News

RUVIVAL now in Spanish!

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Hola! We are excited to announce: RUVIVAL is now available in Spanish!

We publish each Thursday new Spanish e-learning content and we will start today with a lecture on Raw Earth Construction:

English Version: Raw Earth Construction

Spanish Version: Construcción con Tierra Cruda

Each post with a Spanish version available will have this indicated at the top of your screen.

Ever since its beginning, RUVIVAL is on a mission to reach a wider audience and spread the word on sustainable rural development. Now this word is also available in Spanish. Therefore, we welcome the Spanish speaking community into our growing RUVIVAL network. We will start to publish material in our lecture section and keep up in 2019 with material in the toolbox.

Join our Newsletter to receive an e-mail when new content is released.

Parte 1

Parte 1 Clase Construccion con Tierra Cruda

Parte 2

Parte_2

News

New Topics in the RUVIVAL Community Writers Corner!

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As the RUVIVAL Community Writers Corner slowly picks up pace, we would like to draw your attention to the newly opened forum threads.

Writers Corner is where participants can meet in our forum RUVIVAL Community and be part of the publication process – become editors and bring their own ideas to the table.

Don’t forget, we will collect all comments, ideas and hints on the 5th of December 2018! So make sure your contributions are posted early enough to be considered by the authors for Volume 4 and 5 in the RUVIVAL Publication Series.

Click here to open the category Writers Corner.

Category Writers Corner RUVIVAL Community

The new discussion topics are Traditional Rainwater Harvesting, Decentralised Wastewater Treatment and World Soil Resources. Click on the elements below to read the literature reviews.




Read more about RUVIVAL Community here.

Literature Review

Rural Energy Systems Literature Review

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Providing access to electricity in rural areas is a major challenge, especially in developing countries. Inefficient energy use and an unreliable energy supply with limited access not only has an adverse effect on economic productivity; more importantly, it also affects people’s quality of life and is having a strong impact on the environment at local (land degradation), regional (air, water and soil pollution) and global levels (climate change). This paper reviews distributed renewable energy systems and concentrates on energy services for electricity generation in Africa.

UPDATE: The updated version of this literature review is part of RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4. A working version of this paper was previously published and discussed online. It can be read here.

 

Toolbox

Rural Energy Systems

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Rural Energy Systems ToolboxUniversal access to modern energy is driven by both local and global factors, including climate change, population increase and future energy security. In order to be sustainable in the long term, rural energy systems need to meet the energy requirements of rural dwellers, while raising economic productivity and contributing to a sustainable development of the living conditions in these areas. They should also provide inputs for further rural energy interventions and reduce the environmental impact by focusing on renewable energy technologies.

Rural Energy Systems Learning Tools

RUVIVAL Video 

Video Distributed Renewable Electricity Supply for Rural Areas

RUVIVAL Literature Review  

Literature Review Rural Energy Systems

RUVIVAL DIY

DIY Open Source Solar System

RUVIVAL_Click&Play  

Click & Play Distributed Renewable Energy Supply for Rural Areas

RUVIVAL Quiz 

Quiz Rural Energy Systems

RUVIVAL Summary  

Summary Rural Energy Systems

 

News

RUVIVAL Community – Writers Corner published

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Today we launch the Writers Corner! 

The Writers Corner participants meet in our forum RUVIVAL Community. Now you can be part of the publication process – be an editor and bring your ideas into the discussion.

In the upcoming weeks working papers will be presented and each paper will have its own thread in the forum.

We will collect all comments, ideas and hints on the 5th of December 2018, so make sure your contributions are posted early enough to be considered by the authors for Volume 4 and 5 in the RUVIVAL Publication Series.

Click here to open the category Writers Corner.

Category Writers Corner RUVIVAL Community

We will start to discuss literature reviews on Soil Erosion and Rural Energy Systems. Click on an element below to read the literature review.

Literature Review Soil Erosion          Rural Energy Systems Literature Review

Find more about the RUVIVAL Community here. Stay tuned as we will publish another new literature review next week!

Literature Review

Soil Erosion Literature Review

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Soil erosion is a devastating process leaving landscapes infertile and difficult to revive. The Global Soil Status is already at a worrisome state and research on erosion measures is getting more and more important. The following Literature Review gives you an overview on soil erosion processes and most recent research on the topic. The focus is set on erosion measures, firstly, to prevent erosion and secondly, to reverse erosion.

UPDATE: The updated version of this literature review is part of RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 5. A working version of this paper was previously published and discussed online. It can be read here.

 

News

RUVIVAL Community – Forum online

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Dear RUVIVAL fans and followers, we are happy to announce that we developed a new project section dedicated only to you:

Logo RUVIVAL Community

In order to further support you, our RUVIVAL Community, we offer a forum for knowledge exchange and networking. We will keep it short here, as you can find all information about the forum in our new website menu Community.

Even if you are new around here, you can also be part of our community! We are an e-learning project about sustainable rural development and offer several project sections and materials. Find more information about us in our project description. If you are interested in the development process of our material check our making of RUVIVAL. Have a look around our website and if you have any questions contact us.

Join the forum and be part of a community of knowledge production and sharing – we would love to see you online!

News

Impressions from the Day of Science

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Last weekend we presented our project at the Day of Science at Hamburg University of Technology (Tag des Wissens). We want to thank all visitors for your active participation.

Ruth Schaldach let the audience look behind the scenes of the serious game and invited the audience of the talk to participate next year. The next game will start in May 2019 and you can already book your place.

It was a lot of fun playing the wheel of fortune quiz! The main price were bags with the RUVIVAL logo as a stencil handmade by the RUVIVAL Team.

Finally, we were highly honoured at the event as the Deputy Mayor of Hamburg and Senator for Science, Research and Equal Rights, Katharina Fegebank, as well as the President of Hamburg University of Technology, Prof. Dr. Ed Brinksma and Vice President for Teaching at Hamburg University of Technology, Prof. Dr. Sönke Knutzen visited us.

 

Tina Carmesin explains the next steps of the RUVIVAL project to Katharina Fegebank, Ed Brinksma and Sönke Knutzen

To give all our readers a small glimpse into the event we prepared a photo presentation below. Enjoy and stay tuned: next week we will publish a whole new project section!

To learn more about Hamburg Open Online University and our partners, have a look at the following webpages:

HOOU – Hamburg Open Online University

Kniffelix

MikiE

SciFiVisons

Centre of Teaching and Learning at the TUHH

 

Click & Play

Toiletiquette

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Toilet etiquette refers to toilet and hygiene culture and manners, which naturally vary across cultures. Beyond these cultural variations, there are severe differences in access to basic sanitation across the globe. Universal access to adequate sanitation is a fundamental need and human right. Click through the tool below to learn more.

Toiletiquette by Mascha Bandow and Nicolai Roloff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

News

Get to know RUVIVAL at the Day of Science

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This year’s Day of Science (Tag des Wissens) takes place at Hamburg University of Technology and the topic ‘Technology and the Digital World’ couldn’t fit better to our project!

Tag des Wissens 2018

We can’t wait to welcome you to experience RUVIVAL along with around 50 other interesting projects presented by different universities and research-based companies.

Interact with RUVIVAL and other Hamburg Open Online University Projects: The Wheel of Fortune

Together with two other Hamburg Open Online University projects, Kniffelix and MikiE, we would like to introduce you to the world of online learning!
We prepared a little game: The Wheel of Fortune will decide which questions have to be answered. Find the right answers by using our online content. For the ones who can find the most solutions, great prices are waiting!

Talk about Online Education: RUVIVAL Simulation Game

Furthermore, Ruth Schaldach, member of the RUVIVAL team, is going to take part in an event held by the ‘Centre of Teaching and Learning at the TUHH (ZLL)’ She is going to demonstrate the possibilities and advantages of innovative methods in online education on the example of our RUVIVAL Simulation Game .
To get to this event,you don’t even need to leave the building! It’s just around the corner in room H0.04 and will start at 14:00.
If there are already questions popping up into your mind, you can note them here and if they are matching the overall content, they will be included in the speech.

 

Key facts to remember:

What: RUVIVAL at the Day of Sciences in Hamburg

When: 22nd September 2018, from 13:00 to 18:00

Where: Hamburg University of Technology, Am Schwarzenberg-Campus 5, 21073 Hamburg, Building H, room H0.09

How to reach us: Take the S3 or S31 to the station Harburg Rathaus and then follow the signs! Or you catch the bus no. 14, 143, 146, 443 or 543, and get out at Eißendorferstr. (TU Hamburg).

See you soon at the day of Science in Hamburg!

Find us here: University of Technology Hamburg, Building H, Room 0.09

Further information and the program of the Day of Science can be found here (German):

Day of Science (Tag des Wissens)

Program of all Hamburg Open Online University Projects

To learn more about Hamburg Open Online University and our partners, have a look at the following webpages:

HOOU – Hamburg Open Online University

Kniffelix

MikiE

Centre of Teaching and Learning at the TUHH

Quiz

Water Quantity and Quality Quiz

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Time for a knowledge check! See how much you have learned and try out the water quantity and quality quiz. Did you learn enough about groundwater, surface water and rainwater measurement as well as water quality determination so far? You can return to the Quiz at any time, in case you are not feeling like an expert yet. All answers to the quiz questions can be found within the Toolbox element, so make sure to check out the rest of the material for more information! Good luck!

Water Quantity and Quality Quiz by Birthe Hohm and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Analysis

Measuring Rainfall Frequency and Intensity

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Ever wondered how much rain is falling at your place? Then you should learn more about measuring rainfall to estimate your rainwater harvesting potential with this e-learning tool.

Methods for Rainwater Quantification

We will provide you with a rain gauge construction manual. This gives you the opportunity to measure your rainfall without using much equipment. Everybody can help to keep an eye on our planets water resources and you can start. Have a look by yourself and try out your first tests.

Measuring Rainfall by Birthe Hohm and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Rainwater is an important water resource by naturally irrigating plants and recharging water sheds. Rainfall is collected by rainwater harvesting (also see: traditional and land-based rainwater harvesting), stored and later used. Thus, knowledge on the speed of recharge is important in order to know how fast you can use your stored water resources. Additionally, rainfall is changing with the seasons in frequency and intensity. You can calculate with this Rainwater Collection Calculator based on your data the yearly collection potentials, which helps to plan your storage devices. As dryer a region is as more important it is to collect and store in these seldom peak times, which makes an exact planing even more important. Consequently, observing the rainfall is one of the first steps for sustainable usage practices.

 

Analysis

Water Condition Analysis Guide

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Ever wondered how the water quality of your water resource is? Then you should learn more about the condition of your water sources with this e-learning tool.

Methods for Water Quality Determination

We will provide you with some techniques, which do not need much equipment. This gives you already an idea on your water body’s condition. Everybody can help to keep an eye on our planets water resources. However, for more precise measurements we need more elaborate methods. Have a look by yourself and try out your first tests.

Water Condition Analysis Guide by Birthe Hohm and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Water condition analysis is the first step to check on the quality of a water body. It describes the biological, chemical and physical state of water and tells you how healthy a water resource is. A good water quality and good water health is important for the ecosystem, thus checking on the water condition is an important step for sustainable water usage practices and once implemented to monitor these. However it is also very important for your personal health and well-being. It follows a simple logic: You can only stay healthy, if you use good quality water for drinking water supply and irrigation systems.

Agriculture and urbanisation draw heavy on the worlds water resources and unsustainable practices show more and more their signs. Already, several rivers and lakes are polluted and even groundwater resource are not protected from getting increasingly polluted any more. However, everybody is in the responsibility to avoid pollution and to treat your environment responsible. All water resources are part of the hydrosphere and thus connected with each other, which leads to an easy spread of pollution from one water resource to another. Due to this importance several methods for measuring water quality developed over time. For a precise determination of water quality, a complex set of measurements are needed like Measuring Groundwater QuantitiesMeasuring Surface Water Quantities and Measuring Rainfall Frequency and Intensity, but for a first idea only few parameters are sufficient.

 

Literature Review

World Soil Resources Literature Review

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During the last few decades, technological innovations, economic development and hyper-globalisation, have made significant changes to the fundamental structure of the Earth. This includes the soil, which is one of the most important substances for living creatures. FAO defines soil degradation as the decline in soil health condition, as a result of which the capacity of ecosystems to provide goods and services for its beneficiaries is diminished.

The total amount of arable land decreased, mainly due to unsuitable land usage related to agricultural practices. The Third Agricultural Revolution and growing food demands have put critical stress on agricultural land resulting in serious soil degradation. As a result of modern agricultural practices, both chemical and physical degradation of soil occur. An interrelated factor contributing to the loss of arable land is erosion, which is a naturally occurring process, which can be promoted by human activities.

This paper reviews research conducted on the global soil situation and goes deeper into regional soil conditions. Geographically specific causes for soil loss are also given. Soil management and monitoring systems are recommended, however, it should be noted that each system needs to be adapted to its specific environment.

UPDATE: The updated version of this literature review is part of RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 5. A working version of this paper was previously published and discussed online. It can be read here.

 

Analysis

Measuring Surface Water Quantities

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Ever wondered how much surface water is in rivers, lakes, channels and reservoirs around you? Then you should learn more about measuring surface water with this e-learning tool.

Methods for Surface Water Quantification

We will provide you with some measuring techniques, which do not need much equipment. This gives you already a good idea on your surrounding surface water status. Everybody can help to keep an eye on our planets water resources. However, for more precise measurements you will need more elaborate methods. Have a look by yourself and try out your first tests.

Measuring Surface Water by Birthe Hohm and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Surface water is an important water source not only for recreational purposes. Rivers, Lakes and channels are the most easily accessible water sources, which are naturally widely spread over the planet. Surface water is part of the hydrosphere and thus depends on recharge and discharge even without human beings starting to influence these processes. Thus, surface water quantification is the first step for developing sustainable water usage practices and once implemented to monitor these.

Firstly, if you know the recharge speed of your system, you can set discharge limits. Secondly, surface water bodies should never dry out under a limit, which makes it very important to never use too much. A functioning aquatic ecosystems needs a minimum flow level to survive. However, surface water is more exposed as underground water and, therefore, more vulnerable to climatic conditions like high evaporation rates in times of drought. Additionally, this water source is also most affected by pollution as it is easy accessible and exposed. The agricultural revolution, industrialisation and urbanisation draw heavy on surface water resources, especially in regions without an implemented waste water treatment infrastructure. As dryer the region is as more vulnerable is your system and more important it is to know your surface water bodies exactly.

Therefore, measuring and mapping your water quantities gives you important directions for sustainable usage practices.

 

Analysis

Measuring Groundwater Quantities

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Ever wondered how much groundwater is under your feet? Then you should learn more about measuring groundwater with this e-learning tool.

Methods of Groundwater Quantification

We will provide you with some techniques, which do not need much equipment to give you already an idea on your groundwater. Everybody can help to keep an eye on our planets water resources. However, for more precise measurements more elaborate methods are needed. Have a look by yourself and try out your first tests.

Measuring Groundwater by Birthe Hohm and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Groundwater quantification is also the first step for developing sustainable water usage practices and once implemented to monitor these. It follows a simple logic: You need to know how much water is there, before you know how much can be used. You need  to know how fast your system gets recharged to know how fast you can use your water reservoirs without harming your storage system. Storage systems should never dry out completely, which makes it very important to never pump your groundwater too fast to the surface and use too much. Measuring and mapping your water gives you therefore important directions. As dryer the region is as more vulnerable is your system and more important it is to know your groundwater exactly. Due to this importance several methods for measuring groundwater developed over time. However, quantification of groundwater is difficult due to many hydrological and environmental aspects that must be considered. Groundwater resources are part of the hydrosphere and thus depend on groundwater recharge and discharge even without human beings starting to influence this processes. However, agriculture and urbanisation draw heavy on groundwater resources and unsustainable practices show more and more their signs and some underground storage systems starting to dry out.

 

Calculation

Nutrient Recycling Potential Calculator for Households Using Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems

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The following calculator provides the user with the opportunity to estimate the potential fertilisation area, if faeces and urine from a household are applied. The recommended integrated decentralised wastewater system would use this fertilisation potential for non-food plants and long term soil enrichment.

Nutrient Recycling Potential Calculator

Faeces Application:

Faeces are rich in phosphorous (P), potassium (K) and organic matter and can contribute to non-food crop production both by their fertilising effect and by their soil-improving effect. The proportion of nitrogen that is in mineral form in faeces varies largely between the different purification strategies and can be lost in form of gases. Therefore, only the Phosphorus-fertilisation of Terra Preta Sanitation compost is considered.

Please find more information in this literature review.

Please Enter The Number of Household Members:

Yearly Faeces Production
per Household (kg/a):

Yearly Phosphorus-Fertilisation Area of Terra Preta Sanitation (TPS) compost per Household (m2/a):

Yearly Organic Content Supply Area of  TPS compost per Household (m2/a):

Urine Application:

RUVIVAL Urine Application Calculator

Urine contains four important nutrients for plant growth: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and sulphur (S). The direct application of nutrient-rich sanitised urine to the soil for non-food crops provide the opportunity to recover the nutrients and also reduce the use of fertilisers. The urine application calculator tool developed by RUVIVAL calculates the potential urine fertilisation area of a household based on the yearly production of urine.

Click On the Calculator Icon to Access the Urine Calculator

More information about urine application can be found here.

Background of the Calculator

Excreta ValuesValuesUnit 
Daily Faeces Production per Person140g/d(grams per day)
Yearly Faeces Production per person51.1kg/a(kilograms per year)
Yearly Amount of Nitrogen in Faeces per Person550g/a(grams per year)
Yearly Amount of Phosphorous in Faeces per Person183g/a(grams per year)
Phosphorus Fertlisation of TPS Faecal Compost per person900m²/a(square metre per year)
Yearly Organic Content Supply Area of TPS compost per person4.5m²/a(square metre per year)

According to Jönsson et al. (2004), the potential yearly amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in faeces per person in Sweden is 550 g/(a·person) of nitrogen and 183 g/(a·person) of phosphorus. The yearly amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in faeces per household is calculated from the potential yearly amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in faeces per person multiplied by the number of household members.

According to research done in Tanzania by Krause et al. (2015), total phosphorus in TPS compost is found to be 3.6 times the total phosphorus in faeces compost. The yearly faeces fertilisation area of TPS compost per household is calculated from the potential yearly fertilisation area of faeces per person (900 mfor phosphorus) multiplied by the number of household members. The yearly organic content supply area of TPS compost per Household is calculated from the potential yearly organic content supply area of TPS compost per person (4.5m2 /(a·person)) multiplied by the number of household members.

This calculator takes as a reference point the research done by Jönsson et al. (2004), the amount and nutritional value of faeces and urine are based on the data of the Swedish population. It is important to note that amount and nutritional values of faeces and urine are subjected to variation in different regions of the world and are highly dependent on the nutrient uptake and diet of the population. The nutritional value of wastewater streams improves the quality of the urine and faeces to be used as fertilisers for non-food crops.  Therefore, the provided results should only be considered as a reference point when referring to the potential for nutrients recycling in integrated decentralised wastewater treatment.

The values used in this calculation tool are based on the following studies.

Jönsson, H, Richert, A, Vinneraas, B & Salomon, E 2004, Guidelines on the use of urine and faeces in crop production, EcoSanRes Publication Series, 2nd edn, Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Krause, A, Kaupenjohann, M, George, E & Koeppel, J 2015, ‘Nutrient recycling from sanitation and energy systems to the agroecosystem- Ecological research on case studies in Karagwe, Tanzania’, African Journal of Agricultural Research, vol. 10, no. 43, pp. 4039–5.

Nutrient Recycling Potential Calculator for Households Using Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems by Usama Khalid and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Calculation

Water Saving Potential Calculator for Households Using Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems

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The following calculator tool provides the opportunity to estimate water savings for a household through reuse of the greywater, using the recommended integrated decentralised wastewater system. Separately collected, a less concentrated greywater stream could serve as an alternative irrigation water and flushing water source after minor on-site processing.

For more information on recommended decentralised wastewater system and its proper management, please have a look at further materials provided here.

Water Saving Potential Calculator

Number of Household Members:

Water Savings per Day from Greywater Reuse and Low-Flush Toilets per Household (l/day):

Yearly Water Savings from Greywater Reuse and Low-Flush Toilets per Household (l/year):

Background of the Calculator

According to Friedler (2004), greywater reuse could decrease the water demand of a household by 48 % and lead to water savings of up to 70 litres per person per day. The yearly water savings from greywater reuse and low-flush toilets per household (l/year) is calculated from the potential daily water savings from greywater reuse and low-flush toilets per person (48 % of daily water use i.e. 70 l/day) multiplied by the number of household members and 365 days.

The value of average daily water use per person is taken to be 146 l/day per person, however, the value is subjected to variation for different regions of the world. The provided results should be considered just as a reference point when referring to the potential for water reuse in integrated decentralised wastewater treatment.

Friedler, E 2004, ‘Quality of individual domestic greywater streams and its implication for on-site treatment and reuse possibilities’, Environmental Technology, vol. 25 no. 9, pp.997-1008.

Water Saving Potential Calculator for Households Using Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems by Usama Khalid and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Click & Play

Recommended Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment System for a Rural Household

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Rural households often have to rely on decentralised systems for their wastewater treatment and sanitation needs. The following image gives an overview of a recommended integrated decentralised wastewater treatment system for a rural household. The system is based on the concept of ecological sanitation, involving separation of brown, grey and yellow water through source control schemes. It focuses on the extraction of nutrients from brown and yellow water. The reuse of greywater for non-potable purposes is also integrated in order to help to close nutrient and water cycles. Please click on the hotspots in the image for more information.

Recommended Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment System for a Rural Household by Usama Khalid and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Quiz

Animals in Permaculture Quiz

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It may not seem right on a first glance to raise animals in permaculture systems. However, when done on a correct scale, raising animals on a small piece of land can offer balance and sustained fertility, with improved quality of the food products. Animals eat from pastures, as well as from waste products from the land, while at the same time offering fertility and numerous food products for us humans. Check your knowledge of the potential role animals can have in permaculture in the quiz below!

Animals in Permaculture Quiz by Robin Kulpa and Richa Rajoriya is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Click & Play

Environmental Impact of Livestock

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Conventional livestock production has severe impacts on the environment, which affect its every medium. Click on the hotspots below to learn more about these impacts! Keep in mind that this image is meant as symbolic, in order to draw direct connections between livestock and the environmental medium at hand. In reality, animals in conventional farming systems are usually raised in confinment, in so called animal feeding operations (AFO) or confined animal feeding operations (CAFO). Not only does this way of keeping animals affect the environment, but it also has severe negative imacts on animal livelihood.

Environmental Impact of Livestock by Nina Wandel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

News

Contribute to the Next Volume of RUVIVAL Publication Series!

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We are excited to announce that the next volume of RUVIVAL Publication Series is in the making! This time, we want to try something new and engage with you, our audience, in this process! In the following weeks, we invite you to give us feedback and share your own ideas on the working papers we have published and will publish in the upcoming weeks and which will be part of Volume 4 of our Publication Series!

RUVIVAL Publication Series

Your comments and suggestions will be incorporeted by our authors, to ensure the best and most relevant content on these pressing topics. Contributors will of course be specially named and every input will be given due credit. Comments are welcome using our Contact Form.

Through this step, which is a glimpse into what is soon coming for RUVIVAL, we want to encourage our many diverse communities to share their unique perspective and be heard, as well as to learn about one another. We will be able to share important information to achieve our larger goal – reviving the rural!

Click on the links below to directly access the available working papers. This list will be duly updated, once the papers are online. We are looking forward to all your entries!

Traditional RWH

Decentralised WWT

Global Soil Situation

Literature Review

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Literature Review

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Sustainable wastewater management in any situation is the one that is economically affordable, environmentally sound, technically and institutionally consistent, and socially acceptable for the specific situation. This paper presents a review of the advantages and limitations of various centralised and decentralised wastewater treatment options. Centralised wastewater collection and treatment systems are resource intensive and complex to build and operate, especially in areas with low population densities and dispersed households. Alternatively, the approach of decentralised wastewater treatment appears as a sustainable and logical solution to tackle problems of rural wastewater management.

UPDATE: The updated version of this literature review is part of RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 4. A working version of this paper was previously published and discussed online. It can be read here.

 

Literature Review

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Literature Review

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Over centuries, people in diverse geographical positions relied on rainwater and developed indigenous knowledge and techniques to harvest it. This paper introduces Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge and provides an overview of some of the traditional rainwater harvesting methods. Bamboo drip irrigation and rice-fish farming in India are reviewed as case studies.  It is vital to take into account and to learn from what local people already know and do and apply this knowledge for our planet’s benefits. These traditional rainwater harvesting practices may have a few challenges to overcome, but they can provide water conservation strategies, especially in vulnerable regions.

UPDATE: The updated version of this literature review is part of RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 5. A working version of this paper was previously published and discussed online. It can be read here.

 

Quiz

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Quiz

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How much do you know about decentralised wastewater treatment? Take our quiz and put your knowledge to test in just a few minutes! If you are having any trouble, remember that all answers to quiz questions can be found throughout this Toolbox element. Good luck!

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Quiz by Usama Khalid is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Toolbox

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

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Decentralised Wastewater Treatment ToolboxWastewater is a key feature of public concern, especially with increased issues related to water availability, sanitation, health and sustainability. Inappropriate use and inadequate management of wastewater pose a huge threat to social welfare and ecosystems.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aim to ensure access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030 while expanding recycling and safe reuse of water all around the world (Objective 6). However, as reported by WHO, around 4.5 billion people still lack access to safely managed sanitation services and 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being reused or treated. Numerous regions of the world demonstrate a dominantly rural or peri-urban character. Sanitation data in rural communities reveal serious health, hygiene, economic and social implications that highlight the dire need to develop cost effective, more efficient and easy to maintain wastewater treatment technologies, which suit regional realities.

Decentralised wastewater systems treat and dispose relatively small volumes of wastewater, originating from single households or dwellings located in relatively close proximity with focus on the extraction of nutrients and energy, and reuse of wastewater streams. Decentralisation appears as a logical and sustainable solution to tackle wastewater management issues in rural and peri-urban areas. Numerous approaches for decentralised collection, treatment, and dispersal/reuse of wastewater exist, but there is no fixed or universal solution to the issue, making it necessary to proceed on a case-by-case basis.

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Learning Tools

RUVIVAL Video 

Video Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

RUVIVAL Literature Review  
Literature Review Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

RUVIVAL Calculator

Calculator Water Saving Potential

RUVIVAL Calculator  

Calculator Nutrient Recycling Potential

RUVIVAL_Click&Play

Click & Play Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment System for a Rural Household

RUVIVAL Quiz

Quiz Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

RUVIVAL Summary

Summary Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

 

News

Another Successful SimGame Comes to an End

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Another round of the RUVIVAL SimGame has officially come to an end. Over the course of one month, teams of students from Hamburg University of Technology in Germany and ICAM in France worked hard on planning 4 new Eco-Towns in a simulated world. They were supported by external participants, who assumed the role of Eco-Town inhabitants. From Wales to Ethiopia: the task was to find ways to incorporate different water and energy solutions with sustainable agricultural practices, while taking into consideration the specific challenges connected to the different geographic, political, economical and climatic conditions.

Just as in real life, the virtual Eco-Towns live from an intense exchange and interactions that take place, which is why it is all the more important that the Simulation Game itself also continues to grow. This round gathered 119 inhabitants. To paint a picture of the exchange
taking place – together they have written 180 articles for the Game’s own Newspaper, discussing different planing options and approaches. That is 130 more than in the previous round! Over the course of the Game, the inhabitants created 450 posts and discussed these in 2700 comments and approximately 35 000 likes.

The planers got inspired from each other  and the virtual Travel Agency was particularly busy, with over 20 trips across the world being realised. With 7 travelers, Pembrokeshire in Wales was the most visited Ecotown. Above on the right you see one of the inhabitants pursing travel tickets.

Notice the Earth in the picture above? We wouldn’t do it justice if we didn’t mention the omnipresent role it played in the Game. All communication with the outside world, as well as the Travel Agency and the Newspaper were coordinated and supervised by Earth.

The closing mass online conference, with more than 50 speakers as delegates for their subgroups, took place last week. The participants were logged in mainly from Hamburg, Paris and Toulouse. Is it possible to build bicycles from bamboo grown in constructed wetlands used for greywater treatment? How can we encourage sustainable behaviour without an restrictive penalty system and non authoritarian approached ? Which water storage system is the most suitable one for the specific climate and geographical conditions? These questions and more were answered during the final presentations.

The planning process in all Eco-Towns  benefited greatly from such a fruitful exchange. As the Simulation Game continues to grow, we look forward to the learning and knowledge transfer and exchange that is to come! We will let you know when the next round is on!

SimGame Earth

This article is also available in German.

Quiz

Raw Earth Construction Quiz

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This quiz marks the end of the Raw Earth Construction lecture by Madiana Hazoume. Test how much you have learned in this lecture by taking the quiz below. You will need 70 % to pass. You can always go back to the lectures, if you need to refresh your knowledge. Good luck!

Creative Commons LicenseRaw Earth Construction Quiz by Madiana Hazoume is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Overview

Raw Earth Construction Lecture Parts

Interactive Lectures

Interactive_Lecture

Part 1


Part 2




News

RUVIVAL at OERcamp Nord

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Hamburg, 15th and 16th June

New month, new destinations: RUVIVAL is still on tour! We just came back from the events of last month, but we can not wait to join OERcamp Nord! Again we are participating in the OERcamp, a unique meeting point for practitioners of digital and open teaching and learning materials (open educational resources) in the German-speaking area.

Approach us directly on Friday morning at the Market Place (Ger. Reuse Markt der Möglichkeiten) or register for our workshop on Friday from 2:00 pm, where we will be further discussing the possibilities of open universities and creating a future together (Ger. title: Hochschule öffnen – gemeinsam Zukunft gestalten). For this workshop we team up with our colleagues from the TU Hamburg Library and other Hamburg Open Online University projects:

TU Hamburg Library

Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten öffnen (link in German)

Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten (link in German)

SciFiVisions (link in German)

OERcamp Nord Program (link in German)

OERcamp RUVIVAL

Logo OERcamp

Lecture Parts

Raw Earth Construction, Part 2: Main Techniques of Raw Earth Construction

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Welcome to Part 2 of the lecture Raw Earth Construction by Madiana Hazoume. In this part, you learn more about the main techniques of building with raw earth. The following key questions will be answered in this lecture:

  • How to know if earth is appropriate for construction?
  • Which techniques should be used for what kind of earth?
  • What are the main techniques used for raw earth construction in the world?
  • What are the best practice examples?
  • Who are the famous architects and constructors with raw earth?

Therefore, you learn to determine if raw earth is an appropriate construction material for your construction site.  Furthermore, you are able to choose the appropriate technique for different types of raw earth.

After you finish this part, you can take the lecture quiz and test your knowledge.

Creative Commons LicenseRaw Earth Construction, Part 2: Main Techniques of Raw Earth Construction by Madiana Hazoume is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Quiz

Quiz

Overview

Raw Earth Construction Lecture Parts

Interactive Lectures

Interactive_Lecture

Part 1




Lecture Parts

Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 4: Siltation in Sand Storage Dams

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Welcome to Part 4 of the interactive lecture on Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas by Josep de Trincheria. In this part, you learn more about the process of siltation in sand storage dams. The following questions will be answered:

  • What is siltation and why does it matter?
  • How can siltation be minimised?
  • How can silted up sand storage dams be restored and rehabilitated?

Therefore, this lecture provides an insight into why it is important to address the issue of siltation in sand storage dams and provides recommendations based on practice.

At the end of this lecture, you can test your knowledge in the lecture quiz.

Creative Commons LicenseGroundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 4: Siltation in Sand Storage Dams by Josep de Trincheria is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Quiz

Quiz

Overview

Groundwater Dams Overview

Interactive Lectures

Interactive Lectures

Part 1

Part 1: Groundwater Dams – Potential and Significance

Part 2

Part 2: Subsurface Dams and Sand Storage Dams

Part 3

Part 3 Lecture Groundwater Dams

Toolbox

Biowaste Usage

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Biowaste Usage ToolboxBiowaste stands for discarded biodegradable material. This means it can be broken down into carbon dioxide, water, methane or simple organic molecules by micro-organisms under anaerobic and aerobic conditions. One of the main reasons why biowaste represents a threat to the environment is the production of methane during its decomposing in landfills. This environmental impact can be significantly reduced through separate collection and use of biowaste.

In terms of usage potential, meaning soil or energy recovery, biowaste is still largely underutilised. Employing traditional practices in recycling, reusing and composting can significantly decrease uncontrolled waste disposal, which is especially important in regions without access to formal collection services. Composting, for example, can even ensure the generation of good quality natural fertiliser, which is why this practice should be encouraged.

Biowaste Usage Learning Tools

RUVIVAL Video  

Video Biowaste Usage for Soil Quality Protection

RUVIVAL Quiz 

Quiz Biowaste Usage

 

Lecture Parts

Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 3: Key Performance Factors

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Welcome to Part 3 of the interactive lecture on Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas by Josep de Trincheria. In this part, you learn more about the key performance factors for groundwater dams. The following key questions and more will be answered in this lecture:

  • What are the performance factors of groundwater dams?
  • How can the performance, cost-efficiency and impacts of groundwater dams be optimised?

Therefore, this lecture looks deeper into the technical, economic and environmental specifications of the different groundwater dams and discusses opportunities for their optimisation.

At the end of all lecture parts, you can test your knowledge in the lecture quiz.

Creative Commons LicenseGroundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 3: Key Performance Factors by Josep de Trincheria is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Part 4

Quiz

Quiz

Overview

Groundwater Dams Overview

Interactive Lectures

Interactive Lectures

Part 1

Part 1: Groundwater Dams – Potential and Significance

Part 2

Part 2: Subsurface Dams and Sand Storage Dams

News

RUVIVAL on Tour: IFAT, OERcamp & Meet the HOOU

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RUVIVAL is going on tour! We look forward to meeting you at the following events in May, so mark your calendars and let’s revive the rural! Stay tuned for further events in June.

OERcamp Süd

Bad Wildbad, 11th and 12th May

Our first stop is the wonderful village of Bad Wildbad in the South of Germany, where for the second time we are participating in the OERcamp. OERcamp is a unique meeting point for practitioners of digital and open teaching and learning materials in the German-speaking area. Approach us directly on Friday at the Market Place (Ger. Markt der Möglichkeiten), or register for our workshop on Saturday from 9:30 am, where we will be further exploring the possibilities for teaching and learning synergies. Curious to know more about the OERcamps? Read about our last year’s impressions here.

Logo OERcamp

OERcamps (link in German)

OERcamp Süd Program (link in German)

 

IFAT

Munich, 14th to 18th May

IFAT is the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management. You can come and meet us from Monday to Friday in the Experience.Science.Future Area (Hall B4, close to Gate 5) at the stand of the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection. On Tuesday, 15th of May at 2 pm we will be presenting RUVIVAL in the Session Area Future (Hall B 4.150/250). The topic of our presentation is RUVIVAL: collaborative e-learning for sustainable rural development.

Logo IFAT

 

Meet the HOOU

Hamburg, 31st May

To cap the month off, together with our HOOU sister projects, we will be opening our doors to all of you interested in meeting HOOU, discussing and getting involved. Come and show off your RUVIVAL knowledge, for a chance to win a prize!

Logo Meet the HOOU

Meet the HOOU (link in German)

Meet the HOOU Program (link in German)

Click & Play

newTree Semi-Circular Bunds

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Semi-circular bunds represent a land-based rainwater harvesting technique which is mostly used for rangeland improvement and fodder production. Click on the hotspots to learn more!

This Toolbox Element was developed in collaboration with newTree and represents a practical implementation of this technique on their project site. Read more about newTree here.

Semi-Circular Bunds by RUVIVAL Team and newTree is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

News

RUVIVAL in practice: Project newTree

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This week we introduce you to another sustainable  rural development project which is implementing exactly those practices RUVIVAL is set to teach: meet newTree!

We have also partnered up to create learning materials about the practices they are implementing, so make sure to have a look at the newTree Semi-Circular Bunds example!

newTree: Local women carrying the harvest
Local women carrying the harvest

In Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in the African Sahel region, over 80 % of the population lives from subsistence farming. Population growth, deforestation and the effects of climate change accelerate the degradation and erosion of soils, thus threatening rural families’ livelihoods. Since 2003, newTree has been developing and implementing an effective approach that supports local communities in restoring ecosystems and soil fertility, improving living conditions and gaining new sources of income. The participatory newTree approach is based on the principle of knowledge transfer: through awareness building, instructions, coaching and provision of basic materials, newTree ensures that farmers and women’s groups can replicate methods autonomously and sustainably.

newTree Activities

newTree activities are centered on four pillars which together form a holistic, sustainable agroforestry system. First, the natural regeneration of ecosystems is achieved through the fencing of land, which offers protection from grazing and woodcutting. Gradually, the natural vegetation recovers, first through grasses, later through shrubs and trees, which build a critical basis through their root system and shade.

Farmers are then instructed in effective, sustainable and organic agricultural methods, which improve water retention, erosion protection and fertility. Farmers can either apply these methods within or outside of their protected sites. Critically, the resulting natural regeneration not only restores ecosystems, but also provides local farming communities with new and sustainable sources of food and income.

To reduce the need for firewood and logging – over 80 % of cooking in Burkina Faso is done on open fireplaces – newTree instructs women in building improved cooking stoves. The improved stoves reduce wood consumption by 60 %, which amounts to almost 2 tonnes of wood per year and household. The stoves are built by the women themselves, based on traditional methods and using locally available materials.

The making of improved cooking stoves
Aerial view of a newTree parcel

Finally, farmers and women’s groups receive training in activities to develop new, wood independent sources of income. Depending on local conditions and demand, these activities can range from beekeeping and honey production to hay, seedling or vegetable production, the transformation and commercialization of non- wood forest products or the raising of livestock such as sheep, goats or cattle.

To date, newTree has enabled the set-up of over 300 enclosures protecting 600,000 trees, the sustainable cultivation of close to 20,000 ha of degraded land and the construction of 65,000 improved cooking stoves. Together with its local partner tiipaalga, over 150,000 inhabitants have been reached, which amounts to 5 % of the population in the newTree project areas. These achievements motivate the local team of 53 employees even further to establish tiipaalga as a guiding light in the promotion of sustainable agriculture and improved living conditions of rural families in Burkina Faso.

For more information, please visit:

newTree Semi-Circular Bunds

Website of the newTree Project (available in German and French)

newTree YouTube Channel

Article about newTree in Frankfurter Allgemeine (Link in German)

Calculation

Soil Erosion Calculator

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The average annual rate of erosion on a field can be predicted with the use of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). This equation integrates the local rainfall pattern, soil type, topography, crop system and management practices. The following Soil Erosion Calculator is a Tool to calculate the average annual rate of erosion. It is based on the USLE equation and can be applied globally.

Nevertheless, the USLE equation and thus the Soil Erosion Calculator has two main limitations that need to be considered. Firstly, the calculator is an estimate based on ample and variable factors. These factors may vary with changing climate conditions, alternating usage of the soil, etc. Therefore, the resulting soil loss must be viewed as a long-term average. Secondly, the calculator only accounts for soil losses due to sheet or rill erosion on a single slope. Soil losses associated with gully erosion, wind erosion or from tillage are not included.

Soil Erosion Calculator

1. Erosivity Factor (Rainfall Factor) [(MJ mm) / (ha h yr)] – Slide 2-3:

2. Soil Erodibility [(t / ha)] – Slide 4-5:

3.1. Slope [%] – Slide 6:

3.2. Slope Length [m] – Slide 6:

4. Crop Type Factor[-] – Slide 7-8:

5. Tillage Factor [-] – Slide 7-8:

6. Support Factor [-] – Slide 9-10:

Annual Average Soil Erosion Rate (t/h/yr):

After calculating your Soil Erosion Rate, you can use the following table to find out about your Soil Erosion Class. Depending on your class, you may consider to implement Soil Erosion Strategies on your field. Play around with the factors you inserted priorly, to see if there is a particular factor that influences your Soil Erosion Rate strongly.

There is a computerized version of the USLE equation, named Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). RUSLE is an improved formula, that can handle more complex combinations of tillage and cropping practices and a greater variety of slopes. A further-enhanced version the software is RUSLE2, which can do event-based erosion prediction. RUSLE2 requires a comprehensive set of input information, which may not be available in all jurisdictions.

The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) is a physically-based soil erosion prediction technology. It integrates hydrology, plant science, hydraulics and erosion mechanisms to predict erosion at the hillslope and watershed scale. It is capable of modelling and assessing a variety of land uses, climate and hydrologic conditions. It can be run offline on personal computers supporting Windows.

Soil Erosion Calculator by Antonio Seoane Dominguez and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

News

Applications for the RUVIVAL Simulation Game are now open!

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As revealed last week, we are happy to announce that the Simulation Game applications are now open! The game will officially start on the 14th of May and we recommend that you join us from the beginning, as you will get to observe and participate in the entire planning process! Late applications will also be accepted, in case there are still free spots left.

So, how do you apply for to participate in the Simulation Game?

1. Go to the Simulation Game page and get further informed about the game.

2. Fill in the registration form.

3. Shortly before the start of the Game, you will get an e-mail invitation to join our system.

4. Join us in planning new and improved ecological towns!

We look forward to having you on board!

RUVIVAL Simulation Game Applications Now Open

Go to registration

 

News

Upcoming RUVIVAL Events: Simulation Game and ICAM Guest Lecture

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Simulation Game

May is just around the corner and with it some exciting RUVIVAL events, most notably – the new round of the RUVIVAL Simulation Game! Next week, we will start accepting applications for external participants – the application form and further instructions will be available on our website, so make sure to stick around!

Quick recap about the Simulation Game:

It is an interactive learning tool for planning eco-towns. The planning takes place in a simulated world, on the platform HumHub. The aim is to employ ecological design using system thinking and synergetic effects of resource cycles. The planning groups, consisting of students from participating universities, exchange their knowledge, as they experience similar obstacles in the planning process despite being in a different environment. Each planning group has subgroups focusing on water, energy, buildings, transport or community impact, just to name some aspects.

Simulation Game Platform

As an external participant, you play the role of a future inhabitant in one of the newly planned towns. You are able to take action and influence the planning progress. Still not sure if the Simulation Game is for you? Read more about the Simulation Game, as well as about the experiences from the previous year.

 

New Interactive Lecture in Collaboration with ICAM France

Some months ago, we gave away hints about the novelties of the upcoming Simulation Game. One thing that is new is that our project partners from ICAM France have developed an Interactive Lecture to be used as learning material for the participating students and during the Game. This lecture is of course also available for the wider public on the RUVIVAL website. We have just published Part 1 and you can reach it here. Start learning about raw earth construction today and get ready for the next round of the Simulation Game! We look forward to having you!

Lecture Parts

Raw Earth Construction, Part 1: Properties of Raw Earth

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Welcome to Part 1 of the interactive lecture on Raw Earth Construction by Madiana Hazoume. This part introduces the properties of raw earth and sustainability aspects of earth buildings. The following questions will be answered in this lecture:

  • What is raw earth?
  • Where and when has this material been used in construction?
  • How can raw earth material improve thermal comfort in a building?
  • Why is raw earth a sustainable material?

Therefore, this lecture gives you an historical background and practice examples. Furthermore, it goes into detail on using raw earth for insulation purposes.

At the end of both parts, you can test your knowledge in the lecture quiz.

Creative Commons LicenseRaw Earth Construction, Part 1: Properties of Raw Earth by Madiana Hazoume is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Part 2



Quiz

Quiz

Overview

Raw Earth Construction Lecture Parts

Interactive Lectures

Interactive_Lecture

Lectures

Raw Earth Construction

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Raw earth is a natural material, which has been used in construction since ancient times. It consists of a compacted mixture of moist clay and sand. Raw earth is an excellent building material, as it has many properties similar to concrete. It is especially suitable in countries with a hot climate. A variety of raw earth construction techniques already exist and developed over centuries.

Switch on your loudspeakers/headset for this interactive multimedia lecture, which consists of 2 parts. At the end of the lecture, you have a chance to test your knowledge in the lecture quiz.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 2 Lecture Raw Earth Construction

Quiz

Quiz

Background on Raw Earth as a Sustainable Building Material

Although raw earth as a building material existed for a long time, it only recently gained interest, due to its eco-friendly properties and significant energy saving potential across all stages of its life cycle. Therefore, raw earth can be a cornerstone for constructing eco-houses.

Unlike conventional masonry bricks, the soil and water mix in raw earth is used almost in its natural state. There is ample evidence, both historic and contemporary, that raw earth can be a durable construction material. Famous raw earth constructions include the Fujian Tulou in China and the new Ricola Kräuterzentrum (German for herb center) in Switzerland by the famous architecture firm Herzog and de Mauron.

However, shifting cement to raw earth construction will require to overcome not only technical, but also cultural challenges. One major challenge is to overcome the prejudices, that raw earth constructions are not suitable for contemporary architecture. Furthermore, to break the perception, that cement is not automatically better as it is a more recent construction method. Regardless of this challenge, the interest in raw earth as a building material and alternative to cement increased.

About the lecturer

Madiana Hazoume gives this two part lecture on Raw Earth Construction. She is a lecturer and project manager at ICAM Paris in 2018, responsible for the thematic area Sustainable Buildings and Cities. Before joining ICAM, Madiana worked internationally as a civil engineer in France, Senegal, Madagascar and Canada. Her fields of expertise include sustainable building, thermal building, structural resistance and energy efficiency of buildings.

Interactive Lectures

Interactive_Lecture





Click & Play

Soil Erosion Control Measures

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The following image comprises the most common soil erosion control measures. Nevertheless, there are more measures that can help prevent soil from eroding and these should always be considered individually for each field. Click on the dots for more information.

Soil Erosion Control Measures by Antonio Seoane Dominguez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Lecture Parts

Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 2: Subsurface Dams and Sand Storage Dams

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Welcome to Part 2 of the interactive lecture on Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas by Josep de Trincheria. This part is directed towards the two main types of groundwater dams: subsurface and sand storage dams. The following key questions will be answered in this lecture:

  • What needs to be considered before planning a groundwater dam?
  • What is a subsurface dam?
  • What is a sand storage dam?
  • What are the main disadvantages and advantages of groundwater dams?
  • What are the cost-efficiency factors of groundwater dams?

Therefore, this lecture delves further into the different types of groundwater dams and their characteristics.

At the end of all lecture parts, you can test your knowledge in the lecture quiz.

Creative Commons LicenseGroundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 2: Subsurface Dams and Sand Storage Dams by Josep de Trincheria is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Part 3

Part 3 Lecture Groundwater Dams

Part 4

Quiz

Quiz

Overview

Groundwater Dams Overview

Interactive Lectures

Interactive Lectures

Part 1

Part 1: Groundwater Dams – Potential and Significance

Toolbox

Soil Erosion

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Soil Erosion ToolboxSoil erosion is the displacement of the upper layer of soil (called topsoil). It is a naturally occurring process that affects all landforms. However, certain human activities greatly enhance this process and contribute to a significant soil loss. This matters significantly, because topsoil contains the highest amount of organic matter and is best suited for agricultural activities. In the last 150 years, as much as half of the world’s topsoil has been lost.

However, the effects of soil erosion go far beyond the loss of fertile land and include increased pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers.  As a result, these waterways are prone to clogging, which causes declines in fish and other species. Furthermore, degraded land can often hold less water, which can worsen flooding.

Soil Erosion Learning Tools

RUVIVAL Video 

Video Soil Erosion

RUVIVAL Literature Review  

Literature Review Soil Erosion

RUVIVAL Calculator

Calculator Soil Erosion 

RUVIVAL_Click&Play  

Click & Play Soil Erosion Control Measures

RUVIVAL Quiz  

Quiz Soil Erosion

RUVIVAL Summary

Summary Soil Erosion

 

DIY

DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

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Harvesting rainwater is one of the most self-sufficient and environment friendly methods of using water. As much as 80 % of rainwater that falls onto your catchment area can be collected by applying simple methods. This DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting handbook walks you through an easy  process of building a small rain barrel system. If you want to start small and inexpensive, this might be a good option for you.

DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting by Sumbal Tasawwar and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

To get a better estimate of how much water can be collected from a rooftop, please have a look at our second Rainwater Collection Calculator (Rainwater Collection from Rooftops).

Some additional tips about at home rainwater harvesting to remember:
    • Never drink untested and unfiltered water. The rainwater collected using this method can be used for purposes such as watering your garden.
    • Never place your barrel close to utility services or septic tanks.
    • Drain your barrel once in a while.
    • You can place some pea gravel around your barrel. This will be helpful in case of overflow.
    • Consider installing a gutter debris filter.
    • Clean the gutters thoroughly before installing the rainwater barrel.
    • Consider installing a first flush diverter to reduce contaminants.
    • You can expand your rainwater collecting capacity by connecting an additional barrel.
    • Set up a seasonal maintenance schedule.

We hope you find this handbook useful and hope to hear from you in case you try out this solution.

 

Toolbox

Livestock

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Livestock ToolboxLivestock is a general term used for farm animals, such as dairy cattle, beef cattle, pigs, broilers and laying hens,  kept for use and profit. As part of agriculture, conventional livestock production is one of the main drivers of deforestation in the world. This system focuses on technologies for increased productivity, such as high-yielding breeds, modern feeding techniques, veterinary health products, as well as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which in itself represents a threat towards the environment. What is more, conventional livestock production takes up as much as about 70 % of the total agricultural land!

It is estimated that by the middle of the century, the global food demand will rise by 1.1 % per year. The demand for meat and milk by this time is expected to rise by 75 % and 60 % respectively, compared to the demand at the beginning of the century. If not properly managed, livestock production could cripple the life supporting systems of our biosphere and all other living beings sharing our planet. It is therefore increasingly important to understand the relationship between an increasing demand for livestock products and the exploitation and erosion of water and soil resources. Actions that need to be implemented in order to achieve sustainable production in and across different systems remain subject to debate. Today’s systems are challenged to increase production levels, while reducing their environmental impact and at the same time being economically viable and socially responsible. Some alternatives to conventional production already exist and will be mentioned in this Toolbox element, as well as further tools to reduce the impact of this agricultural practice on the environment.

Livestock Learning Tools

RUVIVAL Video 

Video The Environmental Impact of Livestock

RUVIVAL_Click&Play  

Click & Play Environmental Impact of Livestock

RUVIVAL Quiz 

Quiz Livestock

RUVIVAL Quiz  

Quiz Animals in Permaculture

RUVIVAL Summary

Summary Livestock

 

Video

The Environmental Impact of Livestock Video

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Raising farm animals requires a large input of agricultural efforts and natural resources. As a consequence deforestation, water shortages and water pollution may occur. Learn more about the environmental impact of livestock in this short video.

The Environmental Impact of Livestock Video by Alvaro Rigel Gallegos Rivero and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Reading

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 3

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RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 3 covers the following topics: Sustainable Irrigation, Terra Preta Sanitation and Urine Utilisation.

  • Literature Review on the Utilisation of Urine as a Fertiliser in Agriculture (pp. 8 – 18)
  • A Review of Terra Preta Sanitation with a Focus on the Research Outcomes of the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection (AWW) (pp. 19 – 29)
  • Literature Review on Water Efficiency in Agriculture: Sustainable Irrigation Methods (pp. 30 – 49)

RUVIVAL Publication Series

Find all volumes of RUVIVAL Publication Series here.


Urine Utilisation

urine utilisation main post

Terra Preta Sanitation

Terra Preta Sanitation

Sustainable Irrigation

News

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 3 is Out!

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New year calls for a new publication: we have just released RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 3! This Volume is concerned with the synergies between ecological sanitation and sustainable land management. It discusses different responses, methods and alternatives, as well as the corresponding difficulties and limitations to increase water efficiency in agricultural irrigation and to promote ecological sanitation practices. The synergies between these two fields are in this case realised through the usage of urine as a fertiliser for non-food uses or alternatively by recycling nutrients from excreta in a Terra Preta Sanitation system.

RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 3 cover

Founder and editor in chief Ruth Schaldach about RUVIVAL Publication Series:

“In order to face environmental challenges and to restore already eroded areas knowledge needs to be collected, spread, shared, developed and implemented.”

Read RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 3 here. This volume is also available for free download via the Library of Hamburg University of Technology.

The previous issues can be reached here:

RUVIVAL Volume 1

RUVIVAL Volume 2

Find an overview about all published volumes here.

Click & Play

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Timeline

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Did you know that some of the first traditional rainwater harvesting methods date back as far as 4500 years BCE?

Over centuries, people in diverse geographical positions relied on rainwater as their main water source and developed indigenous knowledge and techniques to it. Traditional water management techniques changed according to the amount of rainfall and its distribution, as well as the type of soil, its depth and landscape it is embedded in. All of these factors and conditions have an influence on the development of traditional rainwater harvesting methods. This Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Timeline gives you a chronological insight into these developments.

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Timeline by Sumbal Tasawwar and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Contribute to the Rainwater Harvesting Timeline by contacting us.

 

Quiz

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Quiz

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Rainwater harvesting is one of the core topics in RUVIVAL. Take this Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Quiz and check your knowledge on these specific techniques. Thirsty for more? You can also take the general Rainwater Harvesting Quiz or the one on Land-based Rainwater Harvesting! All answers to quiz questions can be found throughout the Toolbox elements, so make sure to check out the rest of the material for more information! Good luck!

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Quiz by Sumbal Tasawwar and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Lecture Parts

Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 1: Potential and Significance

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Welcome to Part 1 of the interactive lecture on Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas by Josep de Trincheria. This part is concerned with the potential and significance of groundwater dams, focusing on arid and semi-arid areas. The following topics and more will be covered in this lecture:

  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Seasonal sandy streams
  • Groundwater dams

Therefore, this lecture provides you with the initial knowledge on groundwater dams needed to better understand the following lectures.

At the end of all lecture parts, you can test your knowledge in the lecture quiz.

Creative Commons LicenseGroundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas, Part 1: Potential and Significance by Josep de Trincheria is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Part 2

Part 2: Subsurface Dams and Sand Storage Dams

Part 3

Part 3 Lecture Groundwater Dams

Part 4

Quiz

Quiz

Overview

Groundwater Dams Overview

Interactive Lectures

Interactive Lectures

Lectures

Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas

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Groundwater dams are structures that intercept or obstruct the natural flow of groundwater and provide underground storage. They can therefore be used as a macro-catchment rainwater harvesting technology in arid and semi-arid areas. The main two types are: subsurface dams and sand storage dams. They have successfully been used in several parts of the world, most notably India, Africa and Brazil.

Switch on your loudspeakers/headset for this interactive multimedia lecture, which consists of 4 parts. At the end of the lecture, you have a chance to test your knowledge in the lecture quiz.


Part 1

Groundwater Dams in Arid and Semi-arid Areas Lecture

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 4 Lecture Groundwater Dams

Quiz

Quiz

Background on Underground Water Storage Dams

Instead of storing water in surface reservoirs, water is stored underground. This is the main principle behind groundwater dams. The main advantage of such storage is that evaporation losses are significantly lower compared to open reservoirs. They are also the most reliable method to prevent saltwater intrusion. Furthermore, since parasites cannot breed in underground water, the risk of waterborne diseases is reduced. The submergence of land, a problem which is normally associated with surface dams, is not present with sub-surface dams.

However, groundwater dams are not a universally applicable solution, as they require specific conditions in order to properly function. Ideally, they should be built in areas where rainwater from a large catchment area flows through a narrow passage. The best construction sites are where the soil consists of sands and gravel, with rock or a permeable layer at a depth of a few metres.

About the Lecturer

Josep de Trincheria is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection. The topic of his doctoral thesis is the technical evaluation and design optimisation of subsurface dams and sand storage dams in Kenya and Zimbabwe. In addition, he has work experience in different African countries, including Eritrea, Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Ethiopia. He is currently working as an Emergency WASH Officer at the UN International Organization for Migration.

Interactive Lectures

Interactive_Lecture





Summary

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Interactive Summary

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Traditional environmental rainwater harvesting is an important topic for RUVIVAL. Let’s see how much you have learned or you already know about it! Click on the right answers, to compile a summary of this topic! If there are still some parts you are not familiar with, you can always check out the rest of the Toolbox element. New materials will be added in the upcoming weeks.

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Interactive Summary by Sumbal Tasawwar and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Toolbox

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting

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Traditional Rainwater Harvesting ToolboxTraditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) refers to ecological knowledge and practices of indigenous and local cultures. With a focus on Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) many different types of systems were designed based on scale, water usage and storage location. Over centuries, people in diverse geographical positions relied on rainwater and developed indigenous knowledge and techniques to harvest rainwater. These can be divided into these categories: Micro-catchment methods, Macro-catchment and Flood-water methods.

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting is a process that requires the concentration, collection and storage of rainwater for a number of purposes. This can be done in the same area where the rainfall takes place, or in a different area. This water can also be used immediately or later. Some examples of traditional rainwater harvesting include qanats, contour-bench terracing, spate irrigation, khuskhaba system, rooftop rainfall collection and cisterns.

Traditional methods may have a few challenges to overcome, but they have proven to be sustainable over long time periods. In order to fight environmental degradation of the present and future, it is important to develop holistic and sustainable strategies, especially in vulnerable regions.

For a more general overview and introduction to rainwater harvesting, please check out the Toolbox on Rainwater Harvesting. Further information on practical applications is given in the Land-based Rainwater Harvesting Toolbox, as well as the one on Aquifer Recharge, which provides you with knowledge on how depleted groundwater sources (aquifers) can be restored.

Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Learning Tools

RUVIVAL Video 

Video Traditional Rainwater Harvesting

RUVIVAL Literature Review  
Literature Review Traditional Rainwater Harvesting

RUVIVAL DIY  

DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

RUVIVAL_Click&Play

Click & Play Historical Perspective of Rainwater Harvesting Systems

RUVIVAL Quiz

Quiz Traditional Rainwater Harvesting

Summary Traditional Rainwater Harvesting

 

Making of RUVIVAL

Making of RUVIVAL Stop Motion Videos

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This article was at first published in German on Insights.

Stop motion is a visual storytelling technique that has been present in film-making for over a century. In fact, it is the first ever animation technique. It creates an illusion of movement by playing a series of individual frames in a fast sequence. In stop motion, ideas are often conveyed by combining art, motion and metaphor.

In RUVIVAL, we use the stop motion technique to explain complex topics in a simple and descriptive visual manner, where language is not in the foreground. The particular style of our videos is called cut-out animation. This technique utilises flat materials, such as paper and fabrics, producing a 2D animation as a result. We focus on using small-scale handmade scenes and we have learned a few things along the way about creating a makeshift stop motion studio. All images used in the RUVIVAL stop motion videos are hand drawn by our collaborators, just as all sound effects are available in the public domain.

Something very important to us is that our videos reach a worldwide audience. Part of our concept is to choose an iconography speaking to an audience of diverse backgrounds by being abstract. Therefore, to use an imagery and symbol language as general as possible. This can be seen especially in the people characters in our videos, which we make in a universal way, without representing and reproducing gender, ethnical or even racial stereotypes making it also easier for the viewer to identity themselves with the situations. An example of our images can be seen below.

Stop Motion Images by RUVIVAL Team are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

In these past years, we have also learned that it is not only people characters which make a video universal. For example, in our first videos, houses and farms were drawn resembling a U.S. farm house architecture, a detail we corrected for the newer videos by using more abstract forms as it can be seen in the images below.

Barn

House

Stop Motion Images by RUVIVAL Team are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Additionally, we also avoid using text in the videos, as we want people from all over the world to be able to understand them in a visual non textual way. Therefore, we had to find our own picture language for certain reoccurring concepts, for example, we developed the picture on the right to show ecological benefits. This step into a more non-textual picture language is also an advantage considering future translations, as one video can be easily used for several languages. For clarity, the audio is recorded by a professional native speaker.

What is the production process like?

We have come a long way since we started making videos in 2016 and since then we have improved our production process. Each production consists of three steps: pre-production, studio production and post-production. Here you can see an overview of the process:

Making of RUVIVAL Stop Motion Videos by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Part 1. Pre-production

It all starts with a pre-production phase, where all the planning is done and storyboards are reviewed several times before the video is actually filmed. This is done in order to improve the quality of the video and to avoid having to re-shoot scenes as they did not work out like we wanted them to. The first step consists of the student writing a script, which is then reviewed by the supervisors. Afterwards, the script is divided into scenes to create a storyboard. The storyboard is first made in a tabular form, in which it is described what will happen in each scene, what elements will be used and what the narration will be. This is then also reviewed by the supervisors. A template of our tabular storyboard can be downloaded here.

Once the tabular storyboard is approved, an animated storyboard is made on PowerPoint, in which the student uses images taken from our database and/or the Internet and his/her own voice as narration. This animated storyboard is very important for our production process, as it helps us to visualise how the final video will look like and to see if it is made in a way that catches the viewers’ attention. We have learned a few important guidelines that we now follow when creating our videos and these are included in our step-by-step guide below.

2D Stop Motion Step-by-Step Guide by RUVIVAL Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The most important points to remember when creating a scene are:

  • Follow composition rules used in photography, like the ‘golden ratio’ or the ‘rule of thirds’. The ‘golden ratio’ is based on the ratio of 1 to 1.618, which has been found to create a sense of harmony and balance and can be found everywhere in nature, making it appealing to the human eye. In photography, it can be applied by using the Phi Grid or the Fibonacci Spiral. The Phi Grid is created by dividing the frame into nine sections, resulting in a grid that is 1:0.618:1, and it is applied by placing important elements along these lines and/or intersections; whereas the Fibonacci Spiral is based on the Fibonacci number sequence and it is applied by placing elements with the greatest detail in the smallest quadrangle and the rest of the object along the spiral. The ‘rule of thirds’ is similar to the Phi Grid; however, here the frame is divided into nine equal parts and important elements are placed along the dividing lines and/or their intersections.
  • Make the scenes as simple as possible, as having too many elements may confuse the viewers or draw the attention away from important elements.
  • Define order of events so there is only one focus point at a time and objects do not have to compete for the viewers’ attention.
  • Follow the same style for all drawings used in the video and be consistent, that is, use the same style to depict people, environment, etc.
  • Avoid text as much as possible.

After the animated storyboard has been perfected, the images to be used in the video can finally be drawn. We try to use the same style for all the drawings and, as all of the images are hand-drawn by the students, we have developed a style that is simple and easy for everyone. Since the beginning, we have collected all the drawings made for the videos and we now have a database of over 400 images; therefore, the number of new images that need to be drawn for a new video is now very small. When all the images have been drawn, they are printed, cut out and organized into envelopes according to each scene. After this, we are ready to go to the studio.

Part 2. Studio production

The studio production consists of 2 parts: filming the video and recording the audio. Filming is done at a studio at Multimedia Kontor Hamburg (MMKH). This studio has a fixed camera that is set over a table where we arrange each scene and record it. The filming of each stop motion video, with a length of approximately 3 minutes, usually takes 5 to 8 hours. We have seen that by having the images for each scene organised into separate envelopes, we are able to film the video much faster, as each video has dozens of images and sometimes it can take a long time to look for some of the very small images. The audio is also recorded at a studio, but in this case, it is done at a recording studio and by a professional narrator who is a native speaker.

Part 3. Post-production

The last part of the process is the post-production. This is done at the editing room in the Institute of Technical Education and University Didactics (iTBH), where a computer with professional editing software is available. Here, the video images are put together with the audio recorded by a professional narrator. Additionally, sound effects are added to make the video more entertaining. After this, the video is ready to be enjoyed!

As we would like to reach as many people in as many languages as possible, we have made all our videos open to contributions on YouTube, where you can easily add subtitles in any language here. We are very happy to get feedback on our videos, which you can do by sending us a message through our Contact form.

If you would like to see how this production process actually looks like, take a look at the images below.

Video Production Images by RUVIVAL Team are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

To watch RUVIVAL stop motion videos, click here. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube and Vimeo channels to never miss any RUVIVAL videos!

News

Get to know the Slope Farming Project

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You have probably noticed that many of our RUVIVAL materials, such as the Examples of Agroforestry Systems, the Check Dams Handbook and even our first RUVIVAL Book, have close ties to Arba Minch in Ethiopia. For this we have to thank our diligent project partners from the Slope Farming Project! Through academic exchange and collaboration we ensure that their on-site knowledge and experience can be transferred worldwide.

Trenches Slope Farming Project Arba Minch Ethiopia
Trenches built by Slope Farming team members

What exactly is the Slope Farming Project?

Slope Farming is a research project aimed at developing a holistic land use management system for the productive restoration, conservation and improvement of land and water resources and the overall ecosystem. It primarily tackles issues of the degradation of soils and ecosystems, loss of biodiversity and shrinking forest areas, drought events and shortage of water, but also flooding and non-adapted agricultural techniques. This all leads to declining agricultural yields in quantity and quality for local farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The system approach is constantly being evaluated and further developed with the aim for upscaling.

The holistic approach of Slope Farming is developed within the interdisciplinary field of restoration engineering. A diverse set of measures and approaches from the fields of water and soil management, waste and wastewater management, organic farming, permaculture, energy systems and housing systems. All these approaches  are all integrated in one multi-layered system. The aim is to activate and utilise synergies and co-operative properties, as well as to close the loops of nutrient cycles.

Ideas for small scale business, innovative value chains and marketing are simultaneously developed, as well as new participatory systems, for the local creation of value. With local resources and especially local labor, local value can be created, benefiting both, the environment and the livelihood of people in rural areas. This is essential for the overall sustainable development of rural areas in the long term.

The Slope Farming Project was started 2015 in Arba Minch, Ethiopia by the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), in cooperation with the Arba Minch Town Municipality (AMTM), Arba Minch University (AMU) and the Catholic Church Arba Minch (CCAM). Arba Minch, with its tremendous development in recent years as part of the growing economy of Ethiopia, can become a role model for adapted, sustainable, very productive land use management systems of the 21st century. Such systems can nourish an ever increasing number of world inhabitants, while not destroying but building up fertile soil.

Water retained in trenches, Slope Farming Project Arba Minch Ethiopia
Water retained in trenches on the Slope Farming Project site

M.Sc. Jan Wibbing, PhD Student and Slope Farming Project Coordinator about the project approach:

‘Maybe for the first time, a holistic system in this depth is put together in all its complexity in Ethiopia. We aim to create a feasible, very productive approach, able to restore soil while producing high quality food and protecting the climate. Therefore, we work practically on the project site in order to establish a role model, which can be experienced. Not by textbook, paper or pictures, but by getting our hands on the ground. By working in the field in Arba Minch, we have direct in