Thursday, 8 January 2009

Water Management, day 1

This day our classroom was Beate's and Nyoman's restaurant, Warung Bambu Pemaron. We watched videos with Bill Mollison saying in a warm, bass voice that "Permaculture really starts with an ethic, earth care and care of the whole systems of earth and species. So we actually devise model systems; much of the design is drawn from nature. The end result that we aim for is to produce a system that is ecologically sound and economically profitable. It can get as sophisticated or as simple as you like..."
If you start to understand the meaning of these words you also start to wonder why modern agriculture keeps developing towards monoculture, genetically modified crops, using biocides and chemical fertilisers. It just doesn't make sense...

Apart from the philosphical contemplating we had more specific topics to discuss, the water management issues in Kalisada and in Warung Bambu. Norman gave us another interesting fact, that nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are the number-one pollutant in water. We discussed about the river that goes through Silvia's land, drainage systems and common mistakes in drainage design, water flow forms.

We then learned the design principles but also the nuts and bolts of a waste water management system.
We worked on the concrete example of Beate's and Nyoman's house and restaurant. It was fascinating to actually be able to apply the principles and rules to a real-life case.

From these exercises more principles came out:
Make the least change for the greatest possible effect.

And I like this one very much, although I am not exactly sure how to use it: Be opportunistic!

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