Another way in which to make America (or the planet in general) great again is to rebuild our water resources. Our society is plagued, literally, through epidemics of poor health. One of the leading causes of that is our poor water quality. While we may have “clean” water to drink in developed nations, it is not healthy nor clean with the cocktail of chemicals it contains. Our waterways and where they run out into the ocean continue to decline dramatically. Our species is also faced with the brink of extinction through climatic fluctuations and not completing the hydrological cycle is one of the main culprits, NOT JUST CO2. Poor water quality is costing humanity and the economy in a myriad of ways and having good water quality and a sound hydrological cycle is something worth making an effort towards. Below is a list of ways to make water great again.
1. Build Carbon Rich Soils: Yes it ties into my last blog, but one of the reasons we make soil great again is to make water great again. Brita filters have charcoal in them to help purify water and when we build carbon rich soils we help to clean the water through a carbon filter so to speak. Also when you build soil more water infiltrates thus recharging aquifers and less runs off leading to erosion, flood, drought, and poor water quality.
2. Earthworks do the work: work the earth into shape that causes water to infiltrate rather than runoff. Swales,terraces, keyline and rain gardens are just a few. Doing earthworks is a very historical pattern application in the landscape and have supported many an ancient and current civilizations. This land art is very functional with completing the hydrological cycle thus supporting the overall ecosystem and restoration of aquifers.
3. Harvest rainwater from roofs– this water can go into the aforementioned earthworks or also in tanks and cisterns. By having less water runoff we take pressure off streams and river by delivering the water into the ground through infiltration or holding into in tanks or ponds. We later use that water for various uses taking pressure off of grid city water or wells.
4. Plant trees for the trickle effect: let vegetation like trees absorb the impact of falling rain instead of bare soil or lawn. Water is also held in a site by having shade also reducing our water consumption. Trees also help to build soil, and if they drop their leaves, we can enact the age-old Finnish tradition, #makeamericarakeagain, and mulch with that. Furthermore, windbreaks are lines of trees are planted and cared for to reduce the drying effects of wind as well. They also take pressure off of our water consumption as they mature and if designed well they are very multifunctional. This was a storied tradition as well before land was divided illogically fashion, both small and big.
5. Know your Watershed: In order to make water great again you have to understand where you are at in the watershed and ITS NAME!! Once you begin to know these things, you will want to care for it. Join a local watershed council, go to river cleanups, and advocate your politicians for funds and resources to clean waterways (i.e. the Mill Creek Watershed Council in my birth town of Cincinnati, Ohio)
6. Recycle water: Cleverly capture water that is otherwise wasted like shower water before it becomes hot. Use this to flush a toilet or water a plant. Greywater is the recycling of our waste water that has been used for showering or laundry and is directed into carbon rich basins in landscapes. Plants and carbon material like wood chips filter the water and the growth of biomass through the extra water can be used for mulching.
7. Cover the soil: don’t let bare ground be exposed to rain and sun as water evaporates and polluting sediments leave your site too easily. Thus mulch to save water or grow thickly in gardens to reduce bare ground. Chopped and Drop where needed.
rock dams producing pools in stream at Treasure Lake, KY
roof catchment rigged up gutter at Treasure Lake, KY
large woody debris dams holding back sediment in stream at Treasure Lake, KY
rock dams edging off large tree on the edge of a stream at Treasure Lake, KY
rock dams producing pools in stream at Treasure Lake, KY
8. Interact positively with your local Streams: There are a myriad of techniques to address the channeling, incising, and poor water quality that starts in our small stream ways and compounds in rivers. One rock dams, large woody debris, and gabbions are just a few.
9. Plant native: In your landscapes, use native plants unless you are planting productive plants like fruit trees. Native plants will use less water again reducing our water consumption. Landscaping, including lawns, consumes a ridiculous amount of water in the process.
10. Dont defecate in water: utilize composting toilets for urine and fecal waste processing when possible. This saves water and allows you to improve the soil. Not only that there are many in the world without basic sanitation still so these systems also improve the contamination of the water table situations there.
11. Filter your water and bring it alive: There are a variety of filters out there on the market that reduce pollutants, harmful biology, and the disastrous effects of chlorine and fluoride in the body. But don’t just stop there and consider filters that bring the water alive again by making it vortex and spiral like it would in a spring before you drink it there.
12. Reduce factory farmed purchases, instead buy local and organic, especially meat: confined animal feed operations pollute water greatly through the concentration of manures. Industrialized production of food, fibers, and lumber utilize a vast quantity of pesticides and fertilizers, which pollute our waterways greatly. Buy local and organic so that our necessary caloric inputs are met through clean food.
13. Stop with your silly lawns: lawns require a huge amount of water and the amount of chemicals applied is astounding. Give back to water through not caring if your grass is ultra green, if you lawn is just one species of grass. Diversity is the key.
At the end of the day we have to care. And we have the opportunity to positively influence our consumption of water and its quality. If you don’t have access to land, purchase farm products from those who are doing best practices for making water great again. We as a society need to get healthy because if you are drinking city water, you are indeed drinking a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs that are polluting our waterways through the city water filtration stations then dumping back into rivers. But if we do the above list and more, our species can thrive once more. And who doesn’t want that? Water is not merely H2O, unless distilled, it is the lifeline of this earth and your existence.
The Introduction from the Original Blog
Ok liberals, Let’s Stop complaining. Lets instead take Donnies message to heart. Face it, America, also better known in the world as the states, is not great. It’s a war mongering, disease ridden, drug plagued, feudal lordship, grossly polluted, shallow society full of hyper consumption. So indeed lets make it great again. In this series we will detail concrete steps to indeed make the states, more pc for us liberals, better now!! Environmentally we rely on monocultures, prop that up with dangerous polluting chemicals and fertilizers. Our soil has been eroding since Europeans arrived and our waterways are grossly polluted with sediments and chemicals. Our forests have been degraded or wiped out, our wildlife has faced extinction, and biodiversity in general has declined immensely. That is not great and the deregulation of environmental policies shows that capitalism inherently gnaws at the environment. And honestly, it stifles innovation and really is very unclever and not great.
EDU Earthly Vlog from Treasure Lake, KY: I get the fortunate timing of seeing a big work of stream repair over a two day period, high flow and medium flow to highlight several techniques in restoring natural hydrology. Quite pleased with the work and thankful for all who helped with it. Play with rocks in […]
As the debate rages on whether we should be eating meat or not, I publish my latest article within the animals chapter to present another key facet to holistic animal management; Cut and Carry. Its a traditional technique that has been adapted by Permaculturists to ensure healthier animals and pastures. Read about it here and […]
It was a true joy to see it again. Years and years of effort to rehabilitate what once was just an abandoned track of land. The stacking in space and time, the building of resources to enhance succession, the diversity, it is all there on this special slice of land at Terra Alta, Sintra, Portugal. […]
“You can’t go from grid entangled to off the grid over night.” In this new chapter with the TreeYo EDU online book, I get philosophical on what energy consumption and reliance on the grid is all about. I finish with a call for action, another quote from the article, ” Thus I challenge you to […]