Water harvesting and water supply issues are pressing concerns in today's society. However, in some societies, ancient methods of collecting and transporting water are still used, and are often superior to modern structures. Anupam Mishra is an environmental activist who studies rainwater harvesting methods in the Indian desert, such as wells, filter ponds, and other systems.
In a 2009 TED Talk, "The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting," Mishra states that, "The center of life is water." He cites four steps in the process of developing successful systems: concept, planning, making, and perhaps most important, maintaining. Many societies maintain succesful harvesting methods without a dedicated government department or any funding at all. The secret, according to Anupam Mishra, is respect. In the desert communities he studies, clean water is a high priority, and everyone works to protect the water supply.
Looking for more info? Check out our drinking water resources at the Water Library, or click here to view Anupam Mishra's full TED Talk.