October 2013 – The quality of water

Leaves resting on amber-coloured pond

Birch tree leaves resting on the surface of a small amber-coloured pond that has formed after the rain. Photo: Lasse Johansson

In the autumn, leaves fall onto the ground, into the small ponds forming here and there, soon with brownish amber-coloured water. Resting for a moment on the surface, until a splash or a footstep causes it to cross the surface and sink towards the bottom, contributing to the forming colour.

As the leaves break down, the oxygen in the water is consumed, and the humus acids tint the pond. The water in the lower layers becomes reductive, oxygen deficit. Slowly the water sinks down, and enters the groundwater cycle.

What could these two things, the resting leaf and the amber-coloured water tell us about water quality? Continue reading

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September 2013 – Water’s pulse

“Malmö” model flowforms in Warmonderhof

“Malmö” model flowforms in Warmonderhof, the Netherlands. Photo: Hans van Sluis

Swish, swoosh, swish, swoosh, in a rhythmic pattern, the water swings to and fro in the vessel, a “flowform”, originally conceived by the British anthroposophist John Wilkes (1930-2011) in 1970 and since then developed into many shapes.

The incoming water flow, and the curved heart-shaped walls create the right conditions for a rhythmic flow to spontaneously emerge, to self-organize – a cooperative behaviour, which springs out naturally, effortlessly, from the conditions. The water molecules dance together. From vessel to vessel the dance continues, until the water reaches the pond below. Standing by the stair of flowforms, listening to the pulsating sound, it is as if it radiates tranquillity – a wild brook carved in stone. Continue reading

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August 2013 – The Mysteries of Fog

Mist from the seaside

Mist from the seaside clearing up in the morning. Orust island. Sweden. Photo: Lasse Johansson

Morning mist is rolling in from the shore, the remnants of a rainy summer night. Elusive, yet being so close that one can nearly touch it. The sun finally breaks through, clearing up the mist into vapour, and it is gone, the remembrance of the night’s thunderstorm. Mist, the symbol of the unclear, the undiscovered, out of which discovery is born. Does it still hold any mysteries? Continue reading

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July 2013 – The rising seas

The dramatic coastline of Slussen

The dramatic coastline of the isles seems to rise just out of the sea. Slussen, Orust island, at the west coast of Sweden. Photo: Lasse Johansson

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the water level rises. Where are we actually heading? What is the attractor of our present course? Where will we be, when water finds its new level?

Our actions are like a small marble, rolling down a slope, along a ridge, on its way to a new state. Will it be a state where the Arctic ice has melted, where its albedo, its ability to reflect light, has changed from that of white ice to dark water, no longer reflecting most of the light back into the sky? Will it be a state where the methane deposits of the Siberian tundra have molten and evaporated? Where the ice of Greenland has melted? Continue reading

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June 2013 – The water jet dances

The dancing water jet

As the up-going flow bumps into the down-going, it starts to twist and bend. Botanical garden, Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo(s): Lasse Johansson

The jet of water ejects out of the nozzle in a continuous, steady flow. Directing my eyes towards the opening, there is not a trace of pulsation.

Yet just slightly above, the dance has begun. As the upward movement is gradually lost, the water jet starts to twist and bend, like a rubber band being pushed.

Then it turns around and sweeps down, now on this side, now on that, now hitting the up going flow and, for a moment, almost extinguishing it, and then it moves on again, unpredictable. Never at rest, oscillating, yet not repeating itself – its aperiodic undulations never reveal what is next to come. Continue reading

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May 2013 – The water vortex

Water vortex in bucket

Water swirling in a bucket, with reflections of the sky in the water surface. A leaf is going with the flow.
Photo: Lasse Johansson

Round and round, the vortex swirls in the bucket, mixing whatever is in it. Perhaps one of our most mundane acquaintances with water is stirring it, although we seldom give the process a closer look. Stirring vigorously will only create a blur. But the moment we leave water on its own for a while, the curved spiralling shapes appear and stabilize. The vortex funnel has chosen its preferred form.

Does water mind how we stir it? Will it behave differently afterwards depending on our movements? Looking at water merely as a dead substance, we tend to relegate such questions to the fairy tales. But even a fairy tale can turn out to be true. And in this case – just as a good fairytale should – it is about a land down under. Continue reading

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April 2013 – Floating timber in brooks

The Taschbach stream in the Freinbach area

Part of the Taschlbach stream as it looks today, in the Freinbach area, Steiermark, Austria. Photo: Olof Alexandersson

“The logs will not float even 50 meters”, was the official position of the Austrian timber commission. The experts had even brought a signed written testimony to the futility of the project. It was a timber floating system, conceived by the forester Viktor Schauberger, who was presently being employed as a timber transport consultant by the Austrian Government.

The first section of the system had recently been completed in the Taschlbach stream, a wild and unruly river, not much larger than a brook. Continue reading

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March 2013 – Ink droplets falling in water

Umbrella shaped ink droplet

Slowly sinking umbrella shaped ink droplet, like a primitive octopus. Photo(s): Lasse Johansson

Water’s inherent tendency to form patterns can be observed as simple as with ink droplets falling into water (preferably in a container with flat walls). The impact of the droplet creates vaulting toroidal forms, vortexes resembling jellyfish, and finally, when the motion slows down, settles into sinking octopus-like forms.

Studying and looking at the flow patterns can be really captivating. I once tried this experiment with children in kindergarten, who were amazed, and would stand dripping ink into the water for more than half an hour. Continue reading

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February 2013 – Water and consciouness

Curved space - vortex funnel and ripples

“Curved space”, 1991. Ripples and funnel forming in a very gentle vortex flow in a large egg-shaped container.
Photo & design: Dag Birkeland

As if they were carved out, the ripples in the water hover before my eyes. The gentle vortex flow pulls the water down, only to return it to the surface again, following the walls of the egg-shaped container. Round and round, the water seems to form a complete universe of its own. It is unavoidable to be affected by the stillness.

Clearly, water can affect our thoughts. But can our thoughts affect water? Could, for example, our consciousness change a property or structure in a water sample? And could such a change in water be observed? This the Russian scientists Lev Pyatnitsky and V. Fonkin asked themselves. Continue reading

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January 2013 – Self-organization

Self-organizing sand-water rolls

Sand-water rolls self-organizing in the receding
stream. Agadir, Morocco. Photo: Lasse Johansson

Self-organizing, seemingly out of nothing, the sand-water rolls appear. Where did they come from? The mo­ment before, when the incoming stream reached its highest level and turned, there was only a flat surface of murky water.

Self-organization means the sponta­neous formation of a macroscopic structure, an order for free, as it were, emerging when the effects of the individuals, e.g. the movement of water molecules, start to interlock and add up, forming a new complexity. When the conditions are right, self-organization occurs, spontaneously, like a vortex forming in a bath tub. Continue reading

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Here on watercalendar.com you will be able to read more about the texts in Water Calendar 2013 – a journey into the Mysteries of Water.

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Water Calendar 2013 – a journey into the Mysteries of Water

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