One of the basic requirements in farming is water. We know we have a good source in the farm but the challenge is how to bring it up. The free-flowing spring near the river is about 45 meters below and for it to be useful we have to pump it up to our farm. We considered the conventional option of using diesel and electric-driven pumps but we figured that it will costly in the long run. It was good that we stumbled upon an article sometime back about a pump that uses no fuel. I reposted that article here: “Trailblazing Pump Brings Relief to Farming Community”.
The ram pump is really an old technology. “A hydraulic ram, or hydram, is a cyclic water pump powered by hydropower. It functions as a hydraulic transformer that takes in water at one “hydraulic head” (pressure) and flow-rate, and outputs water at a higher hydraulic-head and lower flow-rate. The device uses the water hammer effect to develop pressure that allows a portion of the input water that powers the pump to be lifted to a point higher than where the water originally started. The hydraulic ram is sometimes used in remote areas, where there is both a source of low-head hydropower, and a need for pumping water to a destination higher in elevation than the source. In this situation, the ram is often useful, since it requires no outside source of power other than the kinetic energy of water”. The definition is quite technical but the device is quite simple.
The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI) which is based in Bacolod, Negros Occidental has perfected their own version of this simple yet very effective pump. Some communities both here in the Philippines and abroad are in fact now benefiting from the technology. This earned for the Foundation a BBC World Challenge Award in 2010 and a Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2011.
I contacted them to express our interest of installing one in our PinoyEcoFarm. We even went to their office and fabrication shop in Bacolod. Among the other technologies that they have there are the biogas digester, oil distiller, various pumps, micro turbine generators and a lot more. We were fortunate to see their pump installation in a remote barangay in the the town of Murcia, Negros Occidental. The place was difficult to reach because of the very rough roads going to the site but we nonetheless persisted. The accommodating AIDFI technician (Felix) guided us to the site which likewise required a downhill trek that tested our physical endurance. It was amazing to see the ram pump actually working and delivering water about 80 meters up.
After our visit, we immediately arranged for a survey to be done so we can install the pump in our farm. They sent their technical man (Orlan) to visit our farm and get all the details needed for the installation including the water flow rate of the spring, head (drop), elevation and others. We recently received the technical plan but we are still studying our options and hopefully execute it soon.