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:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Charity warning over raw sewage discharge levels

Discharge from an overflow at Godrevy in Cornwall Sewage discharges from an overflow on to the beach at Godrevy in Cornwall

Related Stories

Thousands more pipes could discharge raw sewage into the sea, rivers and lakes than was previously thought, the Marine Conservation Society has said.
The conservation charity said the usually published figure of 22,000 discharge pipes in England and Wales should actually be about 31,000.
That is because other categories of pipes have the same function, it said.
The Environment Agency said over £8bn has been invested to upgrade the sewage system over the past 20 years.
The MCS also called for overflow pipes to be mapped and managed more closely.
The charity said that overflow pipes which prevent sewage backing up into drains and houses in times of heavy rain are necessary in an emergency. But water companies needed to invest in the sewer network to ensure untreated waste water was only released in urgent cases.
The MCS also called for overflow pipes to be mapped and managed more closely.
Referring to the 22,000 discharge pipes, the charity said the figure only referred to pipes known as combined sewer overflows and emergency overflows.
'Public information' The organisation said it had discovered that four other categories of outflows - for example at pumping stations or waterworks - perform the same function, bringing the total figure to an estimated 31,000.
MCS pollution programme manager Dr Robert Keirle said the society "accepts that combined sewer overflows and emergency overflows are an essential part of a well-managed and maintained sewerage network, if sited, used and monitored appropriately.
"However, MCS insists that they should not be used for routine discharge of excess sewage, as an alternative to increasing the capacity of sewers to cope with a growing population."
Dr Keirle also said more needed to be done to map and monitor the outflows, so the public had more information about where they are, if they are monitored and when and for how long sewage is flowing into the sea.
"Mapping costs relatively little yet it could make the difference between an enjoyable trip to the beach or one that ends up in A&E with ear, nose and throat infections or stomach upsets," he added.
Research from the society also suggested there are outlets around the UK coastline which are discharging sewage more than the permitted 10 times a year, including one in Kent which let out waste for more than 1,000 hours during the bathing season in 2010.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said in addition to the £8bn spent by water companies to upgrade sewer systems and reduce water pollution over the past 20 years, over 98% of beaches had met standards for bathing water quality this year.
He said that the agency had also helped to secure a further £4bn investment by water companies in environmental improvements by 2015.
He added: "The Environment Agency publishes detailed online profiles of every designated bathing water in England and Wales.
"The location of all types of outfall is included in these profiles, along with information on the work being done to improve bathing water quality."

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Letter from Bill Gates Foundation regarding Operation OASIS

Dear Mr Gates

Following your interview on television yesterday regarding the logic in supporting developing countries so that they in turn help to support our own economy is precisely what we have been advocating within the Operation OASIS Project, detailed on the website link below.

This project was designed to prevent further drought in Somalia and Ethiopia following the Feed The World Appeal in the 80's and offers a common sense approach to restore arid coastlines into productive agro-forestry based practices by making use of the existing ballast water practices in the bulk ocean transport chain.

Currently, sea water is transported as ballast and released back into the sea at great financial and environmental cost. This practice is under close scrutiny  by the E.U. and the U.N.  and legislation is placing a heavy compliance burden on shipping, who's only option on the table so far is to install and run expensive sterilization equipment in a bid to prevent the introduction of invasive marine species which have already wreaked havoc on marine and shipping environments, depleting the food chain further.

Oasis offers a land based end use for the treated waste water ballast that can be used safely to grow crops and timber resources along the worlds arid coastlines and in doing so we believe we can stimulate increased annual rainfall in these regions to enable people to return to the land and find valuable employment in providing food and renewable resources.

This act alone will ease the amount of food required to support people in drought stricken areas.

We would welcome an opportunity to discuss Operation OASIS in more detail and thrash out any doubts you may have about this approach.

Best Wishes

Andrew K Fletcher

Info to me
show details 4 Nov 2011 (2 days ago)

Dear Mr. Fletcher,

Thank you for contacting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We appreciate the opportunity to review your request and learn about the mission of Operation OASIS. While we understand how important your work is on behalf of the community you serve, unfortunately, it falls outside of the foundation's giving priorities, and we are unable to provide support.

As you may know, the foundation's work stems from our belief that all people deserve the chance to live healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, we focus on improving people's health and giving them the opportunity to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, we seek to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

For more information about the foundation, including our funding guidelines, recent videos, photo galleries, and a link to the foundation's blog, please visit

We appreciate your commitment to your work and wish you all the best.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Grantee & Public Communications

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Operation OASIS wins Herts Green Award

by FREdome Visionary Trust
Great news. Our carbon cycling project Operation OASIS has won the 2011 Herts Green Award for a communications project.
Our founder Greg Peachey accepted the award on behalf of the FREdome volunteer team at the ceremony at the Hertfordshire Green Exhibition, Knebworth Barns on October 25th.
Greg writes:
Just to let you know, FREdome &
Operation OASIS was a finalist in two categories of the Hertfordshire Green
Awards (Green Project & Green Communications) and we won the Green
Communications category!
Thank you, Suzanne, for writing our successful application! And, of course, thank you Andrew for the
brilliant project!"

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Operation OASIS: Carbon Cycling in the news

by FREdome Visionary Trust
"One thing that is abundantly clear as our forests teeter over the line dividing life and death, our planet’s future teeters with them. We must do whatever we can to protect them....."
A robust defence of the role of forest in climate stabilisation by RP Siegel is published today on Triple Pundit.
Read it to find out why trees are so vitally important to our future and why deforestation must be reversed;
Published on the same day : why biofuels are posing a condundrum in the energy and climate change  debate by Jeremy Woods, Seyed Ali Hosseini and Nilay Shah, published in Chemistry World.
Our Operation OASIS Carbon Cycling project provides a solution to all these dilemmas. Find out more about Operation OASIS , a project supported by Liverpool John Moores University, University of Seville, The Cradle to Cradle Network,  the Energy Institute of UCL et al.
Trees can make it rain!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fredome OASIS Press Release

FREdome visionary TRUST           supporting:                                            
                                                                  Operation oasis
The FREdome Visionary Trust CIC  
Unit 303B  
The Wenta Business Centre
Colne Way
 WD24  7ND
United Kingdom
Phone: 01727 823450
Press Release
Contact: Anna Zachariassen
Phone: 07949 924303
August 22 2011

At the start of World Water Week, Hertfordshire volunteer group submits bid to the European Commission Life Plus programme for 1 million euro funding to promote innovative coastal soil project.
The ‘OASIS MEDia’ project is driven by the FREdome Visionary Trust, a Hertfordshire volunteer group which harnesses ingenuity and goodwill within society to facilitate positive change. This project aims to support countries affected by drought and famine by raising awareness of how desert coastal soil can be transformed into a viable and sustainable habitat for trees and plants.
Long-term, the team hope to facilitate the transportation of billions of tonnes of nutrient rich-treated waste water to desert shores around the world, using the return ballast capacity of Supertankers and other bulk shipping. Currently, empty tankers are filled with seawater on their return journeys which adds significantly to the price of oil, transfers invasive microbes to foreign ecologies and is widely considered to be unsustainable.
As the EU reviews traditional ballast practices, the OASIS project offers a safe alternative, helping to restore arid coastlines, induce rainfall and potentially mitigate the effects of drought and famine. If the bid is successful, it will enable FREdome to work with local communities in Andalucia, Southern Spain to trial the viability of the project and build links with scientific bodies in other countries.
At a local level, residents in Andalucia and East Anglia will be encouraged to nurture saplings in plastic bags of soil in their own gardens, ready to be transplanted to increase rainfall at the arid Spanish coastline and in a line connecting the East Anglian coast to an inland reservoir, as permitted by authorities and under the direction of scientists.

Greg Peachey, Director of the FREdome Visionary Trust, said:
 “This bid is a real opportunity to embrace change and support countries where arid landscapes have a negative impact on local communities. This bid will ensure our proposal is considered at the highest level and I look forward to the Commission’s response.”
The project is supported by a number of eminent partners including Liverpool John Moores University, who have taken on the co-ordinating role, together with the University of Seville, Green Europe and City of Santa Pola, with Cranfield University soil science department as a potential expert sub-contractor.
The OASIS MEDia communications project has been pioneered by scientist and inventor, Andrew K Fletcher. He said:
 “I have been striving to deliver this project for most of my life, to help countries affected by water scarcity and desertification, who are long term sufferers of drought and famine. Thanks to FREdome and all of the other partners that we have pulled together, this funding application is a major step in the right direction and I am delighted that we have secured €500k matched funding from our partners and university backing for our bid.”
Notes to Editors
1          The ‘OASIS MEDia’ Communications project is a keystone to secure global food, fuel, timber and water for future generations and supports the Operation OASIS approach pioneered by Andrew K Fletcher.
2          The European Commission will commence negotiations in November 2011 and announce successful bids in March 2012.
3          For more information about the FREdome Visionary Trust visit
4          For more information about Operation OASIS visit
5          For more information about the European Commission Life Plus programme visit


Radical overhaul of farming could be 'game-changer' for global food security

Radical overhaul of farming could be 'game-changer' for global food security

Public release date: 21-Aug-2011
[ Print | E-mail | Share Share ]

Contact: Michelle Geis
Burness Communications

James Clarke

Joanna Kane-Potaka

Radical overhaul of farming could be 'game-changer' for global food security

New practices could enhance rather than degrade the world's ecosystems, double agricultural production and protect natural systems

This release is available in French.

STOCKHOLM (22 August 2011)—According to the authors of new research released today at the World Water Week in Stockholm, a radical transformation in the way farming and natural systems interact could simultaneously boost food production and protect the environment—two goals that often have been at odds. The authors warn, however, that the world must act quickly if the goal is to save the Earth's main breadbasket areas—where resources are so depleted the situation threatens to decimate global supplies of fresh water and cripple agricultural systems worldwide.

A new analysis resulting from the joined forces of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) outlines the urgent need to rethink current strategies for intensifying agriculture, given that food production already accounts for 70 to 90 percent of withdrawals from available water resources in some areas. The report, An Ecosystem Services Approach to Water and Food Security, finds that in many breadbaskets, including the plains of northern China, India's Punjab and the Western United States, water limits are close to being "reached or breached." Meanwhile, 1.6 billion people already live under conditions of water scarcity, and the report warns that number could soon grow to 2 billion. The current situation in the Horn of Africa is a timely reminder of just how vulnerable to famine some regions are.

"Agriculture is both a major cause and victim of ecosystem degradation," said Eline Boelee of IWMI, the lead scientific editor of the report. "And it is not clear whether we can continue to increase yields with the present practices. Sustainable intensification of agriculture is a priority for future food security, but we need to take a more holistic 'landscape' approach."

Meanwhile, a separate report by IWMI, Wetlands, Agriculture and Poverty Reduction, warns against seeking to protect wetlands by simply excluding agriculture. It argues that policies focused simply on wetland preservation and ignore the potential of 'wetland agriculture' to increase food production and contribute to reducing poverty.

"Blanket prohibitions against cultivation do not always reduce ecosystem destruction and can make things worse," said Matthew McCartney of IWMI, who co-authored the report. "For example, the grassy 'dambo' wetlands of sub-Saharan Africa often provide vital farmland to the rural poor. Banning farming in these areas, however, has exacerbated rather than reduced ecosystem destruction. It has prompted deforestation upstream and led to a shift from farming to grazing in the wetlands themselves so that, overall, there has been a much greater impact on these natural systems. What is needed is a balance: appropriate farming practices that support sustainable food production and protect ecosystems."

New Alliance Between Agriculture and Environment Groups

The two reports seek a new path toward achieving both food security and environmental health. They focus on radically reorienting practices and policies so that farming occurs in 'agroecosystems' that exist as part of the broader landscape, where they help maintain and supplement clean water, clean air and biodiversity.

"We are seeing a growing trend of alliances between traditionally conservationist groups and those concerned with agriculture," said David Molden, Deputy Director General for Research at IWMI. UNEP is the voice of the environment of the United Nations, and IWMI is part of the world's largest consortium of agricultural researchers, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

"For instance," Molden continued, "UNEP has adopted food security as a new strategic concern. And IWMI and its partners in the CGIAR are developing a multi-million dollar research program that will look at water as an integral part of ecosystems to help solve issues of water scarcity, land and environmental degradation. IWMI has also recently become a key partner with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on the topic of the relationship between wetlands and agriculture."

"The various political, research and community alliances now emerging are challenging the notion that we have to choose between food security and ecosystem health by making it clear that you can't have one without the other," he added.

Examples of Successful Integration in the Field

UNEP and IWMI and collaborators have identified multiple opportunities to use trees on dryland farms that will intensify the amount of food produced per hectare of land area while helping to improve the surrounding ecosystem. They note that by integrating trees and hedgerows, farmers can prevent runoff and soil erosion and retain more water for nourishing their crops.

Another example of innovative thinking include better water and soil management in rainfed systems in sub-Saharan Africa, which have demonstrated the ability to reverse land degradation while at the same time increasing crop yields by twofold or threefold.

Overall, the authors say it's time for decision-makers at the international, national and local level to embrace an agroecosystem approach to food production. These changes could include providing more farmers with incentives to adopt improved practices through 'payments for environmental services (PES)'.

One example being explored by the CGIAR's Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) is the potential for benefit sharing in river basin areas of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Upstream users value the water for irrigation and ecotourism and also have a spiritual affiliation with the ecosystem. The hydropower companies need a steady stream to support electrification of the growing urban population downstream. Large-scale farms and agro-industry also need increasing supplies of water.

"More and more agriculture needs to be brought into the 'green economy'," said Alain Vidal of the CPWF. "We need to value farming practices that protect our precious water resources in the same way we are beginning to value forest management that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially because those natural resources support the livelihoods of the most vulnerable."

In the report, An Ecosystem Services Approach to Water and Food Security, experts from UNEP, IWMI and 19 other organizations acknowledge that one major impediment to adopting a more sustainable approach to food production is that it requires a new level of cooperation and coordination among officials and organizations involved in agriculture, environmental issues, water management, forestry, fisheries and wildlife management—individuals and groups who routinely operate in separated, disconnected worlds.

"It is essential that in the future we do things differently. There is a need for a seminal shift in the way modern societies view water and ecosystems and the way we, people, interact with them," said David Molden. "Managing water for food and ecosystems will bring great benefits, but there is no escaping the urgency of this situation. We are heading for disaster if we don't change our practices from business as usual."


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a nonprofit, scientific research organization focusing on the sustainable use of land and water resources in agriculture, to benefit poor people in developing countries. IWMI's mission is "to improve the management of land and water resources for food, livelihoods and the environment." IWMI has its headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and regional offices across Asia and Africa. The Institute works in partnership with developing countries, international and national research institutes, universities and other organizations to develop tools and technologies that contribute to poverty reduction as well as food and livelihood security (

The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) was launched in 2002 as a reform initiative of the CGIAR. The CPWF aims to increase the resilience of social and ecological systems through better water management for food production (crops, fisheries and livestock). The CPWF does this through an innovative research and development approach that brings together a broad range of scientists, development specialists, policymakers and communities to address the challenges of food security, poverty and water scarcity. The CPWF is currently working in six river basins globally: Andes, Ganges, Limpopo, Mekong, Nile and Volta (

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Two poems written for OASIS by R.J. Appleby
I live in Africa where I pray for the rain
My prayers and my dreams are always the same
MY belly is swollen and my family are dead
The pain is unbearable until I get fed
I hope I survive and have a family of my own
and we can eat fresh food from seeds we have sown
I will suffer the pain until my dream comes true
and one day it will because of people like you

Read More

The view from the promenade is a sight to be seen
Fish should be jumping and the sand should be clean
But if you look closely the truth is there
AS fish lay around and their dead eyes stare
The smell of the sea should be salty and" fresh
But today it just smells of rotting birds flesh
We need not look far to see its pollution
Sewage and oil caused this mass execution
How much more will the ocean bare
Of this relentless onslaught and lack of care
All along the beach we are bathing and walking
Yet why don't we here the animals talking
We will never hear if we simply don't listen
Answers are here to make the seas glisten
Please support OASIS each and all nations
For in this vision lies all our salvations.

Author R.J.APPLEBY Sewage and oil and mass execution

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Consume and dump is practised by all life on Earth.

Consume and dump is practised by all life on Earth. 
The only difference with ourselves and other animals is that we frequently consume produce from the soil and return our waste to the ocean either directly or via streams and rivers, and no matter how we try to fool ourselves with elaborate water treatment processes, we simply cannot disguise the fact that our bodily waste and the water we waste in our homes should be returned back to the soil.

Current treatment processes involve either aeration or anaerobic digestion from bacteria and the resulting chemical reactions to destroy most of the harmful pathogens and odours, both of which emit CO2 into the atmosphere. The same can be said for natural composting within the soil, although dry composting does not involve wasting billions of cubic kilometres of highly processed drinking water as a vessel to move our waste from A to B.

When we import grain, fruit, timber etc we are effectively importing all of the water and nutrients used to grow these products and often with dire consequences for the exporting countries as we continually deplete their ground water reserves and plunder humus and nutrients from their fragile soils.

We then sell these countries chemical fertilizers in a bid to address this imbalance and of course make a buck or three from their toils.

End result of this practice is civilisation collapse, as demonstrated by all great past civilisations.

We have even reduced the most intelligent of all species to following our pet dogs around with plastic bags to pick up their poop, which is understandable in our concrete cities but in the open countryside? Better to flick it off the path with a stick perhaps?

What we need to do right now is to add a spoonful of common sense into our habitual one way global environmental suicide pact and begin to address the massive losses of arable land and forestry. Some of these exposed soils have taken thousands of years to develop and a few flash floods along with wind erosion and exposure to the sun can destroy the lands turned over to grass crops within 5-10 years rendering it into unusable desert.

We have one shot at getting this right and to do so we need to close our one way unsustainable trading chains by returning our used water, humus and nutrients back to where the soils are baron to increase the production of the materials we need to sustain our lives. I do not want my grandaughter to watch millions of people around the world eating dirt and perishing in relentless drought and famine as we say in the Great Ethiopian and Somalian Famine. I do not want her to see the winds blow away top soil in great dust clouds, destroying the lives of the people that destroyed the soils. I do not want her to see wars over dwindling water supplies and oceans full of rotting fish from pollution. I do not want her to see wild fires ravaging the last remnants of once great forests and great areas of productive land submerged beneath the rising ocean.

This is why was conceived and should we succeed in demonstrating a pilot this simple, feasible and common sense approach to already in place trading practices can be rolled out on every shore affected by waste water pollution or desertification.

The question is how long will it take to fire up the will and release the modest finances required to turn this dire environmental apocalypse around?

No time left for talking and thinking, the preserved mummies of farmers who ignore the need to manage soil sustainably are in the sands of the Atacama desert. Can we not learn from history?

Andrew K Fletcher

Monday, 13 June 2011

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon We are running out of time!

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon We are running out of time!

Davos, Switzerland, 28 January 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks to the World Economic Forum Session on Redefining Sustainable Development

Ban Ki-moonFor most of the last century, economic growth was fuelled by what seemed to be a certain truth: the abundance of natural resources.
We mined our way to growth. We burned our way to prosperity. We believed in consumption without consequences.
Those days are gone.
In the 21st century, supplies are running short and the global thermostat is running high.  Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete. It has rendered it extremely dangerous. Over time, that model is a recipe for national disaster. It is a global suicide pact.
So what do we do in this current challenging situation?How do we create growth in a resource constrained environment?How do we lift people out of poverty while protecting the planet and ecosystems that support economic growth?How do we regain the balance?All of this requires rethinking.

Here at Davos – this meeting of the mighty and the powerful, represented by some key countries – it may sound strange to speak of revolution.
But that is what we need at this time. We need a revolution. Revolutionary thinking. Revolutionary action. A free market revolution for global sustainability.It is easy to mouth the words “sustainable development”, but to make it happen we have to be prepared to make major changes -- in our lifestyles, our economic models, our social organization, and our political life. 

We have to connect the dots between climate change and what I might call here, WEF – water, energy and food.

I have asked President Halonen of Finland and President Zuma of South Africa to connect those dots as they lead our High Level Panel on Global Sustainability.
I have asked them to take on the tough questions: How we organize ourselves economically?How we manage increasingly scarce resources?Those same questions guide our discussion here. I have asked them to bring us visionary recommendations by the end of December so they can be feed into intergovernmental processes until Rio 2012.

But as we begin, let me highlight the one resource that is scarcest of all: Time.

We are running out of time! Time to tackle climate change. Time to ensure sustainable, climate-resilient green growth. Time to generate a clean energy revolution.The sustainable development agenda is the growth agenda for the 21st century. To get there, we need your participation, your initiative. We need you to step up. Spark innovation. Lead by action.Invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy for those who need them most – your future customers. Expand clean energy access in developing countries – your markets of tomorrow.Join our UN Global Compact, the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. Embed those sustainability principles into your strategies, your operations, your supply chain.To government leaders sitting here and elsewhere around the world, send the right signals to build the green economy.

Together, let us tear down the walls.

The walls between the development agenda and the climate agenda. Between business, government, and civil society. Between global security and global sustainability. It is good business – good politics – and good for society.
In an odd way, what we are really talking about is going back to the future. The ancients saw no division between themselves and the natural world. They understood how to live in harmony with the world around them. It is time to recover that sense of living harmoniously for our economies and our societies.
Not to go back to some imagined past, but to leap confidently into the future with cutting-edge technologies, the best science and entrepreneurship has to offer, to build a safer, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

There is no time to waste.

Thank you very much for your commitment
 Operation OASIS Ticks all of the boxestick_box_green and offers a sound and economically feasible solution

Operation OASIS Has Connected the Dots between Water Energy and Food in a marriage between Shipping, Wastewater and Sustainable Arid Land Management.

We must act now!

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon We are running out of time!

We have to connect the dots between climate change and what I might call here, WEF – water, energy and food.

In1984 Bob Geldof and Midge Ure released Do They Know it's Christmas to generate food aid for the Ethiopian and Somalian Famine, I began to ponder on why there was drought in these areas. Being a habitual lateral thinker I thought at the time that this approach was never going to resolve the causes and that more famine and drought would be on the cards in many countries affected by water scarcity. The first question was of course why had the rains failed and could we interfere with precipitation in these arid areas?

So got to thinking about where the clouds come from and where they were heading. Began by looking at the Hadley cell and how hot dry air circulates from the coast back towards the content interior. It soon became apparent that the interface between the continent and the sea on the arid coastlines of deserts was the obvious place to start. Not having access then to the Internet, research was mostly purchasing books and watching video documentaries, particularly open University Programmes.

I looked into past civilisations to learn of malnutrition, poor soil management and unsustainable grain crops used to fuel the labour that built the impressive monuments and buildings that remain. Civilisations in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, South America, China, and many others all showed the same evidence of malnutrition in skeletal remains.
Today, we have fortunately the Internet at our disposal and we can see images from satellites that show the marks of irrigation channels in many deserts around the world, depicting their attempts at sustaining food production and today we are following the same pattern of poor soil management, with deforestation, desertification and desert encroachment baring witness to this folly.

Most major food producing countries are experiencing devastating crop failure and global food shortages is becoming a very real concern for us. We can see here in the U.K. massive food price increases.

So why is this happening?

When deforestation occurs on a coastline and biodiverse vegetation is removed in favour of growing grass crops to support grain production and grazing. The soil becomes depleted of organic matter. Because grass crops have shallow roots, modest shortfalls in rain cause these surface crops and the surface soil to dry out rapidly, whereas the deeper rooted biodiverse system that was removed would have remained tapped in to underground water reserves, affording surface vegetation shade from the sun and protection from the desiccating effects of wind erosion and flash flood damage by providing the soil with the capacity to absorb and hold on to water. Trees and crops transpire water into the atmosphere and this lowers local atmospheric temperature and increases humidity.

Overgrazing by goats, camels, sheep and cattle and indeed crop pests such as locusts prevents natural regeneration. Irrigation follows in a desperate attempt to address the lack of rainfall and for a time it works and business as usual continues, depleting the underground none-renewable water reserves, which in turn causes the salinity in the soils to increase, and salt water moves in from the ocean as aquifers are drained, which in turn causes crops to fail. The end result is soil slainity which ultimately becomes a salt desert. The Aral Sea is a good example of this unsustainable model.

Once the water table has been lowered, the remaining trees begin to die and the coastal soil becomes sand and stone, which rapidly heats up under the intense radiation from the sun.
The heated air from arid coastlines rises high into the atmosphere and then circulates back towards the continent interior. The air on the ocean side of the coast also rises and circulates back towards the sea causing clouds and mist to roll along the coastline, where it is channelled by prevailing air currents

Now we have in place an effective thermal barrier of heated air, which for centuries has provided migrating birds with a navigable river of air from Europe to Central Africa and the Middle East. And on most arid coastline around the world. Nasa Images illustrate fog banks which are in effect low clouds that are channelled along these coastlines and unable to cross over from the sea to the land. The thermal air from the arid coastlines rises high into the atmosphere buffeting aircraft’s as they cross over it and we call this turbulence. Pilot handbooks state that turbulence can be expected when crossing over dry land but not over vegetated land. Glider pilots use these thermals to sustain their flight. It is not difficult to understand why some areas soon become swamped by flooding while others become desertified when the thermal barrier is taken into account.

The knock on effect in this case means that forests and crops inland from the coastline are starved of water. Forests begin to burn out of control, whether started deliberately or by lightning strikes the result is inevitably. Forest fires in France, Spain, Greece, Australia, South and North America, are in the news with depressing regularity yet a connection between the coast and mainland forest fires has not been considered.
When the River Amazon stops flowing as we have seen in the last 2 years we really do need to start asking why this has happened. We all know that logging and a switch to grass farming is an integral part of the problem but how many of us realise that by moving the forests from the coastline we can inadvertently cause the rainforests to be affected by drought? A quick look to the eastern coast of Brazil on Google Earth shows developments, buildings and grass farming has replaced tropical rainforests along a huge strip of coast. Could this have prevented clouds from crossing over onto the land?

As a child, my brother myself and a few friends had eaten tomatoes that we learned later had grown on an old sewage bed in Oldbury West Midlands. They were the best I had ever eaten. The seeds from which these tomatoes had grown had passed through the bowels of someone who had eaten the fruit from another plant, survived the treatment process and germinated in the best growing medium that nature could provide. Human Manure. We came to no harm although we were a bit concerned at the idea of eating food that had grown in someone else's No2.

In my early teens another introduction to humanure came when a friend was growing vegetables unsurpassed by his rivals. Turned out he had treated and fully composted manure delivered from the same sewage beds to his home and used this on his vegetable garden. The seed was sewn then on how to resolve famine and drought in arid lands, though I didn't realise it at the time.

Intrigued by waste water, I was drawn to become a sewer engineer in the West Midlands, learning about how we process wastewater and how we spend a fortune treating it only to discard the treated effluent and solids. This practice to this day is still apparent along most of Europe's coastlines where raw sewage is frequently discharged into the sea, particularly during heavy rainfall, where combined outfalls bypass the treatment processes, despite £billions in investment.

So we take the most precious of all resources that falls from the sky for free, pay a fortune to make sure it is safe to drink wash our clothes in it, bathe in it and flush it down the toilet. We then pay to clean this sewage and waste water costing a fortune, evident in today’s exorbitant water charges.

Lateral thinking is about taking information and arranging it in a way that makes sense, then applying it to resolve a problem.

So we have on one hand a problem with water scarcity and on the other hand a problem with abundant supply of wasted water, how do we marry them together to resolve both problems?

The answer to this comes from normal shipping ballast practices. Today, as has been the case for bulk shipping for many years, shipping requires a return cargo after delivering it's main cargo and to achieve this they use sea water, which is pumped into separate ballast tanks that demand one third of a super tankers (VlCC's and ULCC's) total capacity. Ballast is required to stabilise these giants of the sea and lower the propeller back into the water. Sea water ballast has for years been involved in introducing invasive marine species and organisms into distant shores, often with devastating consequences for indigenous marine flora and fauna. Not long ago, the main tanks were used for both crude oil and ballast water and this practice required flushing out the heavily contaminated cargo into the sea, which we all remember frequently being washed up on the shores as tar balls and birds covered in oil.

Many tankers and other bulk shipping that rely on sea water ballast are now fitted with expensive sterilization equipment to reduce the risk of introducing non indigenous marine species to coastal waters, though this practice of using sea water ballast is under review for legislation prohibiting it's practice in the future by the E.U. This means of course that a land based system of ballast supply and demand will need to be put in place.

This current ballast practice is an insane waste of valuable resources which inflates the cost of our energy.

Using treated waste water as ballast on the other hand offers an exciting and feasible answer that resolves coastal waste water pollution, provides shipping with a paid return cargo and at the same time enables sustainable reforestation and agroforestry to take place along arid coastlines.

When countries realise the value of anaerobic digestion for treating waste water we will find that our energy requirements from methane gas produced by this process will become more sustainable and that the bi-products from this system will provide much needed nutrients, cleaner effluent and natural fertilisers that will significantly lower our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels.

When shipping realises that their carbon emissions can be offset against newly planted forests and agroforestry the demand to scrap older shipping prematurely will significantly lower oil and gas energy costs. We will see a significant reduction in CO2 levels

When developed countries realise that by importing food products from one country to another they are exporting not only the product but all of the water used to grow that product and that this practice of a one way flow of virtual water and nutrients is unsustainable and is responsible for land degradation and waste water pollution at both ends of the supply chain we will see that in order to guarantee continued global food security this one way trading needs to be closed by returning this water back to lands affected by an inherent lack of rainfall.

By demonstrating Operation OASIS in a pilot project we aim to show how we can breach the coastal thermal barrier and cause it to rain more frequently on productive land that was previously desert.

Following the pilot project, we aim to scale up the operation to include countries like Ethiopia and Somalia to enable local people to grow food and sustain themselves, removing their dependency on food aid while providing food and timber exports to help to resolve global food shortages.

Once the thermal barrier has been moved inland by reforestation and clouds and fog are again moving onto the land, the Hadley Cell depicts that these clouds will move towards the continents interior and in doing so will cross over the deserts. With clouds crossing over the Sahara towards Sub Saharan Regions, we will not only have assisted rains to fall more frequently on the coast but induced rainfall to support desert reclamation on both fronts of the worlds largest desert. And as those clouds cross the desert they will afford shade by screening out the sun and lower temperatures. One pilot project will demonstrate the principles and a hundred thousand projects that follow will pave the way to combating climate change.

Initial applications of waste water will require strict controls from source to applications to make sure food safety protocols and guidelines are followed. Forestry and fruit trees on the other hand offer crops that do not come into contact with newly applied treated wastewater, unlike salad crops etc. Once the local climate has been favourable modified to improve precipitation and fog interception by trees, natural sources of water will enable farming of edible food crops grown in soil. Bacteria, mould, fungi, worms and insects and solar disinfection rapidly transform manure and leaf litter into fertile soil. Desert sand and stone is in effect soil with all of the organic matter removed by wind, sun and rain. Therefore bio-solids from waste water treatment is essential to accelerate the restoration of organic matter in soils. Currently this waste product is either discharged into seas and rivers untreated in many countries, or is treated and then either incinerated, used on farmland or disposed of in landfill sites. You may have already eaten food that has been grown on soil conditioned by someone else’s digestive products. In fact septic tanks are frequently emptied directly onto farmland in many countries.
In Kinshasa, Zaire, plastic sacks were used as grow-bags filled with a mixture of earth, urine 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.

When, countries on both sides of the climate change fence begin to embrace Operation OASIS as a solution to wastewater pollution, water scarcity, energy, food security, timber resources and desertification and this important project is scaled up to it's full potential with land reclamation occurring on all continents affected by deserts and water scarcity we will begin to see stability in nations and peaceful trading relations emerging to form a concerted effort to address climate change. When people go hungry and prices rise the stability of Governments are blamed and overthrown.

The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (30 January 1882 – 12 April 1945) (Letter to all State Governors on a Uniform Soil Conservation Law (26 February 1937) Following the Great American Dust bowl that lasted 8 years resulting in unprecedented losses of once fertile soil.