news hardware Amidst groundwater drought, here’s an almost-forgotten medieval technology for “seeding” water
Groundwater in France is difficult to fill and some regions impose restrictions so as not to run out. However, there is a solution and it doesn’t require colossal resources or ultra-advanced innovation.
The current situation is such that more and more water is demanded and, however, the sources are increasingly smaller. The big problem is that most of the water from the mountains that melts on the peaks quickly reaches the ocean. A water cycle so fast that it only captures a small part of the water mass.
So we end up with water tables that are falling lower and lower. And they can’t be renewed. One of the culprits is the concretization of our towns and villages. Instead of being absorbed into the ground and filling the water tables, this water ends up draining to the streams. Results: there are more and more floods.
A real paradox, having a flood at one time and desperately lacking the precious resource at another. However, there is a solution to retain this water. and slow down the water cycle, or at least return it to a normal rate. This technology has been used since medieval times and is only now being rediscovered.
A medieval technology that is not revolutionary
The obstacles are short-term solutions that are also diminishing. The water reservoirs are no longer sufficient to irrigate the fields below the mountains. Therefore, keeping the water on the surface is not the right solution. The construction of a dam also raises important environmental problems, especially for biodiversity. The large-scale solution is not natural. It is, in a certain way, the strong method to solve a problem that, however, is basic.
The objective of the method is to retain as much water as possible in the mountain. Instead of directing the water to streams and then to rivers, it is necessary to make it penetrate evenly into the mountain.
When the first snow melts, that’s when technology comes into play. This is called irrigation ditches. They allow water to be redirected towards the bottom of the mountains, making it pass directly through the heart of the latter. The water thus resurfaces below, by capillarity. This greatly slows down the water cycle and allows for a more constant flow of blue gold. It is really a method called “lowtech”, therefore without electricity or advanced technology.
The irrigation ditches return the water to the chasms that fill with water and little by little fill the mountain. Vegetation and especially shrubs like juniper help retain water longer on the floors
These irrigation ditches existed for hundreds of years and thus redirected water away from rivers. This is how the rivers did not end up overflowing, causing floods. Therefore, agriculture has been based for centuries on this method. Forgotten today, she could solve drought problems groundwater throughout the water cycle.
Some people call this technology “water seeders.” By keeping the water in the ground at the top of the mountains, it slowly trickles back down. The mountain thus becomes a gigantic reservoir of water that flows naturally and slowly downwards towards the sea.