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Tuesday 28 Oct 2014Holding Water

Minni Jain - Earthlinks UK

Harrison 103 13:00-14:00

What makes healthy landscapes? Landscapes that don’t look parched and dry or flooded and rotten. Simple shifts in land management towards the retention of water within the landscape are fundamental to the future health of our catchments. Both dry and flood-prone regions, need to retain runoff within the landscape, to ‘slow, store and filter’ flow at as many locations as possible; requiring all land owners and policy makers to recognise that the enhanced loss of water from their landscape is a huge problem.

The thinking behind only looking to big technological solutions to such systemic problems misses the obvious solutions of working locally with nature. There has been immense concern across the UK surrounding the recent floods last winter. On the other side, there is immense concern at the appearance of drought and the dwindling of fresh water sources in many parts of the world. On the face of it – they seem like opposite ends of the escalating world ‘water’ problem. Can they be connected? Traditional wisdom both from the East and the West – shows us that not only are these two polar opposites connected, even the solutions for their resolution can be the same, reviving and managing flow in man and nature.

Working with actual communities in India and the UK, members of the flow partnership demonstrate that using the inherent capacities of a community as well as introducing appropriate modern knowledge, strengthens a community’s capacity to adapt to existential threats such as climate change.
These methods really are successful…7 rivers have been revived in India and many villages have stopped flooding - both in India and the UK.

Minni Jain puts forth some of the grassroots ecological thinking that is tackling these complex systemic problems, working live on the ground, transforming the respective landscapes of flood and drought back to flow –in the UK, India and other parts of the world.

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