Introduction to Operation OASIS

The massive waste water problem that currently pollutes our bathing waters costing £billions to process throughout the world can be used to irrigate and reforest desert coastlines to induce rainfall.

Our aim is to use the return ballast capacity of super crude carriers which currently transport sea water half way around the world at great financial and environmental cost. This ballast is discharged into the sea, often introducing invasive marine species which affects the stability of indigenous species of flora and fauna.

The E.U. is legislating against this practice and tanker operators will be forced to seek an alternative.

Operation OASIS offers an exciting opportunity for ballast water. Transporting treated waste water to irrigate and reforest arid coastlines to induce rainfall has to be the way forward.

One tanker loaded with 300000 cubic meters of treated waste water would support 57 hectares of forest for a whole year.

Reclaiming deserts to enable people to feed themselves and grow great forests will offset the carbon emissions from shipping.

With global food shortages upon us we are already feeling the strain on our pockets in the developed world and renewable resources are in rapid decline. Drought is affecting all major food producing countries and wells are running dry. Water scarcity poses major problems for us and our children. We need to act fast in order to avert a major global catastrophe.

When the mighty river Amazon dries up and it's fish stocks die it is time to take stock on how we manage our fragile environment. For more detailed information visit our website and forum at:

Sunday, 28 October 2007


Heard on the radio this morning, Radio 4 that is :) (if I heard correct) the pollution equates to around 450 thousand vehicles over one year of driving.
There is a huge plume of black smoke over California apparently and people are urged to stay indoors and not to exercise outdoors.

Where on earth did they come up with the figure 450 thousand vehicles? Do they mean trucks, cars, or motorcycles? So I did a quick sear using these terms radio4 pollution 450000 and low and behold the figure 450000 appears quite a lot over a whole heap of subjects, possibly some statisticians favourite number.

I doubt we shall see the true figure. For example, if it rains heavily the pollution is removed from the air, unlike 450000 vehicles used daily for a year where the pollution is constant.

I also heard that to prevent fires happening and causing as much damage in the future, huge swathes of trees need to be removed from around properties?

They just don't get it do they. The problem is not the trees, it is the human encroachment. That Old song, It never rains in California rings true here, but why? Because these stupid people have removed the forests from the coastlines which cause it to rain by removing the thermal barrier along the coast that lowers air pressure sufficiently to allow moisture from the ocean to cross on to the land!

Remove the trees? Right, does history tell these morons anything? What happens now the fires have ravaged the lands? More trees and scrub will establish itself over the next few years and more fires will happen more frequently eventually causing the soils precious remaining organic material to be dedicated and blown away in the wind. REMEMBER THE AMEICAN DUST BOWEL?

The magnificent Giant Californian Redwoods stand as witness to the logic of maintaining coastal forest, These ancient trees when left alone do not burn down, but continue to grow spectacularly, year in year out. Moisture is observed to cross over onto the land here and provides the huge volumes of water these wonders of nature require.

Can we not learn how to live in harmony with nature? Australia has completely devastated its natural living resources. Slash and burn has been long admired as land management by the Aborigines and adopted by the sheep farmers. The end result is always the same, massive deserts growing now at rates we could never have anticipated in the past. But we should have been able to anticipate them! There are many fossils of plant eating creatures found in deserts. What happened to the lands?

They did exactly the same as stupid humans are doing now but much slower. They removed the vegetation from the coastlines and then the rains stopped just as they are stopping all over the world right now! Once the rains no longer fall on the inland forests they become tinder dry! Sound familiar yet? After many fires the soil becomes so poor the wind blows away the remaining organic matter until all that is left is dust and sand, eventually the dust is all blown away into the ocean or on our car windscreens here in the UK and the rest of Europe until all that remains are the larger particles SAND!

Deserts can be both hot and cold. Hot deserts heat up the air around them to scorching temperatures this causes thermals to rise and more air to be sucked in to replace it. This is known as the Hadley Cell. Again it is a density flow system using gas rather than fluids but the principles are exactly the same. This causes air to be recycled within the desert rather than cooling cloud cover blocking out the suns energy. This is the real source of global warming. The deserts are the cylinder heads of this vehicle to our own extinction and just like the dinosaurs our own bones will be buried in the sands just like those found in the Atacama desert, one of the driest places on earth.

I was in Spain a while back, it rained every night, but only once in the day. The weather was very warm and dry, yet at night rain came in from the ocean and covered an amazing forested area that runs right up to the coast stretching for more than 25 miles of the most amazing picturesque landscapes, this was as far as we travelled miles. The area was East of Loret da Mar, Costa Brava, along the coastal road. Friends were staying West about 40 –45 miles from us at the same time. While it didn’t rain at all for them, they had clear blue cloudless skies and scorched landscape and very little precious tree cover close to the coast in Reus, a tightly packed heavily built up area with lots of buildings, tarmac and concrete, (Manufactured deserts)

In deserts when it does rain it often rains hard as a rapid cooling effect takes place on the hot air sucking in huge volumes of moisture which cools rapidly and delivers vast quantities of rain rapidly. The ground is not able to deal with deluges of this nature as the capacity of the organic material in the soil to hold onto the water has long since gone. The results are devastating flash floods and sure enough this had happened near where our friends were staying, there was much evidence of destruction, cars washed over the edges of roads etc. But while our friends stayed there not a drop of rain fell in this area when a week before it was pelted with torrential rain. The same has happened in many places throughout the world.

Reducing emissions is child splay compared to the real task at hand if we are even to begin slowing down global warming we must act now and reclaim desert coastal areas by planting billions of trees along the edges of the worlds deserts. To do this we need water and organic material in order to create a fertile crust above the deep sands, otherwise irrigation water will simply evaporate from the surface leaving behind a crust of salt or sink below the surface and cause the ground water to become salty. Replacing organic material in the soil can be done by using the excess human and animal bodily waste in sewage and waste water, which is currently dumped in rivers and oceans throughout the world, or processed expensively where the effluent is still released into the oceans and rivers and the solids are disposed of in landfill.

We currently have a network of huge crude oil carrying ships, VLCC’s and ULCC’s that use sea water as ballast in order to lower their massive structures back into the water after delivering massive cargoes of crude oil to the developed and developing countries. It would be so simple to fill these ships with a cargo of humanure and animal manure enriched water full of essential fats and organic materials to replenish the lost material from the desert sands. And more to the point will eliminate the need to treat this sewage problem other than the removal of unwanted plastics etc and reduce our phenomenal water rate bills into the bargain, while eradicating pollution at a stroke.

Ironically these crude carriers are returning to deserts in North and South Africa and the Middle East where the inherent lack of water prevents reforesting huge areas. Even so many of these countries are using their own wastewater to reforest and reclaim deserts by growing trees in soils irrigated with the waste water from populated areas.

Once sufficient coastal areas have been covered in trees, the thermal barrier that is in place at the moment will be effectively gone. Moisture from the ocean can now cross onto the land and the tree cover vastly reduces the surface temperature of the land enabling moisture to be milked from the sky by the low pressures that develop from irrigation and forestry.

If we only realised now that the deserts represent some of the biggest challenges for humanity and in fact our own salvation, we might begin to address this impending Armageddon we have unleashed upon this fragile world and all its inhabitants.

I have written a book about this whole scenario and require a publisher in order to progress it to the minds of people that can change policy and put this amazingly simple project into practice for the benefit of everyone.

Andrew K Fletcher

Sunday, 9 September 2007

I Have A Dream

Global Warming The Only Sollution! Reclaim Deserts To End Famin - Watch a funny movie here
I have a dream that waste water can be shipped in returning oil super tankers out to the desert coastlines and be used to breath forests and wildlife back into the barren waste lands and cause it to rain. Ironically the tankers currently transport sea water half way round the world for nothing before dumping it back into the sea, often contaminated with huge amounts of oil residues, and once dispersed it reeks havoc on the oceans ecosystem. A dream where we can reclaim the deserts and feed the starving millions who dance wildly while embracing the frequent raindrops in a land where they seldom fall. But this dream differs somewhat from the aforementioned recording system. This dream differs, because I know with absolute certainty that it will happen! I see a land of promise ahead for many people. I see people speculating on barren desert strips and purchasing them for a song,
I see beautiful homes being built in the regenerated lands and children playing in fields full of flowers, picking fruits that abound the trees. I see battery chickens being introduced to live in these lands as guardians, diligently singling out pesky critters and producing truly free-range eggs. I see soldiers becoming at ease with carrying baskets full of fruit from the trees. I see filmmakers queuing to tell the world about our pilot project. I see many more projects developing in many parts of the world. And when this happens, I see many of our present global environmental problems paling into insignificance. But this is not a dream. It is already beginning in many countries. Trees are now growing in many parts of the world where there where no trees, but painfully slow, as the main problem in these arid lands is an inherent lack of water, and they have yet to realise that it cannot be addressed without importing masses of nutrient rich waste water from Europe, who currently pour billions of tonnes of raw sewage into the oceans and rivers every single day!

I have met with Jasem Al Mubaraki at Kuwait Embassy and won his support. I have met with Mohamed Al-Sheddi at The Saudi Arabian Embassy and won his support. I have met with Pakistan Embassy and had many long conversations with Dr Eldaz, who seams in agreement with this logic. I have even won the support of Gideon Tzur the Water Commissioner for Israel, who loves this project, which I call Oasis Irrigation. I even won the interest of two major shipping companies, who began to see the logic of getting paid both ways instead of their current one way earner. I have received many publications in National and local press and even appeared twice on local television news with my dream. I even held a press conference at the Redcliff Hotel hear in Paignton Devon. Even David Bellamy went on BBC National Radio and said: I see a time in the future when great oil tankers will be delivering massive cargoes of sewage and waste water to the deserts in order to transform them into fertile places. He once also said that it would never catch on because we eat pork and there are nations that would not accept our sewage because of this. I still have his letters somewhere in the loft.


HERALD EXPRESS November 8 1994
Oak trees will be lining a Churston road thanks to the planting of 4,000 acorns and saplings by local volunteers. The mass planting along the four mile length of Kennals Road was the idea of ‘A Pocket Full Of Acorns’ organiser, Andrew Fletcher.
But he was disappointed that no representatives of the environmental groups he invited turned up. Mr Fletcher set up A Pocket Full Of Acorns ten weeks ago after hearing the story of the old French shepherd.
Each day the shepherd attended his flock, he carried with him a pocket full of acorns, planting them across the mountain side as he went. From this daily exercise a mighty forest grew. Mr Fletcher said: “It’s such a simple way of giving nature a hand. There is nothing cheaper than collecting a pocket full of seeds and planting them.”
His plan to plant out Kennals Road with local oaks had the backing of Torbay Borough Council. But invited conservation group representatives failed to appear.
Planting success
“All they had to do was to come along, poke a few holes in the ground with a stick and then drop an acorn in,” He said. Nevertheless buoyed by the planting success and an earlier one at Tebbit Copse on Telegraph Hill, Mr Fletcher is taking his green message around The Globe.
Mr Fletcher said: “With the destruction of the forests in the Third World and the increasing distances that people, mostly women, must walk to collect water and fire wood for cooking and warmth, it would be so easy to pick a handful of tree seeds and plant them on the way back to their villages.”
Recent meetings with representatives from the Pakistan and Saudi Arabian Embassies were very favourably received, he said.

‘A Pocket Full Of Acorns’ Another project from OASIS.

‘A Pocket Full Of Acorns’
Another project from OASIS. Trees are disappearing faster in the UK than in the Amazon. How can we lecture the Brazilians on saving their forests when we do not practice what we preach.
During the first world war a soldier was baffled when he observed a shepherd continually stooping as he walked and tended his flock near an oak forest. Investigation revealed he was planting acorns and he and his family were responsible for planting the oak forest over generations. Such sustainable agriculture must be applauded.
Each time we visit the moors here in the UK we are revelling in barren wastelands that we proudly call our national parks, and we should remember that these where once great forests, teeming with wildlife. Our ancestors used fire in order to drive out the animals and kill them in comfort, with no regard for the long term situation. Native Australians have burned their land into a massive desert and this strange custom is still implemented today, and can be seen in practice on our own moor lands.
A Pocket Full Of Acorns is seeking to extend from Devon into Cornwall, and is looking for anyone who has areas of land, large or small, who wish to use it to plant native trees. Unused areas of land or industrial premises on farms or small holdings, or even your own back yard are ideal.
If you wish to join the “Pocket Full Of Acorns Project”, come and see the “OASIS” Stall at Surf To Save.

British Embassy in Luanda10th 1st 1996

British Embassy in Luanda10th 1st 1996
I have just received your letter of 25th October, addressed to the President of Angola, about your proposal for reclaiming deserts by irrigating them with sludge.
I suggest that you make contact with the Angolan authorities thorough their Embassy in London, but you may wish to contact the Overseas Development Administration, who will be able to advise you on the viability of your project in Angola.
Miss T Ann Herd, Third Secretary (Chancery/Aid)

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Office of the commercial Attache, London 28th 9th 1994

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Office of the commercial Attache, London 28th 9th 1994
It was a pleasure to have received you at our office on 26/9/94.
I found our discussions to be useful and your detailed explanation of the "Oasis Irrigation Project" informative.
I have aranged to send the information you left with me on the project directly to the following;-
Director General
Agriculture and Water Research centre,
Minister of Agriculture and Water,

Once I receive a reply from the research centre I will contact you again.
I remain with kind regards.
M.A.Al-Sheddi Commercial Attache

Embassy of The State Of Kuwait, London 14th May 1994

Embassy of The State Of Kuwait, London 14th May 1994
This is to confirm that The Public Authority of Agriculture and the Kuwait Institute For Scientific Research are considering your OASIS project and would be grateful for a video casset or any other details of your project.
With an open invitation to Kuwait, to discuss your project further.
Thanking You Jasem Al-Mubaraki Counsellor

Institut Mediteranio de l'Eau IME 10th March 94

Institut Mediteranio de l'Eau IME 10th March 94
Thank you very much for the information about your project that you have sent us.
Unfortunately Mr Potie has been away a lot recently on assignments abroad and I haven't been able to get any kind of constructive reply out of him yet.
But I will continue on your behalf, don't worry!.
Sally Pickford

Joshua M Kyle, New York, USA 30th Jan 96

Joshua M Kyle, New York, USA 30th Jan 96
Dear Mr Fletcher,
I recently became entranced with the Sahara Challenge and have been collecting information and ruminating about the possibilities.
I would be very interested to learn more about your work and your thinking on the subject. I would be happy to pay the copying costs and mailing costs of anything you could send me.
Personally, I have come to the decision in my life to sell my interest in my company to my partners and begin a new phase in my life and have been considering some way to devote my efforts in the direction of the Sahara Challenge.
Perhaps it is my training in business that influences be, but I believe that any effort on a grand scale must not depend solely on contributions from individuals or governments, but must be internally economically viable to achieve long term results, at the same time a grand project has a power of charisma which can attract support from numerous directions.
My thinking was that there might be a way to unite reforestation with some of the structured input of volunteers, such as that employed by Earthwatch or training programs such as that used by Outward Bound.
If an economically viable entity focused on reforestation could be conceived and implemented in pilot form, I believe that virtually unlimited capital would be available for expansion.
I look foreword to learn more about your efforts and I enclose my CV for your information.
Joshua M Kyle New York 'Steward: Findhorn Foundation (Fores, Scotland)'.

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office 3/9/96

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office 3/9/96
Thank you for your letters of June and July and I apologise for the delay in reply, as we tried to obtain the list of the participants in the above conference.
Unfortunately the list was not published as the conference was part of an international agricultural exhibition.
At the moment we are not in a position to sponsor you, but I support your idea of promoting wastewater re-use through the Internet and will be very pleased to review your article.
As always I appreciate your enthusiasm and drive in promoting wastewater re-use
I wish you success and hope to meet you in the near future.
Gideon Tzur

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office 21/5/96

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office 21/5/96
Thank you for your letter received in this office April 11, 1996 and excuse the overdue reply.
Your letter touches several issues and I hope that you will be able to solve the major issues obscuring widespread use of effluents, including the contamination of effluents and sludge with heavy metals and other hazardous contaminants.
I greatly appreciate your extensive efforts to open the road to successfully harnessing adequately treated effluents for irrigation in arid and semi-arid regions and as I mentioned before we will be very happy to support Oasis Irrigation in spreading the good values of irrigation with effluents, based on our large experience in the field.
Please find enclosed a paper summarising our wastewater reclamation policy.
Gideon Tzur

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office 21/2/96

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office 21/2/96
Reuse of Domestic Effluents for Irrigation

Thank you for your letter of January 21st, 1996 and the wide coverage of the subject of discussion. Beyond it's clear ecological and environmental benefits, our wastewater reclamation plan is directed to reuse domestic effluents as part of Israel water economy. Domestic effluents are substituting fresh water that in the past was allocated to the irrigated fields and now is used to satisfy the increasing demand for drinking water.
Extremely purified effluents are integrated into the water supply system and used for normal cropping and for all crops without any distinction. An annual quantity of about 220 MCM is used by the Israeli farmers and all the systems are regularly monitored and reported
A report summarising the subject is attached to this letter.
In the following you are welcome to visit Israel and see and video as many tapes as you may want to.
In your letter you mentioned that "It is possible to arrive at the coastline of Africa and The Gulf with Europe's waste water, free of any charge", I wonder if you are refering to treated domestic effluents not contaminated by any sort of hazardous waste.
Thank you again for your interest and do feel free to write again Gideon Tzur Water Commissioner.

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office

State of Israel Water Commissioner Office
Thank you for your letter of October 25, 95 addressed to the Prime Minister of Israel and forwarded to my office by the Israeli Embassy in London.
The letter and the attached material are intriguing and inspiring with regard of the use of sewage sludge and treated waste water for irrigation and as a practical measure against desertification.
We in Israel certainly share your views and we are far beyond a trial and a pilot phase in this matter.
Situated in a semi-arid region on a desert fringe water scarcity is a real threat and therefore 60% of the domestic effluents are already utilised for irrigation throughout the country, providing 220 million cubic metres or fifteen % of the total water used annually for irrigation. One of the major projects conveys about one hundred million cubic metres a year of effluents from the metropolitan area of Tel-Aviv to the barren dry land of the Negev, the Israeli desert.
I wish you a good success in your efforts--in this most important environmental issue and I will be very pleased to assist you with any information related to our vast experience in wastewater re-use.

Gideon Tzur Water Commissioner of Israel

IUCN The World Conservation Union 9/2/95

IUCN The World Conservation Union 9/2/95
I am replying rather belatedly to your letter last year. I was most interested to read of your endeavours in encouraging tree planting on such a wide front. It is good to have enthusiastic people like you promoting the planting of tree seeds and saplings over such a wide area.
You should be very pleased with the extent of your influence. I have passed your notes on to my colleagues.
On the question of funding, while we are a conservation organisation, we are not in a position to provide funding to individuals. Most of our funds come from donor agencies and they are focused on conservation activities with our members and partners, largely in developing countries.
Many thanks for sharing your insights with us.

Dr Donald Gilmour Programme Co-ordinator
Forestry Conservation Programme

OFWAT 29/10/93

OFWAT 29/10/93
I have seen the references to this project in the local press. I would be very grateful to receive information
Sean O'Neill Regional Manager

Plymouth and Torbay Health Authority

Plymouth and Torbay Health Authority
Local office (Paignton) 22/9/93
Thank you for letting me know about your project. Although there is some controversy about the degree of illnesses caused by bathing in contaminated sea water and river water there is no doubt that a substantial burden of ill health is caused by this.
Certainly, if the sewage which is currently discharged into the seas and rivers were to be transported to another country, then the level of contamination of the waters would be reduced and hence the burden of ill health. It is obviously difficult to put a figure on how much this would save the Health Service as quite a lot of illnesses caused by bathing in contaminated water is of a fairly trivial nature.
However inevitably some of it is not and so there must be some saving to the Health Service.

Dr M.R. Kealy. Consultant in Communicable Disease Control

Nick Harvey MP House of Commons 18/10/93

Nick Harvey MP
House of Commons
London SW1 OAA 18/10/93
Thank you for writing to me concerning the Oasis Irrigation project.
It certainly sounds to be a sensible and economically viable idea and I wish you every success with it's promotion.
I would be pleased to be kept in touch with any progress that you make. As I am sure you are aware, The Liberal Democrats have lead the way with their innovative environmental policies during the last twenty years and as a Liberal Democrat MP I am always eager to be kept abreast of any new environmental measures taking place.
I wish you every success with the Oasis Irrigation Project, thank you for telling me about it.
Nick Harvey MP for North Devon

United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office 13/6/94

United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office 13/6/94
Thank you very much for your letter of April 7, 1994
It is encouraging that creative people like yourself are engaged in trying to solve the major environmental problems of our time.
Your proposal is certainly imaginative and has it's merit. However it raises several questions and concerns we want to share with you.
* The Major objective of the proposal is to reclaim deserts and settle populations on the reclaimed areas. While this objective has it's merit in long term when the productive lands have reached their limits in terms of carrying capacity, the short and medium term priority for the countries with arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid lands, particularly in Africa, is to prevent desertification (land degradation). This constitutes the major challenge of the International Convention on Desertification which is being negotiated now in the last session of the International Negotiating Committee on Desertification, in Paris.
* Although very attractive, the proposal poses the question of it' cost-effectiveness and it's replicability.
* There are also cultural issues/sensitivities involved in the transfer of sludge from the industrialised countries to the developing countries.
* From a technical point of view, sludge could certainly be used to build nutrients into the soil. Given the desert conditions, the main issue remains however, the permanent irrigation of planted crops or trees. Can we rely on the water from the sludge? If we are to use deep ground water, often available in deserts the cost of irrigation is so high that it's exploitation is not economically feasible.
* A better alternative might be to transform the sludge into dry fertiliser to be transported to Africa and put to the disposal of farmers at a reasonable cost. "The main problem in the desert is an inherent lack of water. Removing the water makes little sense?"
As you might know, we at UNDP particularly through UNSO, are dealing with desertification in terms of sustainable management of natural resources in the dry lands. We are not considering yet action to reclaim deserts.
I hope that the above reflections will be useful in your on-going efforts to look for viable alternatives for desert reclamation.
Maxine Olson Acting Deputy Director Officer in Charge

ODA Overseas Development Administration

ODA Overseas Development Administration
to Rupert Allason Esq MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
The disposal of sludge in a cost effective environmentally acceptable way is of increasing concern and interest to sewage operators around the world and disposal strategies are under active re-consideration by most of the UK utilities responsible for sewerage and wastewater treatment now that the sea disposal route is no longer an option.
Further ideas for sustainable development in agriculture are always welcome and innovative schemes such as Mr Fletcher's will require increasingly serious study in the future if larger populations in the developing world are to be fed.
The UK water companies have already demonstrated their interest in commercial activities such as transporting fresh water in tankers from the Northumbrian region to Gibraltar. I am sure that they will not wish to neglect any opportunity for economical sludge disposal in the future.
Mr Fletcher may wish to keep up his dialogue with the South West Water managers to ensure that options of developmental benefit are also included in their review of commercial opportunities.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey The minister for the ODA

Silsoe College 25/8/93

Silsoe College 25/8/93
Thank you for your letter and additional information. There is no doubt that sludge management is and will continue to be high on the environmental priority list in the UK. In addition, novel ideas to overcome problems of soil infertility, scarce water resources and low food production in the developing world are to be encouraged.
Your concepts are on the face of it technically feasible. Surely the biggest question mark however is economic viability. If you can show that the complex transport arrangements required are cheaper than the alternatives, than the proposals might have merit. However it is difficult to see imagine that transpoting sludge to Egypt would be cheaper than application to local agricultural/derelict land in the UK.
Water companies will always opt for the cheapest, environmentally sound option.

S F Tyrrel Lecturer in Microbiology and N E Haycock Lecturer in Water Management.

Surfers Against Sewage

Surfers Against Sewage
Here at Surfers Against Sewage we are very excited by your proposed ideas.
In particular it is encouraging to see that you are looking a t sewage sludge as a resource that can provide a benefit to society and the environment if suitably treated.
The disposal of Sewage does not have to pose the risks to public health and the environment that it does at present when dumped at sea.
Your ideas show that alternatives exist that do make sense.
One of S.A.S.'s principle aims is to explore and publicises possible viable alternatives to the disposal of sewage at sea. Therefore we enclose a donation for your continued work and research into the OASIS project.
Christopher Hines. General Secretary.

Surfers Against Sewage 18/8/95
Congratulations on the experiment! Also very good letter to SWW. Do you need help with the rail ticket to The Royal Embassy Of Saudi Arabia. If so let me know!
We also have contacts with the band Oasis who seem to be storming the country this year. I will run your project passed our contacts. It may be something they wish to support.
In the meanwhile best of luck
Chris Hines General Secretary

Jonathon Porrit 23/11/94


Jonathon Porrit 23/11/94
Thank you very much for sending me the materials about 'Oasis Irrigation'.
I did find them most interesting, and congratulate you both on your persistence and vision. I am not able to judge the technical merits of what you are proposing, but it certainly looks a winner from a layman's point of view.
I do wish you all the very best with such an interesting innitiative.

Local 'product' could bring new life to Kuwait desert!

Herald Express 13/1/94
Local 'product' could bring new life to Kuwait desert!
If you have ever wondered where the potholes in South Devon country lanes come from then a Paignton man has the answer-Cow-pats an horse droppings.
And this unusual discovery has led to a plan to purify the pollution caused by the Gulf War.
Andrew Fletcher, well known for his ideas to use sewage to make the desert bloom, noticed that cow-pats and other animal droppings attack the tarmac on our quiet country lanes.
Tarmac is oil based. If manure eats tarmac then it will also eat oil-and the huge problems in Kuwait where Sadam Hussein's destruction of the oil refineries has left a pollution nightmare, could be answered.
The desert is covered in crude oil and there is no way that the Arab country can clear it.
Already the British and Kuwait governments are listening to his ideas seriously.
Support for theory
A letter from John Major has resulted in a meeting with the Department of Trade and Industry officials who now look as if they will start to take his ideas seriously.
Mr Fletcher described this meeting as "long overdue". The Kuwaiti Embassy in London has passed his plan on to it's government.
The idea may well sound crazy but Andrew has support for his theory from Trevor Tanton, of the Institute for Irrigation studies at Southampton University, and from Sean Tyrell, a lecturer in micro-biology at Silsoe College, Bedford.
Both the scientific alumni confirm that sewage would actually "eat" the oil.
"The implications for oil spills on land are enormous," says Andrew. After being a lone voice in the wilderness Andrew Fletcher may just be on the verge of producing one of the most original plans to help save the planet.

Underground water supplies contaminated by oil lakes

Underground water supplies contaminated by oil lakes
Underground water supplies in Kuwait are being contaminated by oil lakes, according to a prominent environmentalist. Dr Fatima Al-Abdali, of the Environmental and Earth Sciences Division of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research said that Kuwait's oil lakes are slowly seeping back into the top soil and now pose a serious threat to underground water reserves.
She said "Experts from KISR, conducting experiments at certain locations in Kuwait have confirmed that oil has been recorded at a depth of two metres into the soil."
Some experts fear this contamination may result in an increase in certain types of cancers over the next fifteen to thirty years.
There are 205 oil lakes in Kuwait, most resulting from the Iraqi invasion. Most of the oil has now been pumped out but the remainder cannot be removed. Another fear is that the dust storms which blow across Kuwait throughout the year will move oily dust particles towards residential areas, posing dangers to health.
Dr Al-Abdali said that oil sediments mixed with dust can be very toxic to humans. She called for more research to check whether there has been a rise in skin diseases and breathing difficulties in Kuwait, since the occupation, because it is too wide and overwhelming", she said "That botanical studies have shown that plants whose roots were blackened by leaking oil can no longer support growth. Other studies show psychological stress affects peoples immune systems suggesting that those who stayed in Kuwait during the occupation may be most affected by health problems. She believes that fish resources have not been endangered.

Poor summer takes toll on SW beaches

Western Morning News 19th 8th 93 by Derek Lean Environment Editor
Poor summer takes toll on SW beaches
More South West beaches this year are failing to reach EC Quality standards because of the wet summer.
National Rivers Authority regoional tidal waters officer Rupert Grantham confirmed yesterday that sampling up to the end of July had shown that 22 of Devon and Cornwall's 134 designated bathing waters had recorded at least two results which had exceeded the bacteriological standards.
"On that basis they amy be deemed by the Department of the Environment and the EC to have failed.
The NRA does not judge compliance," said Mr Grantham.
But he added: There are no surprises in any of the individual sites, and it is not surprising that monitoring this year is showing a higher number of poor samples. It is because very heavy rainfall earlier this summer has caused high loadings of bacteria to be discharged to the sea from inland sources, including storm sewage overflows and agricultural impacts."
But environmental pressure groups insist that the weather can no longer be an excuse for inadequate water quality and say it is time for an effective anti-pollution system.
Lyn Wetenhall, spokeswoman for Exeter Friends of The Earth, said: "It is pathetic to blame the weather. It just shows what a threadbare system of pollution control we have in this county. We still do not take cleaning our environment seriously enough."
Nicola Husband, of Surfers Against Sewage, said: "we have to cater for our climate. Ultraviolet treatment of discharges is the way to go."
Last year 19 bathing waters during the whole of the season-from May to the end of September-failed to comply.
Set against this the South West did have a major improvement in the quality of sewage discharges around the coastline, and the full effects of this programme would be evident in 1996.
EC bathing waters directives also recognise abnormal weather conditions could cause poor quality.
The results of the NRA would provide the DoE and the EC included information relating to heavy rainfall.
It may be, they would judge that some of the samples had not failed. " They do take weather conditions into account," said Mr Grantham.
He said it was true that bacteria died more quickly in sunny weather, but he did not think that was the fundamental reason that we were getting higher number results. With heavy rain storms, sewage overflows were operating more frequently, and there was the effect of agricultural impacts.
"We have programmes in hand to reduce the impacts of both sources," said Mr Grantham.
The mandatory standards are that the number of faecal coliforms should not exceed 2,000 per 100 millilitres of water and the figure for total coliforms is 10,000. Under the rules 95% of samples have to meet those figures.
Said Mr Grantham: " When we have a dry sunny spell such as we have at the moment, we do not expect the storm sewage overflows to be operating. We do not expect such high levels of bacteria to be coming down streams and rivers. The results we have had so far this year have not given us any surprises. They have not identified any problem areas we did not know existed, and we have plans for improvements at all of these sites."

Where there's muck there's money to be had for SWW users

Herald Express 13/1/95
Where there's muck there's money to be had for SWW users
A plan to make the deserts bloom could save South West Water users up to £200 each and every year.
That's the claim of a South Devon man who has spent years researching ways to cure the world of two major problems.
Andrew Fletcher of Paignton has identified a way of curing the relentless spread of deserts by using the increasingly burdensome sewage problem of the industrialised countries of the world.
And in doing so he claims to have found a cheaper way of processing sewage and so cutting pounds from water bills.
The scheme known as Oasis irrigation and firs revealed to the Herald Express last year-plans to transport sewage an waste water form Europe to desert areas by utilising oil takers which currently return without paying loads.
Figures show that London, for instance, already dumps 3.75 million tonnes of sewage in the North Sea every year-but oil tankers deliver 4 million tonnes of crude oil to the capital in the same period.
"Present disposal methods are expensive, unnecessary and damage the environment," said Mr Fletcher.
"My plan would transport sewage,
Paignton man claims paying cure for deserts
presently polluting our coastline to parts of the world needing irrigation."
The project has interested governments in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Morocco. But it's the South West of England where the plan could reap dividends, he says.
Besides the immense savings in water charges, Mr Fletcher claims that his scheme would make South West Water's Clean Sweep Programme redundant over night.
According to his associate, former South West Water engineer Adrian Van Zweden, the EC directive which made Clean Sweep "a Godsend".
"The privatised water industry wants a good return on its investment," he said.
"Because it's profit percentages are controlled by OFWAT the only way to increase it's profit is to increase turnover. The best way to increase turn over is to spend more. With a monopoly this automatically means increased bills. There is no incentive to cut costs."
Oasis is already talking to one other water company from the South East of England which dumps its sewage in the North Sea-a practice which becomes illegal under European Law in 1997.
The company's estimate of disposal costs is £2 per cubic metre. Mr Fletcher estimates that his proposals would cost 42 pence per cubic metre.
And the big bonus is that the deserts can be reclaimed. Currently they are expanding at the rate of 6 million hectares every year---half the size of England.

Andy following in the steps of Marconi

Herald Express
Andy following in the steps of Marconi
There was a time all those years ago, when the world's merchants believed Christopher Columbus to be crazy.
The way to India, they said was to the East, not sailing the uncharted western ocean... He'll fall off the edge of the world, never to return, was the cry.
As the years rolled on, the same sort of things were said of Marconi. "Sound signals cannot possibly be carried on invisible radio waves around the contours of the globe!" Marconi, too was considered mad.
Today, word is that Andy Fletcher (Pictured) is a "fruitcake". It is being said that Mr Fletcher's Oasis project is simply the rambling of a confused dreamer.
You might remember from previous scribblings that Andy's idea is to remove the problem of unwanted sewage and deposit it onto various deserts of the world, thereby rejuvenating those barren wastelands into fertile Oases.
Struggling against the scepticism of those who find it easier to laugh than to listen and learn, Andy has battled on with only his strong belief to sustain his endeavours. He knows that the worlds waste problems will not just go away-indeed they will most likely multiply-therefore. In time, the so-called "experts" will, by necessity, find it expedient to listen to his findings.
Andy has extended his research and projected the economics of the operation to a point where South West Water, Greenpeace and many other International research departments have started to sit up and take notice.
The people of Torbay will have an opportunity to consider the findings and beliefs of this likeable "fruitcake" tomorrow at Paignton's Redcliff Hotel where at 2pm he will explain to the media all they want to know about his ideas for "Operation Oasis".
The general public are invited to join in at 3pm, when he will outline again his plans to transport a problem that won't go away on it's own-and how it can save an average of £200 per customer per annum off their water bills!
Go along and listen-you might just learn something-something that portrays a completely new light on our ever expanding environmental problems.
You might very well come away thinking Andy Fletcher is a "fruitcake" but what have you got to lose?
Remember Columbus and Marconi!!

One man's dream but a benefit to all

Herald Express 15/12 94 Captain Bob Curtis Brixham's Maritime Pilot
One man's dream but a benefit to all
Most of the troubles of the world seem to be caused by man's greed. We tend to reach out grabbing that which we know to be in short supply.....Man is stupid.
Andy Fletcher of Paignton wants to change our basic indiscretions by re-routing the most basic of man's movement.
He has a dream to change the world's deserts into vast Oases, using irrigation from unwanted sewage and unless a government or international consortium somewhere step forward to transform his dreamed of project into acceptable reality, I feel that his deep concern for the future of our planet will turn into a nightmare of frustration.
Along with several others drawn to meet this interesting, friendly man, I attended a gathering in Torquay last week to listen to and comment on the outlined "bones" of his ideas.
... so let's hope high and mighty take it on board
In conjunction with many governments, health organisations, responsible authorities an companies such as South West Water, we must all attend to the universal problem of what is to be done with our own waste material.
Many years ago that exceptional Cornish Politician, the late Mr David Penhaligon, yelled his anger at parliament and accused his honourable friends of adopting a Cornish Farmers' philosophy-"...just 'aive it over the edge, me ansom!"
Andy pointed out to the small collection of people the mounting economical and complex measures that we-that is, all of the civilised nations-have to face NOW, if the earth is to survive.
Someone with power, drive and sharing the same aspirations for the future of this once good, green globe of ours must surely take the Oasis Irrigation Project on board and carry its banners to the parliaments of Europe, demanding that they listen-not only listen but act...before we all find ourselves in the... mire!
For instance, did you know that the city of New York packages two thousand tons of crude human waste, each and every day, and transports it to distant Texas, to be spread across deserted farmland? The worlds gone bonkers!
Of course, there were bound to be those present at the meeting who believe that the "dreamer" is only intent on seeking fame and fortune.
I believe those assumptions to to be quite wrong.
Others concerned that Andy has not protected his ideas from exploitation and it was lovely to here his laughing reply of : "But if someone steals my ideas-great! It will only prove that someone out there has listened and acted on it. More to the point, it will not have been in vain."What a man! The world would develop a darker shade if it lost it's idealists and dreamers such as Mr Fletcher of Paignton.

Action urged over sewage dumping on farmland

Plymouth Evening Herald 7/9/94 from Bob Podmore at Westminster
Action urged over sewage dumping on farmland
A Senior Labour MP has demanded Government action over a legal loophole which allows raw sewage to be dumped on farming land in agricultural areas including the West.
Shadow environment minister George Howarth says the waste-from cesspits and septic tanks-is spread on land without any significant checks.
He warned that there was growing unease among scientists about a risk to health.
In a letter to Environment Secretary John Gummer, the Labour MP blamed water privatisation and the fact that sewage dumping is governed anly by a code of practice.
He complained that privatised companies had put up the price of treatment of raw sewage at their plants and forced contractors to look for a cheaper disposal method.
Mr Howarth said: "Waste contractors are bypassing as a result and paying farmers to spread untreated sewage on their land.
Government agencies have pronounced this method of disposal as perfectly safe. However, there are a number of scientists who are quite properly expressing concern that there are very glaring health risks involved."
The Labour front bencher called on the Secretary of State to take swift and effective action to monitor the potentially hazardous method of disposing un-treated sewage.

Millions at risk in expanding dust bowls

The Independent 13th June 1994 Nicholas Schoon Environmental Correspondent
Millions at risk in expanding dust bowls
THE WORLD is running short of fertile soil. The UN estimates that 900 million people dependent on agriculture in the drylands of the Americas Africa and Asia are at risk-one sixth of the world's population-and says loss of soil fertility represents a greater threat to the poor than global warming or holes in the ozone layer.
This week in Paris, delegates from more than 100 nations hope to conclude negotiations aimed at halting the degradation of croplands and pasture. But as the talks on the International Convention broke up for the weekend, they were bogged down for the usual reason-money. Developing countries were holding out for an increase in foreign aid, which rich countries had no intention of conceding
Bo Kjellen, the Swedish diplomat chairing .the talks for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), believes it will be all sorted out by Thursday, in time for the closing ceremony. Recent negotiations of UN environmental and developmental treaties have seen the Third World forced to accept the harsh reality that they cannot make the wealthy promise money. On the contrary, aid budgets have been in decline due to global recession and new demands from Eastern Europe. But the desertification treaty does not depend on aid to be effective. Its premise is that much of the billions of pounds put into attacking the problem so far have been miss directed and achieved nothing. It calls for changes in the attitudes and conduct of the ruling elite's in developing countries.
Anything can be grown in abundance in the drylands and desert, given enough money, fertiliser, water and technology. Saudi Arabia grows thousands of tonnes of wheat a year. But peasant farmers in arid areas lack those resources. A dearth of fertile soil drives them on to marginal lands, such as steep hillsides, where poor crop yields soon get worse.
The choping down of trees for fuel and over grazing are to blame for thinning out roots and leaves, which protect the soil from wind and water erosion. Irrigation has also damaged soil, leaving the top encrusted with salt, and useless.
UNEP estimates that just under a tenth of the world's land surface is significantly degraded. An area the size of Italy is said to be no longer usable for agriculture and difficult or impossible to restore.
In Sub Saharan Africa, per capita food production fell be nearly 10 per cent between 1986 and 1992.
In the 1970s and 80s the idea that deserts were on the march became fashionable. It was widely reported that the Sahara was moving south at thirty miles a year, with farming and grazing at its margins mainly to blame.
Those alarmist notions are now largely discredited. Satellite images and research have shown that far from there being a one way expansion caused by mankind. Deserts expand and shrink as rainfall changes over the years.
This debate over how much dryland crop failures and shortages are due to natural drought and how much to manmade degradation is a sterile one. From the north east of Brazil to the north west of China and all through Africa's Sahel, the twin causes are extricably linked.
Rainfall and soils need to be conserved from one year to the next, yet population growth and poverty compel peasant farmers to do otherwise. They have to grow as much as they can wherever they can to feed their families, even if they degrade the soil and leave it more vulnerable to erosion.
Camilla Toulmin, an expert on drylands at the London Based International Institute of Environment and Development, has a diagram of the causes of desertification. She lists 24, including, no access to credit, insecure land tenure, and high levels of government debt to industrialised nations.
Can a new treaty do anything to tackle this complex problem? Sceptics point to the last similar UN effort, the 1977 Action Plan to Combat Desertification, now regarded as a failure.
Mr Kejellen says this time the emphasis is on the dryland herders and farmers. Only with the support of
villagers can soils be conserved, droughts resisted and degraded lands brought back into production.
Another belief reflected in the convention is that the solutions that are often low-technology, labour intensive ones which tap into local folk wisdom and long experience of the environment.
Mrs Toulmin, who has advised the treaty's secretariat, says the convention sets out a code of conduct for both developing countries and aid-giving nations. Rights for local people are an important element; if they are in danger of being evicted from their land to make room for civil servants and government supporters, they can never take a long term view on conserving it.
If the forestry department refuses to let them chop down trees they themselves have planted, why should they bother in the first place? Mrs Toulmin says: "Soil and rainfall conservation won't happen unless people feel secure about their rights over their land".

Duchy Sewage could help the desert bloom

Cornish Guardian, 23/9/93 by Sue Doyle
Duchy Sewage could help the desert bloom
Ships that pass in the night could well link Cornwall and the land of the Nile if the vision of one of the campaigners who visited the Surf To Save contest last week is realised.
Mr Andrew Fletcher from Paignton, travelled to the contest to promote "Operation Oasis"-the use of sewage and waste water as a fertiliser in the arid deserts of Egypt. He thinks it should be possible to use the returning super tankers after they have offloaded oil in this country, to transport effluents back again.
Once unshipped in the Near and Far East, whole areas of desert could be sprayed with liquid mulch made from sewage and waste water. The Mixture would bind with the sand grains to create a fertile crust of top soil, where trees and plants could grow to slow down evaporation.
If additional water was needed it could be pumped from underground using methane also derived from the sewage.
Mr Fletcher's occurred to him some years ago, but only recently has he decided to follow it up, following a discussion with an Egyptian Doctor, Dr Awad told him that as only three per cent of the land on either side of the Nile is fertile, the populations there suffer from a paucity of good soil. He urged him to make his plan public.
The Egyptian Embassy in London has responded with interest in the idea.
One persons annual faeces outlet is equivalent to a 25kg sack of EEC 20:10:10: NPK fertiliser.
Despite its potential no ultimate strategy has ever evolved for dealing with it usefully in a widespread way.
Recently South West Water has been encouraging experiments with land reclamation in the baron clay tip areas of Cornwall, by giving treated sewage cake or powdered form to the ECCI horticultural department.
Experiments are underway to see what combination of sewage and infertile soil are best for growing grass and later trees and crops.
These experiments started only last Spring-an indication of how recent an idea this is.
A SWW official explained that all the sewage sludge collected from cesspits in the county is used on farmlands here (on two hundred and fifty farms in all).
He thought that demand far outstripped the ability to supply as only 1/200th of available land is covered. 'Possibly because no one wants the stuff and already have a massive problem dealing with the waste generated by farm animals,'
If there were inland treatment works for sewage from areas such as Newquay, eventual export of effluents would become more likely, but at present there are only limited supplies of "human fertiliser" for land use.
Mr Fletcher's comments that if we continue dumping sewage in the sea, not only will we ruin the marine environment, we will lose a valuable soil compost.
His idea compares with a scheme piloted some years ago in Kinshasa, Zaire, for using grow-bags filled with a mixture of earth and excrement.
Called "The Eco-Lavatory" the bags were used to nurture plants again in arid and infertile regions.
Seeds where sown in holes in the plastic bags, which were sunk into the land.
The bags had the advantage of preventing the spread of contamination and retaining water.
Perhaps the most novel use for sewage is the one sited by Surfers Against Sewage in its Campaign Journal, Pipeline News.
In Japan treated sewage is compacted into paving slabs... insoluble it is hoped in water.

One Man's Dream really could shape our future...

Herald Express 26/8/93 Captain Bob Curtis Brixham's Shipping Pilot
One Man's Dream really could shape our future...
LISTENING with only half an ear (the other was tuned in to the radio) to a phone call from another Paignton Resident during the week, my mind told me-"this chap has escaped from the kind of institution that comforts pilots who have climbed one ladder too many."
He bent my ear for about ten minutes about something he'd dreamed up, called OASIS.
This is a scheme that should make all the "Greens", environmentalists and politicians en masse, sit up and listen avidly, once they've accepted that he really isn't one of life's lunatics.
Because I Couldn't believe what was coming down the line and finding it impossible to hide my scepticism. This friendly "nutter" from Paignton offered in his broad Midlands twang, to come along to the office and explain the full meaning of OASIS.
Mr Andy Fletcher duly arrived and laid siege to my senses with a thirty minute lecture on the problems of sewage and the stupid way in which we the civilised world got rid of its....manure,
Long before I'd started to read the documents he'd laid out in front of me, I was well on the way to agreeing with his barmy logic.
Years ago, well known politician, the late Mr David Penhaligon, rose in the House Of Commons and drew fellow members' attention to his Cornish wit in his references to the vast problems with waste disposal. He steadfastly pleaded with Parliament to "think on" about the future and, if I recall correctly, his words went something like: "Even in Cornwall we have come to terms with the fact that we can't go on forever, 'eaving it over the edge.' And yet all these years later, that's what we're still doing.
Giant sewer
Perhaps not over Mr Penhalgon's 'edge, but out there into the sea, treated and untreated, is there really that much difference? Can we honestly go on treating the sea as a giant sewer? There must surely come a day when that sewer will overflow and where will we be then? Right! Up to our necks in ---- and serves us right!!
Bloody heck, Curtis you're well adrift again, get back on course (less 40 degrees). Sorry"!
OASIS is a plan to gather sewage in bulk---treated or untreated---pump it into tankers and ship it out to the Middle and far East, there to discharge it onto the waste desert of Africa and Arabia.
The simple basic plan is that before sinking into the sandy soil the sun would destroy all the remaining bacteria, and as the cargo contents settle into the desert , it would form a crust beneath the surface and change the dead infertile sand into fertile soil. Creating in fact an Oasis!
Okay so maybe I haven't explained it too scientifically and it might appear that my words are mocking a brave man and his dream of a cleaner world. "NOT TRUE!!"
Mr Fletcher will grin if you say he must be bonkers. He's been down that drain and come up smelling of roses. Already there are some influential citizens out there who are listening to what Andy Fletcher is saying.
Perhaps, now and again it might do us all a power of good to take notice of a certain flavour of "madness" that just might in the end make the world a better.

Sewage exports may help fight Third World Famine

Western Morning News 19/8/93 by Laura Joint
Sewage exports may help fight Third World Famine
A Devon man's idea to end famine in the Third World by exporting sewage to cultivate barren lands has received the backing of the Minister for Overseas Development, Lynda Chalker.
So far OASIS has drawn a blank with South West Water to look into the project, but is hoping that the positive response from Baroness Chalker might spur them into action.
The thirty-six year old former sewage engineer reckons that after ten years of study, he has shown that produce could be grown within three weeks on land in hot, dry countries.
His scheme has already received the active support of the Cornish based Surfers Against Sewage pressure group. And now he has had a letter from Baroness Chalker saying the idea could be viable.
She said: "Further ideas for sustainable development in agriculture are always welcome, and innovative schemes such as Oasis Irrigation will require increasingly serious study in the future if large populations in the developing world are to be fed.
"Mr Fletcher may wish to continue his dialogue with South West Water managers to ensure that options of developmental benefit are also included in their review of commercial opportunities."
SW Water agrees that the idea is innovative.
Oases have a document dating back to the 1970's from the Ministry of Agriculture to the former water board that refers to the dumping of sewage from Exeter at sea in an area five miles off Lyme Bay.
He says that if Large tankers are used then, there is no reason why oil tankers cannot transport sewage waste to the Middle East and Africa.
Shell Oil is already looking at the scheme to see if it is possible and profitable.
"Things are starting to get off the ground now, and Baroness Chalker has suggested in her letter that we get in contact with Northumbria Water, as they apparently have experience in transporting water abroad."
Mr Fletcher has been in touch with the Egyptian consulate in London, Which told him they would be interested in getting the scheme operational.
The idea is that sewage would be spread onto the desert surface so that it can hold water.

Send sewage to deserts says Westcountryman

Western Morning News 10/7/93 by Laura Joint
Send sewage to deserts says Westcountryman
The thorny issue of what to do with South West's sewage, which is causing South West Waters customers a multi-million pound headache may have been solved by a Westcountryman who reckons they should export it the Middle East and Africa to fertilise and irrigate their deserts.
South West Water and the Egyptian consulate in London have both agreed that the ambitious plan could work.
He says, that rather than dump screened sewage sludge into the coastal waters, it should be used to help countries like Egypt to cultivate their desert lands.
These countries are having problems trying to irrigate their arid lands because the water just goes strait through the sand. If they spread the sewage sludge onto the desert surface it would hold the water".
"The other problem with countries out there is that they don't have our collection system. We spend millions and millions of pounds collecting it, so we may as well put it to good use.
"I've thought about this for ten years or so, and I don't understand why it hasn't been done. I wouldn't like to think it was because of economic reasons, because with the world food shortage, the more we increase grassland, the better."

Schemes to save a fragile world

The European 19-22/8/93
Schemes to save a fragile world
entries are pouring in for the Ford European Conservation Awards, reports Birna Helgadottir

Perhaps the most unusual and original entry of all came from an engineer Andrew Fletcher of Devon in England. His Oasis scheme, to export sewage to the Sahara in returning oil tankers, "is a crazy idea-that might just work, say the competition organisers.
The project already has the support of several environmental groups such as Friends of The Earth and is even being looked at by Shell and Japan Oil.
Exporting some of Europe's sewage is vital environmentally. "With our sophisticated waste treatments, billions of gallons of water are not soaking naturally through the earth, but going straight into the sea.
We need to take this liquid to where the Earth most needs it-like the Sahara," says Fletcher.
In this country, sewage is treated with UV light and heat-you'd get that from the Sahara sun."

Pollution problem cure would transform deserts

Herald Express, 4/3/94
Pollution problem cure would transform deserts
'Night Soil' plan to cure world famine
The plan which has been developing over the past years, involves oil tankers returning from Britain to Desert areas, filled with a cargo of sewage mulch from South Devon.
That would be spread on desert areas where it would create a fertile crust and enable the land to be reclaimed.
So far Andy has had interest and support from organisations including the Egyptian Embassy, environmental groups like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Surfers Against Sewage.
Andy has had interest from researchers at institutions like Southampton University,
In his latest research Mr Fletcher claims that one tanker could deliver 300,000 tonnes of water enriched with organic materials and plant nutrients.
And he says that would provide enough water to support 9,000 nomads and their animals for a whole year. Or it could give enough water for sixty four tons of rice, 18 tons of cotton or 25 hectares of grain.

Mulch Idea may enrich deserts

Western Morning News 26/8/94
Mulch Idea may enrich deserts
A Paignton man who has masterminded a pioneering project to cultivate Third World deserts has met officials from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to promote it.
Fletcher said; "It will create a fertile crust on an otherwise barren landscape, which would help crops to grow and increase rainfall levels.
Mr Fletcher's meeting at the Pakistan Embassy was immediately followed by an appointment with the commercial attaché for Saudi Arabia in London.
Mr Fletcher's ideas have since been passed on to the director general of the Agriculture and Water Research centre at Riyadh.
Mr Fletcher said that he was hopeful that they would take the project on board.
"it is still a long way from actually going into fruition."
Mr Fletcher has also set up his own tree planting and reforestation project , "A Pocket Full Of Acorns" Torbay Borough Council has agreed to let him plant two miles of seeds for broadleaf trees, along the verges of Kennals Road, Churston. Mr Fletcher is looking for 30 volunteers to help him.

SWW back bid to ship sewage to the desert!

Herald Express 19/3/94
SWW back bid to ship sewage to the desert!
South West Water have added their support to a South Devon man's pioneering idea which could solve the problems of starvation.
Andy Fletcher of Paignton met up with Bob Baty South West Waters Engineering Director for top talks about his project.
In the past year Mr Fletcher has received support from environmental groups like Friends of The Earth and Surf To Save and interest from governments like Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. He has even travelled to Southern France to explain his idea there.
Fletcher was pleased with the way the meeting went, he said "they were not negative at all, they really encouraged what I am trying to do," he said. It was suggested that he contacted North West water who have a storage facility next to an oil refinery.
A spokesman for South West Water said the meeting was successful and they would monitor Mr Fletcher's work.

Kuwait door ajar for Bay Man's Brainwave

Herald Express 9/5/94
Kuwait door ajar for Bay Man's Brainwave
KUWAITI government officials have invited a Torbay engineer to the Middle East to show them how to make the desert bloom!
Andrew Fletcher reckons he can conjure up rain out of thin air, literally by dumping sewage on the barren sands.
His pioneering Oasis Irrigation Plan involves sending empty oil tankers to The Gulf with billions of tonnes of European sewage and waste water.
He says moisture will rise from the muck no one else wants, and create a "vacuum effect" over the desert as it cools.
Clouds trapped off the Kuwaiti coast by a wall of heat rising from the hot dry sand, will then be sucked inland, causing it to rain.
Mr Fletcher 's invitation comes after he met officials at the Kuwaiti Embassy in London on Wednesday.
Staff from the Scientific and agricultural communities are eager to learn more about his proposals.
"They want me to go to Kuwait and discuss the project with them," Mr Fletcher told the Herald Express.
"It looks like a goer. I'm on cloud nine, although this is just the start."
The idea has already found success on a small scale in countries like Spain and Morocco. These countries have used their own water to create a micro-climate but Kuwait has no river.
"Just one tanker could transport 26 million tons of waste water from Europe every year. "That would sustain a tropical rain forest the size of Brixham in the middle of the desert

Desert Oasis idea probed

Herald Express 25/8/93
Desert Oasis idea probed
South wet Water have been discussing a pioneering project to ship South Devon sewage to cultivate the deserts
The water company has had talks with Paignton's Andy Fletcher who dreamed up the Oasis project.
South West Water representatives showed an interest when Mr Fletcher was at the Surf To Save at Polzeath in Cornwall last month.
Since then they have contacted him about the scheme. Spokesman for the company Stephen Swain said; "they were always wide open for ideas as to how to get rid of sewage mulch.
"in considering many possible options we are obviously interested in any new developments," he said.
They would continue to keep in touch with Mr Fletcher, he added.
Mr Fletcher also has the support of Dr Trevor W Tanton of the Institute For Irrigation Studies at Southampton University.

Sewage-to-soil 'miracle' idea by Bay Pioneer

Herald Express, 21 6 93 by Joe Cole
Sewage-to-soil 'miracle' idea by Bay Pioneer

Pharaoh scheme's dune-right clever!
South Devon sewage could cultivate land in Egypt if a Paignton man's idea becomes reality. Andrew Fletcher, has thought up a radical way of getting rid of our sewage and helping other countries to grow their own food.
And so far his OASIS Irrigation idea has met with an enthusiastic response from South West Water.
There is water underneath desert areas like Egypt, but to put it onto sand is futile, according to Fletcher.
His plan to spray whole areas of land with liquid mulch, made from our own sewage and massive amounts of waste water.
The mixture would bind with the sand grains to create a fertile crust of top soil, where trees and plants could be grown, to slow down evaporation.
Grasses could eventually grow and additional water could then be pumped from under the ground using methane pumps running on gas produced from the digested sewage.
"We have got no use for the sewage at all," he said. "it would mean savings for those who actually pay the water rates, because it will no longer have to have expensive treatment."
He had the idea many years ago, but decided to go public following a meeting with an Egyptian Doctor
Mr Awad told him about the large population and how only three per cent of the land either side of the Nile is fertile and urged him to make his plan public.
Mr Fletcher, who used to work on sewers in the Midlands, has already met an official from South West Water services who was very interested and referred him to the companies project manager. He has also tested the waters with the Egyptian Consulate in London, who also seem keen on the plan.

On Earth Magazine

On Earth magazine
Regenerating the desert (sent to Oasis by post from New York) 30/1/96
The Overseas Agricultural Sewage Irrigated Soils-(OASIS) Project aims to regenerate irrigate and propagate desert areas.
The project echoes the vision of Richard St Barbe Baker, who was interested in fertilizing and irrigating arid areas of North Africa The organisers are hoping to interest the governments of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Ethiopia, in the scheme.
The driving forces behind OASIS are Andrew Fletcher, Adrian Van Zweden, David Perret Green and Adrian Sanders.
OASIS writes:- The Sahara has not always been a desert; there is abundant evidence of Tropical rain forest from fossilized tree trunks and also of men made weapons. In fact most of the worlds deserts were created by deforestation. But now the process is accelerated. Once it took a thousands of years to create deserts, whilst in recent times five years is enough.
It is possible to reverse desertification. Within desert regions there exists a convection system which at present is continually circulating hot dry air.
In the Sahara for example, the sun recycles hot air drawn from the exposed North Coastline, taken to the Equator and returned. The wind system is also circular.
To break this cycle vast amounts of water are needed preferably waste water, at the North Coast. This would reverse the existing cycle by circulating moist, cooling air, rising and falling as rain in the desert and promoting growth from the night dew and a basis for reforestation.
This effect can be seen in several places around the world such as Morocco where desert reclamation and reforestation was begun forty years ago, and to a lesser extent on the Fuengerola coastline in Spain, where new building, in an otherwise arid area together with new water supplies have led to a wetter local micro-climate, as the water was used for small scale cultivation.

Press Cuttings Oasis Irrigation

N C A September 1994
Featured last year was Andrew Fletcher’s brainchild to transport raw-sewage in empty returning oil tankers, to help reclaim desert and arid areas in The Gulf and North Africa. Gathering support for the scheme, The E.U. Commission now have it on file and are studying the implications, and with the U.N. Development Programme acknowledging it—although at present they say they have no plans to reclaim deserts. (Their main concern is sustainable development of natural resources in dry-land areas).
Many Gulf and North African Countries have been approached. The Kuwaiti Government are the most responsive and Andrew is set to visit there later this year to discuss the project in more detail.M.E.P.A the Marine Environmental Protection Agency formed in 1991 for marine vessels is now fully supporting OASIS and using it’s connections to link in the Oil Tankers to the project.