Water management is key to preventing top soil erosion

Reducing erosion

In a healthy biotope, the topsoil layer functions as a balancing sponge that absorbs the rainwater into the earth. Erosion has progressed so rapidly and extensively that we could rightly call it a global disaster.

The natural topsoil layer has disappeared from a large percentage of the planet’s surface, which is why the earth has lost the ability to absorb rainwater, resulting in flooding.

By increasing the use of Regenerative Agriculture practices, more water is retained in the soil, bringing huge benefits, not only for the farmer and the environment, but for the public and industry too.

“UK soils store an estimated 130 Trillion litres of water – much more than is contained in all UK lakes and rivers combined.” - Climate Change Committee

Water Retention

The increase in carbon sequestration in the soil also increases the water retention of the soil, which in turn reduces the need for irrigation by farmers, thus reduced costs and reduced calls on the planet’s scarce resources.

A mere 1% increase in carbon in soil will lead to the retention of an additional 22,000 gallons of water per acre.

The effects of increasing the soil carbon sponge are greater water holding capacity (for each additional gram of carbon the soil can retain an additional 8 grams of water), more vegetation and therefore cooler ground (reducing the level of heat re-radiation), more fertile soil, and richer microbial communities in the soil providing more nutrient dense foods.

“The contribution of damaged soils to flooding events is estimated at £233 Million per annum” - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Drought and Flooding

A huge additional benefit is obtained during both drought and flood conditions. During a drought, farmers will take much less water from rivers for irrigation and during flood events, much more water will be retained by the soil and will not enter rivers, leading to reduced flooding in low-lying urban areas downstream of the catchment.

To quantify the benefits in simple numbers, large rainfall events currently drain into rivers within 3 days. With increased carbon capture and water sequestration, this would be increased to a retention period of around 100 days.