Sunday, April 22, 2007

Greening the Desert

Geoff Lawton

"So we went in and had a look and we thought “Oh, no!” This is the end of the earth. This is like as hard as you can get. This is hyper arid. Completely salted landscape. Four hundred metres below sea level - lowest place on Earth. Two kilometres from the Dead Sea. About two kilometres from where Jesus was christened. Hardly got any rainfall. We’ve got temperatures in August that go over 50 degrees. Everybody is farming under plastic strips - spray, spray spray! Everybody’s putting synthetic fertiliser on. Overgrazed with goats! Just like maggots eating the flesh off the bone, down to the bones of the country. Literally like maggots –giant maggots eating it to nothing.
So we designed up a system that would harvest every bit of rainwater that fell on it." (bold added by me)
Check out this amazing video. For those of you who live in the Middle East or any dry environment, this is worth paying attention to.

Greening the Desert

To read more, here is another excerpt:
"Jordan is an arid country with limited water resources. The available renewable fresh water resources dropped drastically to an annual per capita share of 155 m3 in recent years compared to 3400 m3/cap/year in 1946. It is considered also as one of the 10 poorest countries worldwide in water resources (Countries with less than 500 m3/capita/year are regarded as having “absolute scarcity”).

In 2004, the total water use in Jordan was 866 million cubic meters (MCM) at the total population of about 5 million people. The total renewable resources in Jordan is estimated at 780 MCM include ground water at 275 MCM/year and surface water at 505 MCM/year of which only 70% is of economic use. An additional 143 MCM/year is estimated to be available from fossil aquifers. Brackish aquifers are not yet fully explored but at least 25 MCM/year is expected to be accessible for urban uses after desalination.

The demand on water use has been increased with increasing the socioeconomic development in the country. Agriculture consumes the major parts of water resources of about 62.5% of the available resources, domestic use consumes about 32.5% while industry about 4.3% and rural uses is 0.8% of the available water resources."

From Use of Permaculture under Salinity and Drought Conditions.

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