Traditional designs


Indigenous and ancient lift designs applicable primarily for remote areas with little industrial infrastructure. Mostly bucket-type systems combined with human, animal or wind energy for the water lifting. Most designs are capable of <4m lifting and low to intermediate yield. Exceptions: the animal powered Mohte (India, can lift 8-10 m3/h up to 9m height) and the ram pump.


The simple designs and locally available materials make these methods very cost effective. Some methods require extensive labor for construction, which may be acceptable if it can be done by local people.


Requires limited management in case of the counterpoise lift, the (un)supported scoop, the bucket pump and the swing basket. More elaborate methods such as the Dhone, the Mohte and the Persian wheel require intermediate level craftsmanship. Repairs are carried out locally.


Since the yield of most of these traditional designs is low, the consequences for the environment are minimal. When using surface water, treatment is required before using the water for domestic purposes.


Low-tech solutions. Low yields might limit them to domestic use, but irrigation use reported for most methods. Exception: modern Persian wheel can lift >150 m3/h. Buckets and basket may wear. Wooden or leather using constructions are generally good for long-term use.


The basic designs and limited improvement in water lifting efforts makes these systems appreciated only in areas where no other (more advanced) technology can be implemented. The swing basket enjoys a relative popularity in remote rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Relevant remarks:

No relevant remarks for Traditional designs.