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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia is for collaborative solutions
in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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Contributors have made 338,518 edits and uploaded 26,641 files.
Browse our categories or all 7,268 articles.

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Aprologo-old.png As we approach our ten-year anniversary, we are looking at how best to support Appropedia in the next ten years. Please share your thoughts with us on the idea of appointing an Executive Director.


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Sectional view of sand dam
Sand dams. Drought is the most serious natural hazard facing Eastern Africa in terms of severity and frequency of occurrence. The most seriously affected areas are Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALS) that face frequent reduction of water or moisture to significantly below the normal or expected amount Pastoralists and agro pastoralists who occupy this vast region barely meet basic water requirements. Consequently they suffer from livelihood losses, hunger, diseases, conflict and internal displacements. The worst affected are women and children who may have to walk all day long in search of water.

Due to limited and unreliable rainfall most rivers are ephemeral seasonal sandy bed streams and only experience heavy water run-off for short periods of time after rain. During such periods of high flows, large quantities of sand are transported downstream while others get trapped on the upstream sides of rocks ledges along the stream. Such sand traps form natural aquifers that are capable of providing clean adequate water if well harnessed. Using appropriate technologies this can be exploited for water storage in the form of sand dams.

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Terraces and ditches at Petegral

Terraces and ditches at Petregal a Permaculture Demonstration Center in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Community action news

Aug 24 Netherlands: 75 years after its destruction, Rotterdam continues to reinvent itself [1]

Aug 22 Rural Mongolia Steps Into the Digital World [2]

Middelgrunden wind farm 2009.jpg
Aug 18 Denmark’s futuristic “citizen space” has been named the world’s best public library [3]

Aug 16 Food USA: Move Over, Community Gardens: Edible Forests Are Sprouting Up Across America [4]

Aug 15 Mexico: 'It feels like a gift': mobile phone co-op transforms rural Mexican community [5]

Read More...


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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Speed is irrelevant if you are going in the wrong direction.

Gandhi W
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Hot topics / In the news

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Blog

The Sun photographed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA 304) of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

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Engr305 Appropriate Technology Projects: Below are selected service learning projects from Engr305 Appropriate Technology, which is a course on appropriate technology at Humboldt State University taught by instructor Lonny Grafman.

AEF food dehydrator

A solar dehydrator to help preserve surplus crops  
AEF greywater

Greywater system at the CSA, Arcata Educational Farm  
AEF informational kiosk

An earthen informational kiosk  
AEF photovoltaic system

Modified off-grid photovoltaic system  
AEF solar water heater

Improved solar water heating system  
AEF spiral herb garden

Restored the existing herb spiral  
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Energy

Solar
Water
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