Thursday, February 12, 2009
The reduction in rainfall due to climate change, and the concomitant increasing population, are projected to cause tremendous water scarcity in Asia and Africa in the next 20-50 years, slowing down development and increasing poverty and armed conflict. The Water Wars are already beginning.
At the heart of both natural farming and permaculture is the efficient use of local resources including rainfall. Harvesting rainfall efficiently by improving ground cover as well as by creating small low cost structures to trap water and percolate it into the ground will improve the water availability in most areas of the world.
Large infrastructure projects may be necessary in a small number of extreme cases, but especially in the developing world, they cause massive mismanagement of resources, human displacement, and ineffective alleviation of the water scarcity purportedly being addressed. Drowned Out is an excellent case study of the mismanagement of India's Narmada Dam Project, and also shows how local water harvesting can solve water scarcity in Gujrat.
The video below shows how permaculture transformed of a barren wasteland near Hyderabad (a chronically drought prone area) to a lush tree covered farm in just a couple of years: