The lake is beautiful, however artificial, and the river is dried up, making me a bit sad. But maybe it is not sad, maybe this is the best they can do in terms of water management.
The island of Bohol relies heavily on rice production. Where there is no jungle nor houses, there are rice paddies, besides the famous chocolate hills of course. And rice paddies require water. A lot of water, as I’ve written on before.
Let it go, but not flow
Therefore, the island has a sophisticated water management system, consisting out of several water reservoirs, big lakes, where water is collected during rainy times and of the rivers.
As in most tropical climates, when it rains, it does not come slowly in low amounts, giving the soil the time to absorb the water. Rather, when it rains, it pours for a short time, which leaves the streets and fields inundated for a short while, after which it flows to the rivers, the oceans and in case of the later it is lost.
Therefore, the government created water reservoirs, to collect the water, and prevent the rain to flow immediately via the rivers through the oceans. This water is mainly used for the irrigation of the rice paddies around, since they consume a bunch of water.
The importance of this kind of reservoirs was seen in August 2018, when an extreme drought dried up the entire lake – which I can nearly imagine staring at the size of this lake. This had severe consequences for the local rice paddies, threatening the harvest of the year.
The despair of the farmers even made the government consider applying a kind of geo-engineering: creating clouds.
In the end, they did not apply the technique and nature rather than human beings filled up the lake again. However, the fact that the technique exists, and with the knowledge that climate change will increase this kind of droughts over time, it is not unimaginable that people in the future will not use it. Especially when despair takes over.
When it comes to climate change in general, some scientists talk about geo-engineering to put right what we did wrong. However, these techniques are extreme controversial. Even though it sounds as easy as 1 plus 1 is 2, when there is no rain, you make clouds. It is not.
None of these studies knows the real consequences of this kind of techniques. Add on that the earth always strives for a balance. If we would add more artificial rain, the system might look for a balance by creating even less rain, or maybe the opposite and creating more superstorms. Or what about the rain created in one place would affect the rain pattern in other places. Geo-engineering might in this case create not only clouds, but geopolitical conflicts as well.
Geo-engineering should be the last card we want to play in the entire climate change debate. So, let’s play it fair. By all means, we have to tackle the climate change before it is too late and we have to pull kind of ‘joker’.