Water and sewage

Water harvesting systems in operation

Abundant, clean drinking water is essential for good health and allows human, animal and plant life to prosper. Dealing effectively with biological waste is vital for maintaining sanitary conditions and a constant flow of clean water.

In the more technologically developed world, large investments of energy are dedicated to collecting, moving and cleaning water. While in less developed areas, access to drinking water requires far more investment and improvement, along with better sanitation and irrigation for rearing livestock and crops.

Human-caused environmental degradation, such as deforestation, adds to the extremes of flooding and drought, putting greater pressures on populations around the globe. Respect for water conservation, and preservation of clean water supplies, is fundamental.

It's important to have cost effective, easily implemented ways to make sure water gets to where it is needed, using minimal energy. Employing natural ecosystem services and processes to reduce pollution; improve distribution; filter, manage and make use of waste water and sewage; are among the key permaculture design approaches to achieve this.

The 52 Climate Actions website has a practical action on this subject: Manage water in the landscape.