A GLOBAL ACTION PLAN OF CLIMATE RESTORATION
A global plan of climate restoration of the “small water cycle” (1) of regional landscapes, with a goal of decreasing floods, drought, natural disasters, and other undesirable climate changes, and increasing the biodiversity and production potential of all continents, through the introduction of various measures of rainwater retention suitable for all areas of human habitation and usage.
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1. WHY IS A GLOBAL ACTION PLAN (GAP) NEEDED?
Water management policies worldwide are typically based on the principle of what can be termed the “old water paradigm,” which assumes among many other considerations, that surface waters are the main source and reserve of fresh water supplies. Global legislation and investment therefore tend to be oriented toward protecting, developing, and utilizing surface waters with infrastructure such as large reservoirs for water collection and distribution. Although rainwater is the cyclical source of all fresh- water supplies, it is nonetheless often considered to be waste product to be drained away quickly into streams and rivers.
There is a need to perceive by way of a “new water paradigm,”(1) that in natural ecosystems, water is integrated into small, regional water cycles, which supply vapor to the atmosphere to condense and form rain, the sun being the driving force of the circulation of water in small water cycles. We also need to appreciate the thermoregulatory processes provided by the movement of water between the surface of the earth and the atmosphere, which maintains the proper temperatures for life on earth.
There needs to be increased attention on the gradual, sometimes almost imperceptible impacts of human activities that have led to the reduction of continental freshwater stocks. There is often a misconception that human activities have no direct effect on water cycles, and that temporal and spatial changes are either part of natural, evolutionary processes, or caused by global climate change. Therefore we tend to underestimate the influence of continental freshwater reserves on global energy and thermoregula- tory processes, as well as the degrading effects of climate change related to excessive drainage of ecosystems. These human impacts can detrimentally affect extensive territories; these include not only traditionally arid landscapes, but also areas of higher rainfall where human infrastructure drains water away from the land, ultimately to accumulate in the oceans.
It is necessary to retain about 100m3 of rainwater for every inhabitant on the planet. This means that, if every person on earth implemented measures to retain 100m3 of rainwater in their area within one year, enough water retention measures would be achieved to retain more than 760 km3 of water, which would in turn replenish the small water cycles in the atmosphere above land. This aforementioned rainwater, returned to the small water cycles, would lead to a decrease in ocean levels by 3 mm. Even if some doubts exist about the global program’s ability to reduce ocean levels, renew the climate or revive the small water cycles, it is nevertheless legitimate to initiate such a program, based on increased water resources such as that evidenced from an experimental program in the nation of Slovakia. Based on the findings of the Slovakian model, it can be expected that, at the global level, the retention of rainwater on land will result in the increased yield of water resources by more than 30 000 m3 per second and there- fore will kickstart the process of decreasing the production of sensible heat into the atmosphere, with an expected yearly reduction by 500 000 TWh. This will effectively lower the risks of natural disasters as well as occurrences of extreme weather events. More