I returned to Barichara in the midst of a water crisis…
The town is full of tourists -- thousands of tourists -- and they are using a lot of water. Yet the Barichara River has more feces and sludge than water in it.
The local Bomberos (fire and rescue) fill tanker trucks with water every day to be sure the campesinos can survive.
The mismanagement of water here in our territory is severe.
There is a lot we can do about this. For my part, I am teaching my daughter how to dig a HugelKultur system in the food forest. We are digging a ditch to fill with fallen tree branches and other vegetative materials so the land can absorb more water. At the same time, this creates a special kind of composting that stores nearly 100% of the carbon during decomposition and converts it into healthy soils.
We are also collecting native seeds from the Nauno tree to plant in the bioparque. This tree fixes nitrogen and grows soils, also helping absorb and store more water from the rainy season.
We just had an 18-month period of rains with two dry seasons that never came. We were in an abundance of water. And it took only about a week without rain for a crisis to emerge with water shortages.
This is NOT a problem of water. It is a problem of poor management. And luckily, that can be solved. It just needs to happen at scale. We are going to need to restore the watersheds, regrow the forests, and set up different ways of governing water if Barichara is to have a future.
Onward, fellow humans.