Marcus Vitruvius was a roman engineer and architect. In the first century B.C. he composed "The 10 Books on Architecture" and documented the ancient art of building. The 8th book, he dedicated entirely to water supply.
In the roman empire population was growing rapidly and people were moving into vibrant cities. With public baths, fountains all over the city and an advanced public water supply the available water had to be divided for its subsequent usage.
Marcus Vitruvius developed structures to do so.
2,000 years ago.
A modern interpretation
Ernst Friedrich Schumacher stated in his Book "Small is Beautiful" form 1973: "Technology has to fit into the environment in which it is to be used. A complex technology that can only be used by experts would always remain a foreign body in a low developed region, which cannot multiply through a normal growth process."
According to this idea, a pragmatic, reliable and safe supply concept has been developed, by combining the ancient concepts with today's well-proven components of water supply systems. Installation, maintenance and operation are based on simple tools and methods.
To evaluate the concept under real life conditions, a large-scale pilot system has been implemented in Northern Vietnam. Project realization has been granted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and took about 5 years.
After many lessons learned, countless trips to Vietnam and with tremendous commitment of the Vietnamese partners, about 10,000 people are successfully supplied by the system today.
Feel free to browse the publications below for a detailed description. For more general insights about challenges of water supply in low developed regions check out the podcast.
Global challenges of water supply
Water distribution systems to implement a fair distribution of a limited water availability (in german)