18:00 - Bernd W. Mueller - Portugal

Grow Local Live! Interview

Interview with Bernd Mueller 

Water Retention Landscape of Tamera

A model for reversing desertification worldwide

Bernd Walter Mueller is a permaculture and water specialist
and head of Tamera's ecology project.

Born 1962 in Cologne, Germany, he's a Nature researcher, specialist in the construction of Water Retention Landscapes, permaculturist, dowser.
Since 2007, co-worker of the Peace Research Centre Tamera in Portugal, in close coopeation with Sepp Holzer.
Today Bernd Mueller is director of the Ecology Department of Tamera and teacher of the Global Campus, an international training centre for peace workers.

In 1986 he abandoned his engineering studies in the traditional university system because he did not find the answers he sought.

He started his own business, ran a health food store, worked in landscape gardening and later in tree care.
In 1989 he emigrated to Spain and managed an organic farm in the Sierra Nevada. There he found the necessary calmness to study natural processes through intense observation.
He discovered a new, more subtle possibility of cooperation between man and nature.

Today he transfers the insights from this process of self-education into the practical development of ecological models for landscape healing and the restoration of the Earth.

The Water Retention Landscape is a model for natural decentralized water management, restoration of damaged ecosystems and disaster prevention.

It is a basis for reforestation, agriculture and aquaculture, especially in regions threatened by desertification, and is an integral part of a comprehensive model for sustainability in water, food, energy and social structures.

The Tamera Peace Research Center in Southern Portugal is establishing a Water Retention Landscape as a model for natural water management. It is applicable across almost all the world's climate zones, providing a solution for desertification, water scarcity, flooding and rural depopulation.

The model consists of interconnected rainwater retention spaces (or “lakes”) designed harmoniously into the landscape. The lakes are created by building earth dams, behind which rainwater is stored. The lakes are not sealed, so the water can seep into and soak the surrounding earth-body.

They are built with deep and shallow zones and meandering shorelines, so the water moves constantly ensuring its vitality, oxygenation and self-purification. Terraces are built around the lakes for organic cultivation of fruit trees, vegetables and other crops, and mixed aquaculture can be established in the lakes.

The goal is to retain all rainwater on the land, replenish the groundwater, encourage springs to reappear, and reduce soil erosion to near zero, while supplying a community of 300 people with healthy organic produce. Five lakes have already been created across Tamera's 150 hectare (370 acre) site, and ten more are planned. The results visible so far are that natural vegetation has recovered, much wildlife has returned, a spring has reappeared, and crops can be grown on the lakeside terraces throughout the year requiring less and less artificial irrigation.

WATER IS LIFE - The Water Retention Landscape of Tamera

One principle of the model is to cooperate with nature's ability to
every region of the Earth with sufficient water. In healthy ecosystems,
the earth-body remains moist throughout the year, enabling the development
of soil life, fertility and a diverse vegetation cover. Mixed forests with a rich
topsoil are like sponges for water, integral parts of a complete water
cycle in which springs, streams and clear rivers supply the whole land.

A second principle is that re-establishing a healthy water balance is
always the first major step, on any piece of land, towards all ecological healing and
sustainable economic development. A third principle is that only decentralized, socially
ust and beautiful solutions are truly sustainable. Our task is to correct the big
mistakes of the past, in cooperation with nature, so that water, and
consequently food, can once again be freely available to all.