Water – Our Most Vital Resource
Can We Meet Our Water Needs? For our closing blog on water-our most vital resource, we will use an article written by Alexandra Groome with Regeneration International http://regenerationinternational.org, a project of the Organic Consumers Association http://www.organicconsumers.org. He uses a book written by journalist Judith D. Schwartz, titled Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World, to give what could be a solution to the water crisis we have been discussing in previous blogs. This blog is a paraphrase of Groomes article. We encourage you to seek out the full article titled: Re-thinking the Water Crisis: With a Little Creativity, We Can Meet our Water Needs
Groome points out that seventy-one percent of Earth’s surface is covered with water. Yet only 2.5 percent of Earth’s water is freshwater, of which only a small proportion is actually available to meet the needs of humans and animals. Some of this water is locked up in glaciers and ice as part of the explanation. Water is life as we have
mentioned numerous times in our other articles. We are at the mercy of it and vulnerable to its scarcity!
Schwartz gives a number of examples of how some farmers worldwide are solving the water shortage problem. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to list all the web sites an info, so we encourage you to go to the original article and review the web sites that give an international overview of the issue. The key she uses is “managing water by mimicking nature.” Most of us have heard about the couple in the Texas desert who harvests dew to meet their needs and those of their many guests. She goes on to give sites to read from Zimbabwe to Mexico. One site that may peak your interest is: http.//regenerationinternational.org/Land-Restoration-With-Holistic-Management. This is an approach to livestock management that mimic natural systems. She says “Their efforts have successfully restored the water cycle and local biodiversity, and allowed rural villagers to get off the international food aid.”
Since the COP21 Paris Climate Summit there has been a more determined approach to managing water involving revitalizing soil. “One third of our excess atmospheric CO2 can be attributed to huge losses of carbon in the soil, primarily due to destructive agriculture and land use practices such as deforestation, soil-tillage and leaving soil bare.” Because we have disrupted the carbon cycle we have also disrupted the water cycle, says Schwartz. Carbon is essential to retaining water in the ground.
The article goes on to explain how we have altered climate dynamics and how history has cautionary stories of communities who have depleted their soil or chopped down forests, only to suffer floods and droughts. “The moral of the story: Carbon-rich soil and the plants it sustains help manage the water cycle, and the water cycle drives weather and climate.” The question is asked if we can actually avert both a climate crisis and water crisis by, at least in part, paying more attention to how we manage water?
Schwartz believes we can! Farmers worldwide http://regenerationinternatonal.org/farmers-are-capitalizing-on-carbon-sequestration are choosing to work with the carbon cycle, she says! Her point is that if farmers use the land-use practices we can restore carbon to the soil and most importantly restore the Earth’s natural water cycles. “Every 1-percent increase in soil carbon represents an additional 20,000 gallons per acre that the land can hold.”
Schwartz is convinced what stops us from solving our water problems is imagination. “It’s because most of us, in particular people who make decisions, and the policymakers, are disconnected from the natural processes that govern the flow of water.” What does she suggest? “a very important thing is what food you buy, what clothing you buy and learning more about the practices that are generating the food and fiber that we use in our lives.”
As we close out the series on water we hope you have gained knowledge of what you might be able to do to encourage better management of our most valuable and vital source – water! Please make yourself aware of your local scene. How does your community use and support water management and conservation. If you have a homestead and farm or if you have a garden in your backyard, practice good management of the resources. No small amount of good practice goes unnoticed to the earth.
Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!
USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.
Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN
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