An Alternative for Deeper Wells
iDE is continuing to develop manually powered rope pumps as an alternative to treadle pumps for farmers in areas with lower water tables. Washers, knotted along a rope, push water up and out of a tube to the ground surface where it can be used for irrigation or drinking water. These pumps can harvest water from depths up to 36 meters (120 feet), but have been found to provide a most practical volume of irrigation water from depths up to 18 meters (60 feet) for kitchen gardens and plots up to 650 square meters (7,000 square feet).
iDE has reduced the price of rope pumps by 10 - 20 percent from previously available models in an effort to make them more affordable for the poor. The pump has traditionally been operated by hand crank, but recently we completed prototype testing on a more efficient foot-operated version where the user reclines comfortably on a broad wooden frame seat and pedals as on a bicycle. This pedal pump will bring a two-thirds cost reduction compared to the standard hand crank model.