Reversing Trigger Components for Climate Change by Decentralized Water Retention
Local Bottom-Up examples showcase how to balance extreme weather conditions in Europe
Heat waves in France, droughts in Southern Europe, floods in England: In terms of weather and rain patterns, extremes are becoming the norm. Climate change is affecting increasingly greater areas of our lives and rendering many fields of business unpredictable. We have been told repeatedly that climate regeneration is impossible, and the world will feel the effects of greenhouse gas emissions for more than 30 years, even if they were to be stopped now.
But, is this really true? There is strong evidence that another factor is as crucial to climate change as greenhouse gas, particularly in terms of rain pattern changes in Europe. Specifically, this is the interruption of the natural rainwater cycle by inappropriate land use. Insights that were put forth by the outstanding Austrian water researcher Viktor Schauberger one hundred years ago are now being proven by modern meteorologists. In particular, the Mediterranean coastal areas demonstrate a trigger effect; when those regions are deforested, overgrazed, or urbanized, they prevent the development of the continental rainwater cycle.
Dr Míllan Míllan, meteorologist from Valencia/Spain states, “This effect causes us to lose not only the first rainfall over the coastal regions, but also the reuse of the same water which would evaporate and fall over and over again, up to twenty times, and nourish half of Europe.” Instead, the hot air over the barren land pushes the clouds back over the sea where the rain eventually falls instead of on the land. The warm rain falls heat it up, and new warm streams in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans influence the rain patterns in Middle Europe. Míllan adds, “There is strong evidence that this effect has created heat waves in France and the recent disastrous floods in England.”
The good news is that there are solutions. Improper land use can be reversed. Bottom-up initiatives from places as diverse as Australia, Rajasthan (India), Slovakia and Portugal show what solutions could look like: As a first step for reforestation, decentralized and natural rainwater retention at as many places as possible will lead to a positive domino effect, especially when applied locally in regions that work as a trigger for the rainwater cycle,.
Rajendrah Singh´s spectacular work in Rajasthan has inspired thousands of people to build water retention spaces in the Thar Desert. Using tools not much more sophisticated than spades, they have created dams and ponds in hundreds of places and planted millions of trees. As a result, five dried rivers are once again flowing, and villages have come back to life. The Guardian has named Rajendrah Singh as one of 50 people worldwide who have contributed the most significant changes to the planet.
Southern Portugal is also threatened by desertification. Thousands of square miles in the Alentejo region are a sad reminder of how deforested and eroded soils repel rainwater. The winter and spring rains cannot be absorbed. Instead, they form big, brown streams carrying precious topsoil into the sea, leaving behind bleak land that is hopelessly dry in the summer. More and more farmers are giving up, devoting their land to irrigated monocultures, which intensifies the destruction of the land even more.
The Tamera Peace Research Centre has found a solution for ending this vicious cycle, a decentralized water retention landscape. Bernd Müller, team coordinator, states, “Floods and droughts have the same origin, a destroyed hydrological balance. In order to restore it, we have to help rainwater infiltrate the soil. Instead of rainwater, fresh spring water should fill the creeks and rivers.”
Today, Tamera´s valleys, which had been dusty and dry five years ago, are filled with eight lakes and ponds, looking as if they had always been here. The rainwater gathers behind naturally shaped earth dams, built without concrete or plastic, and has time to soak into the ground. Rainwater recharges aquifers, the groundwater table rises, new springs pop up and the overall rainwater cycle is allowed to recover. In addition, fruit forests and gardens have been planted on the shore terraces, and Tamera is a green oasis during the summer months. Wildlife is returning, and biodiversity is visibly increasing. Moreover, the water is enabling the economic growth and resilience of the region.
Bernd Müller states, “Water, food and energy are freely available for all of humankind when we follow the logic of nature and not the laws of capitalism. Water is a connecting element. Channelled and dammed, it loses its vitality. Following the logic of water brings about a different lifestyle and economy. A water retention landscape cannot be maintained by people who are fighting each other for their own profit. It takes communities who know how to share, to communicate and to act in a responsible way. True sustainability will only be achieved in human systems that are embedded in the universal system.”
Dr. Dieter Duhm, Tamera´s founder, adds: “If we succeed in ending the water catastrophe, the catastrophe of hunger will also to come to an end, because natural water management is the basis of food supply worldwide. The misery of hunger is not caused by nature, but is man made through exploitative land management and catastrophic water management in the name of economic interests. These are system errors, which can be overcome by an all-encompassing system change. This is the reason for our work: to create models for this global system change.”
Tamera is to become a comprehensive post-capitalistic model, a research village for social and ecological sustainability as an answer to the destructive powers of globalization. Knowledge about decentralized water retention, food and energy autonomy, social skills including child raising, partnership, love, and spirituality, are disciplines that are taught in the Tamera peace education.
Dr Míllan states, “Water retention landscapes like those in Tamera are a perfect way to regenerate a healthy rainwater cycle all over Europe. It is a win-win-solution, because all components are addressed: water, reforestation and the sustainable economic growth of a region.”
After 20 years of trying, Dr Míllan has been able to convince the European commission to follow his suggestions. Now, the European programme, JPI Water, is looking for regions in Europe where restoration is still possible and which, by their geographical conditions, would develop the trigger effect. If politicians, communities and land owners at only some hundred places recognise the opportunity and cooperate to build water retention landscapes, we might see climate recovery all over Europe.
More sources to deepen the topic:
1. Deciphering the water secret with Viktor Schauberger: The dull and the half water cycle
2. Why the meteorologists´ scenarios on climate change don´t work for the European rain patterns: the ground-breaking research results of Dr Míllan
3. Reversing a desert into a forest by water retention: The work of Rajendra Singh in Rajasthan
4. Turning Slovakia into a country that does not lose rainwater anymore: The work of Michal Kravčic.
See: a new water paradigm
5. Water Retention Landscapes as an answer to desertification and globalization: Tamera in Portugal
See the following ca. 11 min video: Water is Life
by Leila Dregger, leila.dregger @ snafu.de