When we think of water in an ecological sense, we generally picture lakes and rivers, topographic markers that would be depicted in blue on a map. Soil itself however is a huge basin for water but because we don’t see the water, we do not care about something called “Green Water” – this is the water that moves through the small water cycle via the soil and plants.
65% of water that falls as rain becomes green water but we have no laws protecting it. We need to do a better job of managing green water resources – particularly in dryland regions, where blue water pools capture little rain and therefore people are more dependent on water held in soil for drinking and agriculture.
Maintaining green water stores, acts as a barricade against hot plates, protects against erosion, promotes soil microbial diversity and helps to build soil carbon. This sets up a positive feedback loop that supports vegetation, as the carbon and water cycles tend to follow each other. Christine Jones writes that for every 1% increase in level of soil carbon, a square meter of soil can store an extra 16.8 litres of water.
If soil is in good condition, reserved water will recharge soil and water will infiltrate from underground. Healthy soil carries up to 10 times its weight in water, just like a sponge. The system will produce vegetation, and we’ll start to recover the whole ecosystem.
Unhealthy land plates have rainwater run offs and cause soil erosion, with hardly anything being retained as green water in soil and plants.
Everyone who has a yard or a garden or a borewell can and should harvest water by improving their soil. If we continue to do what we do now – drain land and remove vegetation – we will desiccate our country.
Application of Jeevamrit (microbial culture) helps increase soil organic matter, along with native, wild grasses as cover crop, land thrives making the catchment area and its soil a reservoir for green water, which can be drawn as potable water or used to recharge a nearby borewell. Vetiver grass, planted closely in contour hedges, traps eroding topsoil and holds back stormwater runoff allowing it to percolate into the soil profile.
For professional consulting and implementation of Green Water Harvesting in and around Bangalore contact 9607246393.