Rainwater retention is a driving force of climate-resilient landscapes.
There are many misunderstandings about the causes of climate change, and there is an urgent need not only to discuss but also to act.
The majority of existing climate models do not take water and all of its stages into account.
SIM4NEXUS project (www.sim4nexus.eu) examines the mutual correlation between changes in the water cycle, a carbon cycle, the development of weather extremes, and CO2 in the atmosphere. Sim4nexus is the German-Czech-Slovak cross-border cooperation project.
The model’s left side talks about applying sectoral principles in rainwater management in the forest, agricultural and urban landscapes. With the sectoral focus, rain is a nuisance that needs to be eliminated quickly, and individual industry sectors design their infrastructure for drainage.
The rainwater management designed for drainage causes reduced evaporation from ecosystems, overheating the countries with the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere and the permanent water stress for people, nature, food supplies, and climate.
This model brings economic, social, environmental, and climate collapse in the long run. The old water paradigm has dominated since the Industrial Revolution, and it is no longer sustainable as it degraded the landscapes and watersheds, thus altering hydrology. We need to apply integrated rainwater land and watershed solutions.
By applying a holistic, i.e., an integrated model of rainwater management, people understand that rain embodies the essence of the life that we need to keep in the forest, agriculture, and urban areas to reduce rainwater runoff from ecosystems.
The new water paradigm will result in an abundance of water for people, nature, food, the economy, and a healthy climate. There are significant additional benefits to retaining rainwater in the ecosystems: the occurrence of more frequent moderate rains, fewer extremes in the weather, reduced overheating of the landscape, abundance of photosynthesis, plenty of food for all, fertile farmland with a gradual reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere and satisfaction for all.
All these contexts should be urgently reflected in research, which unfortunately lags in the field of water and climate knowledge. Unfortunately, changes in the water, carbon, and climate cycles are faster than science can reflect. It is time to act.
My conclusions are based on my 30 years of experience in hydrology and groundwater supply recharge. This is my modest contribution to a debate involving the mutual context of changes in the water, carbon, and climate cycles.
Author: Michal Kravčík
Translation: Zuzana Mulkerin