Yes ate! Although we drink on average 2-4 litres of water every day, most of the water we take up each day is “embedded” in the food we eat; in the amount of water that was used to produce that food. One kilo of wheat for example takes up 1,500 litres to produce and producing 1 kilo of beef consumes a whopping 15,000 litres of water! (Facts from http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/) Water and food are linked in ways we often don’t think about.
Organisers of the World Water Day held each year on 22 March want us to think of this relationship. As the population of the world grows there is less water available for people. This means we have to take steps to keep us all well watered. This year the spotlight is on the relationship between Water and Food Security. The message for this year is that for us to sustainable use water we must make a conscious effort to think about its connection with food. If we follow healthier sustainable diets, consume less water-intensive products, waste less food, and produce more food of better quality but with less water, then we will be taking actions to save water and ensure food for all.
At Nature Seychelles, our focus on sustainability has been through encouraging healthier lifestyles via the Green Health Programme that embraces health activities in natural surroundings, promoting healthy eating, organic gardening and practical conservation. The Nature Seychelles’ demonstration Heritage Garden at Roche Caiman, is used for the purpose of teaching and providing information, seeds and encouragement for start-up gardens. A key feature of this garden is the water harvesting infrastructure that has been put in place.
Water is collected through gutters that have been placed round the roofing of the office buildings. Even the top of the nursery where we grow seedlings has been utilised and the sheeting that covers the nursery now also collects water. The water collected is used for watering the garden. In order to conserve the amount used, the gardener has employed mulch and Typha compost. Mulch makes better use of water as it allows water to trickle into the soil and also prevents loss through direct evaporation. The compost we make from the Typha reed serves the same purpose as it has a lot of biomass. What we have demonstrated here is that we can eat healthy food, produced in a sustainable way and at very little cost.