Retaining water in our soils, swale making begins

The water challenge across the globe becomes ever more obvious - whether this be drought, floods, desertification or pollution. We have the knowledge and skills to transform this, if we choose, through methods of water management that work with nature and honour water as sacred.

We watch on the land as three of our six wells are only beginning to fill from the long hot summer months then went into November. This is the first time the locals have ever experienced wells drying out in our area and I hear this happening all over the world, including rainy England. Stories of years gone by were about this land having an abundance of water. The water table around the world is out of balance due to lack of vegetation around the coastal areas, soil depletion that can no longer retain water, monoculture etc. Our water strategy is the foundation of this project - how to have a flow of clean water whilst improving the health of the land?

The key is taking the water back into the earth, allowing it time to slow down, sink in, and spread. In other words preventing run off. One approach we have started to do is building Swales on contours. Instead of water running off the land, Swales create an intervention to allow it to be stopped, then slowed, which then gives it time to sink in to replenish the earth.

We will create Swales across the land and are seeding green manure everywhere as the first phase of our water retention strategy. Green manure are plants with long root systems that help the water sink in and begin the process of healing the soil. Our beginning to help reverse the process of desertification coming up from southern Europe.

We imagine and dream of the water once again thriving here and the soil rich in nutrients for fertile growing. This is the wealth of our times and the future needed for our planet.

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