WC129 MarApr2023 - Flipbook - Page 17
vegetation drives over half of the precipitation in a rainforest.
An old-growth rain forest is truly a self-sustaining system.
When a region of primary forest is replaced with a uniform crop
of seedlings, this will impact the amount of rainfall in the area.
Establishing a resilient hydrological cycle requires many subcomponents such as soil, wetlands, and a diverse variety of trees,
shrubs, and groundcover. Even the fungi, insects, and animals in
an ecosystem have a role to play in maintaining an equilibrium
that enables all components of the overall system to thrive.
Jehne’s solution is quite simple. First, we have to stop the
destruction of forests and degradation of the soil sponge on
agricultural land. Second, we must work with great urgency to
restore the soils in areas that have been damaged by pests, wildfires, and the pursuit of economic growth. In many cases, wild
ecosystems will recover naturally and just need to be left alone.
Regenerative farming is a solution for restoring soil devastated by
pesticides, fertilizers, and heavy tilling.
Jehne predicts that California’s Central Valley is within ten
years of desertification. This is a dire outcome for a region that
produces 40 per cent of the food supply for the United States.
Despite efforts to decarbonize, fires consume huge tracts of the
state’s forest every summer and their aquifers are being drained
to dangerous levels. The regeneration of agricultural soil and
restoration of forests damaged by wildfires and logging has to be
an emergency-scale effort.
There are proven techniques for restoring agricultural soil and
accelerating forest recovery. For example, the forestation method
developed by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki is known to
regenerate forests 10 times faster than current tree planting
methods. We have all the solutions we need, with more being
developed every year.
We just need to get to work.
If the water cycle is the blood flowing in our planetary life
support system, then it’s time for humanity to stop consuming
the metaphorical sugar and processed foods that compromise
our planet’s circulatory system. We need to be put on a resource
consumption diet and start exercising restoration projects rigorously. It is our choice as a society. Inaction risks an outcome that
is equivalent to humanity lying in a palliative care ward wishing
they’d listened to the doctor’s warnings.
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is a strategic
advisor for the City of
Guelph. He works with
senior leaders to help
craft and share their
WAT E R C A N A D A . N E T
The City of Guelph is idyllically
situated where two rivers, the
Speed and the Eramosa, meet.
WATER C AN ADA • M ARCH/APRIL 2023