Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

The best water storage solution would be to repair damaged agricultural soil, which propagates further erosion and runoff. On top of that, conventional farming drains fields of water, diverting rainfall off the fields in ditches. Then, in the drier months they tap reservoirs (to irrigate). It’s a totally bonkers way of doing things.



> repair damaged agricultural soil

I'm curious about what this entails or means.

Retaining walls? (re)Injecting soil life like worms and microbes and related nutrients? Tossing around compost for likewise?


Repair damaged soil by ensuring there is no bare soil, make sure its covered with natural (carbon-based / organic material) mulch or better yet, packed with a diverse set of plants at ALL times. Bare soil becomes compacted, and will resist water infiltration.

Some of the plants will have very good root depth, but all plants together will foster macro and microbiology, especially fungi, which will hold the soil together and at the same time spongify the soil, so that much more water will be absorbed than bare soil.

See the slake and water infiltration test, for a demonstration of bad vs good soil.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx_hmse9Se8

If your soil falls apart in the presence of water AND doesn't allow fast infiltration, you've got landslide and flood conditions. If your soil holds together and absorbs OR drains water, you've got prime agricultural conditions instead.


Yes, compost, no-till, etc. You can't put the worms & microbes there, but if you build it they will come. Soil with a higher organic matter content & microbe population absorbs & retains moisture better than "dead" soil with low organic matter & no microbes, and plants can develop deeper roots which lets you water long, deep, & infrequently which reduces evaporation & runoff.


I read somewhere recently that fixing the deficit of carbon in agricultural land world-wide would actually require more carbon than has been added to the atmosphere through fossil fuel use. Getting all those farmers to do it, however, would be difficult.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: