Azores: A World Heritage of Creative Water Use

{jcomments on}posted by Francesco Sambalino
October 15, 2012

The volcanic islands of Azores are incredibly beautiful and unspoilt. People there manage soil and water with a lot of creativity to grow their crops.

Back in time they used coastal “tidal wells,” in which the water from tides would mix  with the scarce fresh water available. This enabled conjunctive use of fresh and salty water for domestic uses such as washing and cooking, and in the production of baskets.










Across the islands, cisterns and paved catchments are used to harvest rainwater.


In Pico Island, they produce amazing wines. Each field is divided in hundreds of micro plots (max 10 sq.m) sheltered by walls built with volcanic rocks. This is to protect the plants from strong winds, thus reducing evaporation and damage to the plants. The scale of it is astonishing and the effort that goes into it is impressive, to say the least. These micro-basins now make for a UNESCO heritage site.

October 15, 2012  
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