Dear Eli,

Our world is an ever-liquid world where everything flows and mixes. Intuition, emotions, empathy are words to describe an artist rather than a scientist. But what they both do have in common, is to observe. With our Water Appreciation Society Initiative, our mission is to deepen the world’s appreciation of water, unveiling its impact on our lives through a fusion of art and personal experiences. In your last post “Journeying into the realm of water”, you wrote:

Some water is characterised as lifeless, while other water is so dynamic that it is referred to as 'living' water. 

Leaving the question for us to explore: what is living water? These water questions are our friendship’s endless and inspiring quest for health and wisdom (or knowledge?). On our water retreat this summer, we have been actively searching for healthy water.

What we seek

When you actively seek healthy water—be it through filtration, natural springs, or different sources—you're inviting a sense of well-being, vitality, and better health into your life. Our pursuit of healthy living water leads us to learn more about water quality, the way hydration works on a cellular level, and the various sources and enhancement solutions available. I truly believe, the act of seeking healthy water leads to a deeper understanding of its significance and, consequently, a healthier life. Health is often defined as the absence of illness. Life is often framed around survival. But life should be about thriving, being your best self. To me health is about my highest wellbeing, physically and mentally. I aspire mind, body, spirit to be in tune with each other. And a notion of living water in my life resonates with this ambition.

The water wizard

Living Water: Viktor Schauberger and the Secrets of Natural Energy written by Olof Alexandersson is a book about the life of one of the most inspiring naturalist of the 20th century and the pioneer of the water vortex technology. His ideas build the foundation of creating structured, organized or living water. Viktor Schauberger lived from 1885 – 1958 and dedicated his life to understanding the movement and behaviour of water and the concept of natural energy in water. Many describe Schauberger’s work as controversial. But every good idea has its opponents, I guess.

Nature connectedness

In a time and age where we are rediscovering our nature connectedness (=the intrinsic bond between individuals and the natural world), why not open our eyes to a different way of looking at water? The disconnect between humanity and nature has been underscored by the popular Das Gupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity (2021). The report is a comprehensive assessment that highlights the consequences of neglecting our interconnectedness with nature. The report emphasizes that as our lives become increasingly urbanized and technology-dependent and the value and understanding of the natural world have been diminished. We research nature connectedness, but that is a symptom of the problem itself. We see ourselves as separate from nature, which is the root cause of our environmental challenges. We built a system where we pay each other for exploiting the natural world rather than protecting it.

The hydraulic mission

Schauberger, the Austrian forester, believed our hydro-infrastructure and forestation practices are destroying our water. He describes water as the blood of the Earth. If it is not healthy and in flow, our Earth will fall ill. Schauberger argued, that water needs to move in its natural paths, which we are destroying by redirecting it into straight canals. Water is said to loose its vividness on this difficult journey, when flowing through straight pipes and standing still for a long time before arriving in our homes. Schauberger argued, it is not the water itself that is making us sick, it is us who contaminate our water and force it against its natural path. He raised his criticism of the engineering paradigm during the 1930s. In scientific literature, this period is described as the hydraulic mission.

The hydraulic mission was described in different water management paradigms between 1850 and 2000 by Tony Allan, the inventor of ‘virtual water’. Allan was a Geography professor at King’s College and dedicated his life to water research. He coined the term “hydraulic mission”, with the 2nd paradigm from the 1890s to the 1970s reflecting a trajectory of industrial modernity expressed by the engineering capacity in water management. Read: the time of large-scale infrastructure and massive hydropower dams.

Comprehend and copy nature

Schauberger spent a lot of time in the woods learning the workings of nature. He advocated to observe nature more closely. In nature, rivers and streams flow along a smoothly curving course without right angle turns. If you want to understand water, you don’t have to analyse it chemically in the lab but rather observe its behaviour in its natural environment, only moving water will reveal its secrets. He advocated for the “Nature University” and described standing water as “dead water”. Why do we tend to try reengineer nature, rather than protect and support natural processes in their functioning? We consider nature as something quantifiable, mechanic materialistic, rather than seeing its inherent qualities.

I recently heard someone say something along the lines: you don’t need to bio hack and supplement everything. You can use what nature has to offer. Go for a morning walk in nature, walk barefoot to ground yourself, enjoy the first sunlight to energise ourselves, breathe in and start your day by slowly sipping healthy water. This reminded me of the ions you told me about in your last post. And I couldn’t agree more.

Forests are the home of our water.

Schauberger argued that destroying our forests, makes our water disappear. Shrubs and trees and cool forests are protecting our water and its temperature. Ripe water is spring water which has matured in the forest and comes out as water that’s self-cooling, bubbling, gurgling and full of life energy. We need to protect the space between a spring and its surroundings. Water should not be exposed to direct sunlight as water is said to be at its highest energy when it has its highest density at +4 °C which corresponds to +39.2 F. He argued that water’s temperature should remain below +9°C (+48.2°F). How I am going to consolidate this information with the recommendation in Ayurveda to drink warm water only (closest to our bodies temperature), I do not know yet. But I will investigate it further. According to Schauberger though, with heat water loses life.

Chemical analysis or molecular structure?

He argued that science treats water as a dead, inorganic chemical substance. It is contradicting to describe water as a chemical lifeless matter through chemical analysis and pollution risk only and at the same time be reiterating a general understanding of society as water being the source of life. Research is increasingly looks into water on the molecular level and how water molecules behave.

Vortexing for enhancement

Schauberger further defined the vortical movement, describing a process for how water to dance rhythmically, and any flow form development to simulate a mountain stream. Solutions for water enhancement are emerging based on these principles, mimicking natures flowing movement. You can find options for water vortexing, which is the preparation of tap water consistent with the flow in nature. For example through nozzles with vortex chambers crating a spiral movement of the water, a whirlwind, compared to the whirling flow in a creek. In nature, vortex water flow happens continuously due to the irregularity of the surfaces that water flows around. In bottled water facilities and in our homes, this doesn’t happen.

Living water.

Water shouldn’t be just safe. It should have the highest form of energy, life force and health. If you have time and money to spend on supplements, skincare and gym memberships, you have the potential to dedicate a portion of that attention to understanding how good water can contribute to your health. And how you can contribute to the health of your watershed.

Living in harmony with nature’s law is the only way to thrive. Scientifically proven or not. I accept the beauty of Schauberger’s story of living water as something meaningful and valuable and as a form of expression of an appreciation for water #waterappreciationsociety.  And if in doubt, I choose to hold it as Max Planck said:

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.

Holding water in any state, living or chaotic, ice or vapour, in beautiful crystals or not, in high regard. Always.

Your aspiring naturalist,