Tamera Presents: Decentralized Solutions for Regions with Water Stress

Water Specialists from many Countries Met for a Water Symposium in Tamera

From 12 to 14 August, water specialists and decision makers from ten countries met for a Water Symposium in Tamera. Among them were the Bolivian ambassador to Germany, Walter Prudencio Magne Veliz, and Sepp Holzer, ecological visionary and mountain farmer from Austria. The aim was to explore the benefits and chances of decentralized and natural water management systems.

Israel, Turkey, Greece, Colombia, Portugal, Spain and Bolivia have something in common: They belong to the countries that are hit the most by water stress. So it was not surprising that mainly representatives and specialists from these countries participated in the first water symposium in Tamera. They started with a guided tour around the growing Water Retention Landscape of Tamera including the construction site of a new water retention space in Tamera´s south valley. Sepp Holzer, permaculture expert and ecological visionary from Austria and Tamera´s main advisor along with Bernd Mueller, the responsible engineer for building the water landscape, explained in detail how this natural water management works, how it is built and which ecological effects it already has brought.

Bernd Mueller: "Positive effects increase every year: the humidity stimulates life in the earth body, vegetation recovers, animals and plants come return. It became possible to grow food on the lakeside terrace gardens throughout the year. The necessary irrigation could be reduced greatly and it is more natural and requires less energy due to the proximity of the lakes. Forestation in mixed cultures is encouraged. The land becomes fertile again."

Sepp Holzer: "With water retention landscapes it is possible to provide enough freshwater for animals, plants and human beings in every region of the world."

The water retention spaces with their deep and shallow zones and meandering shorelines have changed Tamera significantly. By providing the water the space to move freely, vitality, oxygenation and self purification of the water are assured. The water has time to soak into the ground, bringing back fertility to the earth body.

The biologist and founder of SOS-Regenwald Richard Weixler from Austria was impressed: "At least in one of your lakes you already reinstalled paradise, a perfect biotope. A limnological test showed me that the abundance of water plants and the zoo plancton filtering the water have already led to drinking water quality."

As a decentralized solution the Water Retention Landscape is - as their inventors state - sustainable and applicable in tho most different countries and regions of the world. In the coming days, the participants discussed possible strategies how the knowledge could be spread and how international training programs could be installed.

Alyx Coyle, a student from CAT, Center for Alternative Technology in Wales, said: "All I studied about water management in the last years made me loose hope. In Tamera and its water retention landscape I find hope again. I want to study it more profoundly to be able to bring this knowledge to Kongo and Jamaica. Helping the people in the situation of water stress is my path to reconnect with my roots in this cultures."

Walter Prudencio Magne Veliz, the Bolivian ambassador to Germany found Tamera a perfect example for the concept of Buen Vivir - a good and ethical life: "The value of water has deep roots in our culture and in the Indigenous cosmovision. This gave us the power to reject the privatization of water and to make water and food human rights in our constitution. I have seen here that Sepp Holzer´s knowledge can complement the knowledge of our culture. Above that I see that the experience of Tamera concerning decentralized solar technology and community building should be taught also in the three Indigenous Universities we are presently building in Bolivia. It would help us to build a center of our cultures, a "Taipi", as we call it, where Buen Vivir would not only be discussed but also lived in practise.

Tamera, Sepp Holzer and he will stay in close contact to find the strategies how to apply this knowledge.

Also for the situation of desert, the concept of the Water Retention Landscape is convincing. Reuven Barack from Israel, who today is fundraiser for SOS Children Villages, had in his previous life organized huge water management systems in the Negev and in Jordan. 

"I see here now why they could not work. Only decentralized solution can be sustainable. I want to help finding funds and places in Israel where this knowledge will be applied to grow food and found new settlements in the desert. I see the possibility that this knowledge can lead to places where Jews and Palestinians can live together in peace communities - and I want to support it with all my heart."

A complementing knowledge about water was shared by Ben Tyers, (on photo) an artist and expert on water movements from UK. He reminded the participants on the research of Victor Schauberger and his insight that water is much more then H2O. It is a living being. "The idea of lack was born in a technology of decay. Only technologies of growth which include the movement of water can bring sustainable abundance."

Bernd Mueller: "I see the vision of abundance also for Portugal. I imagine 100 students from all over the country coming here and learning about this knowledge. They would start a movement and build 1000 water retention spaces decentralized in the Alentejo, forming a water landscape in cooperation with nature as a base for sustainable development. Like this the Alentejo could turn from a region threatened by desertification and depopulation to a model for whole Portugal."