In the category swords to ploughshares
I can has me some contour trenches! EEhaw!
Just for the typical pro fossil crazy who likes a big explosion or burning stuff, this may be your go-to geoengineering solution. It involves airplains and high explosives. Cluster bombing of land that no is dry and barren. It’s just a thought but be sure this will come to pass before the decade is over..
We have written about countour trenching, a technique used and promoted by Peter Westerveld. It is a way to shape flat landscape so it absorbs more rainwater. Simply said land that is very dry often also looses out on rainwater because when it rains there is a sudden flood that instead of permeate the ground flushes over it, even washes away the topsoil. The hardened top layer doesn’t allow water in so this chance for life to grow passes and drought returns for the rest of the time.
To break this cycle of lost opportunities the top layer must be shaped, by digging trenches perpendicular to the direction of the rainfloods. When this is done, the floods will fill the trenches, sink into the ground and form a reservoir that can feed plants when there is no rain. It can even form underground rivers feeding into cool lakes and wells that spring year round. All this is exactly what plants need. Natural processes by itself make gullies, not perpendicular trenches.
It is only a small step then to think “How can we make trenches fast in remote regions” The answer can be to send out robot diggers running on solar energy. Drone diggers can dig for years on end, being maintained by few people or maybe even other automated systems. This robotic approach is appealing but can be considered time consuming. We believe such systems will be created and used for this purpose.
Another is a bit more fun for the BBQ loving redneck in us (or the US) : Bomb the ground to create trenches. This can require precision bombs or special devices that can be dropped above a field that will hit the ground and explode to form a long trench in the landscape.
Its clear that this creates a nice task for people that like quick solutions to problems, preferably one which involves blasting things. Who now dry and empty regions can be treated by smart trench forming bombs that elegantly land along the isoclines to blast and form the ground into a water absorbing life generating shape. It is a technical challenge fit for the engineers used to making lethal devices, even the possible planting of trees by cluserbombing the now water carrying land later.
Another good example of how contour trenches can change the water dynamics, out of india
Isreal is also taking action in the Negev Desert, greening it. It can do much more..
Making sure the water remains close to the tree and in the ground also helps a lot