Barsha, meaning rain in Nepalese, is the name given to this hydro-powered irrigation pump. It has been developed with a vision to provide a sustainable irrigation solution to farmers across the world. This waterwheel utilizes the energy from the flow of rivers and canals to pump water, regardless of the flow velocity.
The Barsha pump provides a sustainable solution to farmers across the world. It works on the principle of spiral pumping, using the kinetic energy of the waterwheel to pump water to higher elevations without the need for active mechanical parts to create pumping action. The pump consists of spirals where air is compressed between water columns resulting in air pressure that lifts the water.
The current version with 1.5m in diameter is able to lift up to 20 metres vertical head and 2 km inland in flat lands, while reaching up to 40,000 liters of water per day, depending on the flow velocity of the water.
The water pumped can be used to flood fields, pump to a reservoir to couple with an irrigation system such as a sprinkler.
This low-maintenance technology is helpful in providing water to areas which would not otherwise be easily reached.
By 2050 the world population is estimated to reach 9.7 billion people meaning that food production must be increased on the given area of agricultural land available. Water is essential for growth and this pump addresses the prevalent need for the cost-effective, low-maintainence pumping of water.
Irrigation can increase food productivity by 2 to 5 times. However, this has to be done in an energy and water efficient way and this pump enables use of water-saving technologies such as drip and sprinkler without using external fuel or electricity.
The Barsha pump is made with indigenous elements and does not need much maintenance as there are only few moving parts. As a result of these factors, the Barsha pump can save over 70% of watering costs for farmers, compared to conventionally-used fossil-fuel based pumps.
The pumps have been implemented in areas such as Nepal and Indonesia, where lands were barren and being cultivated only once a year in the rainy season. Farmers could not farm in the dry season due to lack of irrigation, and the costs of using kerosene or gasoline pumps were prohibitive. When the Barsha pump was implemented, farmers could farm different cash crops in the dry season as well, helping to increase their income level.
The company, aQysta, targets small to mid-sized commercial farms that lift water from flowing surface water sources. In this targeted market segment, the Barsha pump has a strongest competitive advantage compared to conventional technologies, thanks to its independence of fossil fuels. This target group has a willingness and ability to pay, a prevalent need for water, and a motivation to grow with the help of technology.
In addition to commercial farms, aQysta also aims to support farmers who wish to shift from subsistence to commercial farming by providing irrigation facilities, in partnership with other development organizations. Whereas the end-users of the technology are always farmers, the customers can range from individual farmers to farmer co-operatives, development organizations/projects to government bodies.
The use of the Barsha pump helps reducing CO2 emissions (250-500 kg/hectare) by replacing conventional diesel pumps used for watering and, at the same time, helps enhance food security.
Currently, the price level of the Barsha pump is still quite high, however it is expected to decrease drastically with economies of scale and local production. Additionally, aQysta is looking to experiment with a pay-per-use system which would also generate additional employment opportunities.
It is important to note that the end-users of the technology and the customers of the company are different.
While the end-users of the pumps will be small- and mid-sized farmers, aQysta does not intend to sell the pumps to individual farmers but only to organizational customers (B2B) (private distributors, government and not-for-profit) who do business with commercial farmers.
These organizations in-turn will sell and distribute the pumps to the farmers, through appropriate financial mechanisms that facilitate the transactions between the distributing organization and the farmers, allowing the lowering of initial capital costs for the farmers to purchase the Barsha pump.
Appropriate financial mechanisms such as micro-financing, government subsidies and pay-per-use mechanisms are to be developed. Government subsidies are envisioned to lower the initial market price of the Barsha pump until a sufficient scale is reached.
- The pump consists of spirals where air is compressed between water columns resulting in air pressure that lifts the water.
- The current version with 1.5m in diameter lifts up to 20 metres vertical head and 2 km inland in flat lands, while reaching up to 40,000 liters of water per day, depending on flow velocity of water.
- No fuel or electricity required
- No operating expenses
- No polluting greenhouse gases emitted
Contact: Lennart Budelmann
Used in: Nepal, Indonesia, Zambia
Water & Waste Water