Planting water in the Andes
[EN] Ancestral water conservation techniques in the andean highlands of Lima, in Peru, were put in practice to deal with climate change and the hydrological crisis. At more than 3,000 meters above sea level, the peasant community of San Pedro de Casta implements this knowledge to guarantee the future of its community and its territory. Inspired by the myths about their territory and the desire to preserve it, double digital exposure tries to condense their knowledge that attached them to their land.
The comuneros dedicate themselves to “planting and harvesting water”, activities that consist of implementing and distributing aquifer systems that capture water in the subsoil when the rains come. Through the construction of “amunas”, a quechua word that means to retain, they obtain water for agriculture and cattle raising.
This is an on-going project that questions how people are focused on maintaining their relationship with their territory in a climate change context.

“Our ancestors mastered these techniques to take care of the water. Now it is more important to recover these traditions to guarantee the harvests”, says Ediliza Calixtro Salinas as she looks at the town of San Pedro de Casta from above.

The decrease of the water volume coming from the heights makes some water channels remain dry during the summer.
The decrease of the water volume coming from the heights makes some water channels remain dry during the summer.
The women of the peasant community wear flowers on their hats, a symbolic link with the land.
The women of the peasant community wear flowers on their hats, a symbolic link with the land.

They say there was a time when the gods of the mountains communicated to each other with thunders before the rain comes. Sometimes the ancient community members still hear them. 

Tarcila Callupe and Jovita Bautista rest with their work tools. The ancestral system of planting and harvesting water requires continuous care in which everyone participates equally.
Tarcila Callupe and Jovita Bautista rest with their work tools. The ancestral system of planting and harvesting water requires continuous care in which everyone participates equally.
Members of the San Pedro de Casta peasant community go to town after a day's work. The season in which there are no rains is adequate to carry out maintenance work on the water channels.
Members of the San Pedro de Casta peasant community go to town after a day's work. The season in which there are no rains is adequate to carry out maintenance work on the water channels.
In august 2021, the community built the “cocha” Marcahuasi at 4,000 meters above sea level to use it as a water storage during the dry season. The rock and clay construction will allow the use of rainwater for agriculture.
In august 2021, the community built the “cocha” Marcahuasi at 4,000 meters above sea level to use it as a water storage during the dry season. The rock and clay construction will allow the use of rainwater for agriculture.
Gregorio Ríos, comunero and pioneer in the application of ancestral techniques for water care in San Pedro de Casta, has dedicated most of his life to master the capture of rainwater for infiltration into the subsoil. “Water is life and it has been abandoned", he says.
Gregorio Ríos, comunero and pioneer in the application of ancestral techniques for water care in San Pedro de Casta, has dedicated most of his life to master the capture of rainwater for infiltration into the subsoil. “Water is life and it has been abandoned", he says.

Ediliza Calixtro Salinas collects the last corn crop. Much of the stored water is used for agriculture. In San Pedro de Casta broad beans, Andean tubers and some fruits such as avocado and custard apple are also harvested.

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