Sunday, September 20, 2015

Forecast 3 — Water harvesting for self-sufficiency

A copy of the article / resource / link / book title, author, chapter etc.

The man who farms water is the story of a man in Zimbabwe, who after being fired from his job, sought a way to provide for his family of eight. Directly influenced by the story of Adam and Eve, he slowly began his journey to water self-sufficiency. He created his own rivers (swales) and implemented cisterns, He observed the landscape and worked with it to create a lush food forest in one of the driest areas in the region. After 30 years, he meets all his water needs with rainwater alone. Now he teaches others — particularly the disadvantaged women and children— to harvest their own water, to be able to provide for themselves in abundance when the government can give little.

Your analysis of the article in regards to its impact of the future

We cannot rely on government institutions to provide for our water needs alone. In an age of increasing scarcity, to be able to capture pure water from the sky, and use it to drink, clean, and grow our food will become much more important. Plus, it is empowering to know that it is possible to meet these needs without chemicals or industry — by observing and mimicking natural systems, we can nourish ourselves and our communities in abundance. Through awareness and teaching, we can prepare our communities.

The global impact, national impact, and local / personal impact

Water sufficiency is critical for those without centralized water systems or clean water. We cannot drink from a stream and be confident that it is not polluted. We can do so with rain water.

"It has been estimated that almost 25 - 35% of total rainwater is lost in the form of surface run-off and causes flooding in downstream areas and soil erosion. Conserving this water will not only solve the problem of water shortage for their crop production and other household needs but it will also reduce soil erosion and protect the environment. "

If Minneapolis's centralized water system were to break down, I could not survive without the help of others who have already implemented personal water systems.

Forecast the range of impact over the short term (the next 2 months to 2 years), to the long term (next 20 years to 20 + decades).

Short term: More households make the switch to water independence through cisterns/rain barrels and perhaps backyard swales — particularly to nourish their gardens with readily available water
Long term: Shortages will necessitate water independence.

What could you do, or could be done to create the greatest positive impact on the future

Educate a friend with a garden about rainwater capturing. Go to a class on it together. Use an edible landscaping company to set up cisterns in your yard. Seek independence from city municipalities in your own life through preparation and reuse.

What could you do, or could be done to create the greatest negative impact on the future

Meet water pollution and city runoff problems with apathy.

“Which region of the future” does this related closest most to or does this fit in between – or perhaps a region of the future you’d like to define for yourself.

"Eco-tech." Elements include: conscious non-consumption and limiting of technology — shifting to naturally provided ways of fixing problems.


Have you experienced a water shortage before and how did you deal with it?
How could we establish water independence in cities, where a large number of people do not have access to land?
Other comments?


  1. I think it is awesome that not only did a man come up with his own way of self-sufficiency, but also that he teaches people his ways as well. If I have learned anything from MCAD, its the concept of sustainability.
    If you give a developing country what they need, it may last for a portion of time. But to make their needs last a lifetime, one needs to be taught how to rebuild and sustain.

  2. I think water independence is an amazing idea. Especially lately, as we learn more about water scarcity in the US and more importantly around the world and how to combat and evolve the way everyone thinks about water.


Just keeping things on the up and up since this is for my students to communicate first.