Chapter 2: Water
La Sistema Nohoch Nah Chich is located in Tulum Municipality, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It extends 235 ft into the underworld and boasts 42 miles (67 km) of passages for advanced cave diving. The name is a blend of Espanol and Yucatec that means “Giant Birdcage System”. The entire cave system connects with the Caribbean Sea.
“Pre-Colombian underworld earth lords were wealthy beings who live inside mountains, associated with black water, the primordial sea from where all life was spawned.” (Wilder Utopia) This system of caves that leads to the ocean could have made it very easy for early animals and humans to live a full life between cave, ocean, forest, and temple. The water systems were a sacred part of their creation myth and held extensive artifacts at their excavation.
Cave water systems are one example of natural forms of life support. The water exists in three forms depending. But in jungle systems, trapping the water is how everything stays alive. The tree canopy and all of the plants and animals that rely on each other, coexist under natural water collection. The leaves absorb water and leach nutrients using gravity. The trees are so tall and the life so diversified that the canopy itself has levels of cooperation. The top-level of the canopy attempts to block out the sun. The tree is clever enough to know that sunlight is equal means of opportunity. Inside the tree canopy is a host of dependent systems. Frogs, lizards, birds, insects, and more water makes its way to the level just above your head and higher.
Water is our responsibility and our life source. In Washington state, the dams were put in place and the salmon no longer could freely run to the ocean on a natural aeration/filtration system provided by the rivers. The mountains act like a trap, forcing clouds to drop their moisture. When the water hits the ground, mud level is rooted with trees, and walked upon by animals species. After it passes under ground, a series of minerals filter the water into the streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans.
Salmon relied on this system to quickly and safely transport their offspring every time their species would use the river as a spawning bed for reproduction. The tide would flood the marsh grasses and bring food for little fry readying for the big ocean. (By the way, I think this is a good system of parenting, too. And I think we try to mimic it in a kind of backwards way. More later) Ocean fish could easily be raised in this way again. It means making all the waterways wild again. We can also mimic the filtration system and raise fish in natural areas that are built to function like rivers.
Let us start from the bottom now: the cave. What holds our water? What happens when the water level drops? The black water is a filtered connecting pools of reservoirs that includes bacterial life. Humans have typically included this area to be the enclosure for waste (which is partially true) When we decided to pervert nature and create garbage, we made the mistake of sending our tools to the ground instead of remaking them as tools. This eventually meant “recycling”, a re-introduced natural form of conversion. Waste can be processed in so many ways!
Human waste systems are chemical pools of pretend filtration. There are some human waste filtration systems that include plants, animals, and natural bacteria. The waste is kept in overflowing containers. Animal and plant life does the processing naturally! Cattails and water skeeters can be planted, reeds for baskets, food for animals. The waste water fills and over flows repeatedly over plants and gravel, creating a natural system. The water bacteria levels can be monitored and integrated to complete a stable system for processing waste. The system can be greenhoused and the methane initially trapped and scrubbed using a bio-digester. Then methane can be burned as cooking fuel or converted into 12 Volt electricity. After the waste is processed into “black dirt”, it can be transported back to the area of farming. To finalize the process, the waste is furrowed, mulched and planted on to make food or human tools and products. No processing with chemicals, no major sewage stench on the freeway. Alternately, design the pipe waste system to flow back to the digester processing area in the rural location/farm.