Shivani Talati | 01 November 2017

India: Heavy reliance on technology can prove to adversely affect the nature and society. We might have often heard our grandparents talk about the traditional techniques they undertook to carry on with their day to day work, which apart from keeping them physically fit were also environment friendly. Great research is being conducted by environmentalists and scientists to sustain the environment and develop techniques which ensure that the heavy use of machinery does not lead to depletion of the environment. On that note, it is interesting to study the technique adopted by a Japanese village to sustain freshwater supply to the villagers and its agricultural sector.

A village in Japan named Harie, is known as the village of living water. This name has been given to them due to their ingenious method of providing both themselves, and their crops, with fresh, clean water.

In Harie the people developed a new way of providing themselves with clean water, by building rooms called “kabata”. These kabata are rooms, usually not attached to the main house, where fresh spring water flows. The water does not naturally flow to the kabata, but is directed there by a series of channels, canals and bamboo slides. This is only possible due to the location of the homes, as it uses the natural link between the mountain waters and Lake Biwa.

The water collected in these kabata is used to clean utensils, vegetables, and also store vegetables and degradable items like tofu. Once the villagers are done with their daily chores of cleaning utensils and washing Vegetables the water from such kabata is then directed out to the fields and meadows in order to provide them with the required supply for the growth of the crops. It is to be noted that the water which is directed outside is absolutely clean, clear and fresh and the reason behind the same is the presence of carp fishes in the kabata.

Carps are natural bottom feeders and so the waste or dirt generated by washing Vegetables and/or utensils is fed upon by these Carps and as a result the water which leaves the kabata after being cleaned by the carps is clear and fresh. This technique serves multiple purposes like keeping the water clean, less water is used for more purposes like supplying water to the crops and help in cleaning of vegetable and utensils, and it also helps to keep the vegetables fresh. Thus nature helps and supports its own kind as well as mankind.

Nature can cause calamities and Nature can provide for restoring the status quo affected by these calamities. What we need to do is be observant so as to find out the great gifts that nature has to offer. On that note, I would like to ask the readers to note down at least three natural techniques which aid in our day to day routine. If you can note down three, then I encourage you to find or create more such techniques and if you cannot note down at least three techniques, well then it’s time to give nature a chance over technology.