26 Apr 2007

The extraodinary mysteries of water

Fascinating talk on the 'Nature of Water'

The Ruscombe Brook Action Group held a public meeting at Randwick Village Hall on Wednesday 25th April 2007 (this evening).

Photo: Julian Jones, Water 21

As the group's Secretary, I outlined progress so far on improving the brook while Julian Jones from Water 21 talked about developing plans for improving the local brook further with help from a Glos University Masters degree student (See last post re RBAG by clicking Labels below for more on that). Water 21 are joining with RBAG in what looks set to be a very exciting partnership to seek sustainable solutions 0- they have already confirmed £3,000 towards developing a plan.

Photo: Simon Charter

Mysteries indeed

The key speaker of the evening was local water expert, Ruscombe resident, Simon Charter who talked on 'The Nature of Water' and gave many demonstrations and slides on the fascinating qualities of water. There was also lots of local food and apple juice - all very nice indeed.

Simon Charter illustrated some of the mysteries of waters' structure using the work of Theodor Schwenk, a German pioneer in water flow research (see book cover left). Schwenk's work arose out of wanting to revitalize the municipal water supplies of Europe's cities and he was the first to document the more hidden nature of water, particularly the relationship of water's rhythms and movements found in its flow. Schwenk was able to see correlation between water's movements and water quality, which he demonstrated through a Drop Picture Method.

In the talk Simon used slides to illustrate this approach where a sample of water is photographed while it is brought into motion by dropping into distilled water (see left). Minute changes in water quality register as changes in the flow patterns observed in the pictures. Water's ability to move and form delicate, sensitive patterns reveals it as living water. The rosette patterns, were found more vividly in better quality water while degraded/polluted water or water not allowed to move freely the vortex formation is greatly diminished, or non-existent.

Simon also demonstrated how vortex move - stirring the water then adding dye to show how it moves up and down in quite extraordinary and unexpected ways (see left). Slides also showed the incredible patterns that could be created (see left).

Another experiment showed the patterns occurring when a brush was moved in a straight line through water (see left). Simon didn't propose explanations but rather left us to wonder - and wonder I did.

Perhaps most staggering for me to witness was the effect of one drop of washing up liquid on the way water moved. Simon had two large trays of water and created a wave in both (see left) - it was beautiful to look closely at how it moved - and as one of the audience noted, very restful to watch - the ripples and smaller waves going back and forth up the tray.

Simon then added one small drop to one tray (see left), didn't stir it in but made the same waves by lifting the end of the tray very gently. The tray with this small drop behaved so very differently - the waves breaking up quicker and without the wonderful patterns. It is really quite a surprise to see the effects of one tiny drop - and of course an argument for reducing detergent use or going for detergent-free laundry balls - see RBAG offer of a 10% discount on such balls by quoting 'MRUSCOMBE10' at www.ecotopia.co.uk - apparently Environmentally friendly versions of detergent do the same but may not persist so long?

It is of course also support for improving our local brook and putting an end to sewage and the rest getting in it.

One of the issues raised by the audience was about Masuru Emoto, a Japanese researcher who shows photographs of the water molecules resulting from his worldwide research on the effect of ideas, words, and music upon the molecules of water.

The result were staggering - the photo left is of a frozen water sample from the lake at Fujiwara Dam, in Japan - the water's structure is dark with no crystalline formations.

The next photo left is the same water sample photographed after a priest made a one-hour prayer practice beside the dam. I have seen the book 'Messages from Water' and it does seem quite amazing.

Others in the audience including an ex Environmental Health Officer and a Sustainable Drainage Consultant added weight and support for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems - which Julian Jones had pointed out earlier are called 'Best Management Practice' in the US.

An extraordinary evening that really makes you think about water on all sorts of different levels. I want to write lots more but no time...

Further details of RBAG and how to join their next meeting on 30th May can be got from Philip Booth on 01453 755451

1 comment:

Philip said...

Apparently the book that led to most of the talk by Simon is:

Wilkens, A. , Jacobi, M. and Schwenk, W. Understanding Water, Published by Floris books, Edinburgh, 2005.