Could This Ancient Water Tech Save Lima?
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From afar, they appear to be silvery serpents zigzagging down the Andean highlands. Up close, though, they turn out to be ancient stone ditches. Known as amunas, these vestiges of pre-Incan technology are now being restored and put back into use. And they might even save a city just downstream: the Peruvian capital, Lima, where 10 million people dwell in the middle of a coastal desert.
As climate change melts glaciers and globalization draws people to megacities, water resources are being subjected to enormous stress. Perhaps nowhere is this more visible than Lima. Here, only 1 in every 10 inhabitants has access to potable water. The rest are thirsty, and often tired from hauling water jugs across town. That’s where the amunas come in.
Well before 1533, when Spanish invaders conquered the Incas, indigenous peoples had engineered a canal system to manage the extreme disparities in water access along the arid coast of what is now Peru. The system is twofold: diversion canals, built from impermeable stone, and permeable infiltration canals that allow water to seep into the subsurface during the rainy season.
The water is then directed from the amunas to fill water holes where it can be harvested during the dry season, explains Mariella Sánchez, director of Aquafondo, a water fund established in 2014 to help with rehabilitation of the ancient system. The system also prevents erosion, which is more likely to occur during the dry season.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
April 14, 2021 at 2:18 PM #416946NV WinoModerator
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Native Americans, ancient Peruvians, Australia’s indigenous people as well as others the world over, were solving these problems long before we came along to muck up the world with our industrialization. Newer isn’t necessarily better.
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