Last modified July 8, 2007 by Nik

Living Water / Schauberger

some notes from Living Water – Olof Alexandersson. ISBN 0-946551-57-X
Victor Schauberger and the secrets of Natural Energy.


“Victor Schauberger born 30 Jun 1885. Grew up roaming virgin forest around Lake Plockenstein at the foot of the Dreisselberg. A son of water and forest.

Fidus in silvis silentibus – faithful to the quiet forests

“Water was his consuming interest. He set out to discover its laws and characteristics and the connection between its temperature and its motion.
He noticed how water running from a mountain spring was at its greatest density, the so called “anomaly point” of +4ºC, and apparently at its highest quality. Salmon and trout, during spawning, drive themselves towards these sources, and he found the richest and most beautiful vegetation in these spots.

“During this early period as a forest warden, he experienced something that was to influence his understanding of water for the rest of his life. In the company of some old hunters, he had visited a remote district up in the mountains. Here there was a spring that had earlier been covered by a stone hut. This had subsequently been pulled down to expose the spring to light and sun. After a while, the spring had dried up, which surprised those who knew of it, as it had never done so before. Explanations for this were considered and someone suggested rebuilding the stone structure. This was done and after a while the spring returned.
It was now quite clear to Schauberger that water responded to forest and shade, and later he was supplied with much more evidence to support his theory. He began to perceive water as “the earth’s blood”, and guessed that it must be allowed to flow along natural courses, if it is not to be spoiled. An untouched water course is shaped by winding curves and shaded banks covered with trees and bushes, not by accident. “The water wants to flow in this way, and builds up these shaded banks to protect itself from direct sunlight”.

“He also became very interested in the behaviour of trout and salmon in the mountain streams. The large mountain trout could lie motionless for any amount of time in the strongest current. They made the odd movement with fin and tail, but otherwise appeared anchored in the rushing flow. If alarmed, on the other hand, they darted at lightening speed against the current instead of allowing themselves to be carried downstream by it, which would seem to be more natural.

“The changes after deforestation were first noticeable a long the water courses. Schauberger had earlier studied springs and streams in detail and had seen how they never tried up, how the stream channels were covered with moss which was not torn away even when this stream was in spate. He had also noticed how the water weeds could be pointing upstream, a phenomenon he understood to be associated with the water’s energy. the more strongly these weed ” tails ” pointed upstream , the better the temperature and flow characteristics of the watercourse . Such streams never destroyed their beds, or overflowed , even during heavy downpours.

All this changed when the forest was cut down. The streams reacted first. They became ” wild “. Weed and riverbed vegetation was uprooted and carried away. The water could no longer keep its channel ” clean “but instead deposited gravel and sludge that filled up the watercourse and caused it to overflow. The water than attacked its own channels, eroding and breaking out of its banks and endangering surrounding areas, especially after heavy rain or thaw . Then the springs began to dry up . The water level sank over extended areas around a deforested region. finally the stream completely disappeared – except after a sudden torrential downpour when it could become a raging torrent , threatening both buildings and their inhabitants. Gradually the whole hinterland around such a denuded area dried out.//

“A water course should never be regulated from its banks, but instead from within, from the flowing content itself”

In a properly regulated river , a capillary type action is formed purely mechanically through which the turbulent parts of the water spread outwards towards both banks and there divide into smaller masses; in the process they grind and crush what material is being transported, while the main part of the stream flows along relatively undisturbed, the different layers of water within it internally charged with energy enabling it to carry the rough solid matter.

The flow of the main mass of water has the effect of selecting its load so that the course matter begins to drop away and is gradually drawn to the sides where the water is more turbulent, and where the mechanical process of breaking up into smaller fragments takes place. The lighter sand particles found in the main stream are unable to remain there because of their lows specific weight and got quickly forced to the sides. Through this simple action the main axis of the water flow is prevented from silting up . What is quite clear is that a healthy river expands laterally and builds its own banks. Moreover the plants would thrives on the banks and protect the mother of all-water.

“The Full and the Half Cycle

According to Schauberger, the water’s cycle from the earth to the atmosphere and back again is either completed as a full cycle , or remains a half cycle. The full cycle can only take place where there is appropriate vegetation cover to allow the rain to penetrate deeply, and it will in turn encourage natural vegetation and conditions of water run off. In the full cycle, when water falls to earth as precipitation, it drains through the soil, sinking deeper and deeper through the rapid cooling, until it reaches a level where the weight of the water mass above equals the pressure of the deeply drained water; the latter, warmed by the Earth’s heat, and as it’s specific weight falls, wants to rise. During heating the water is able to attract and bind metals and salts. In fact, the water has been partially converted to steam during heating, and comes into contact with carbon beneath the earth, causing the reaction C+H20->CO+H2; that means that the oxygen in the water separates from the hydrogen, and then the damp hydrogen gas forces its way towards the Earth’s surface with tremendous pressure. Thus carbon dioxide is released from the deeper drainage basins. At the same time surrounding salts are dissolved and carried away with the gas to be deposited again in layers near the surface, which is kept cool by the “refrigeration” effect of the vegetation. This is how a constant supply of nutrition is made available for vegetation, and deposited at root level.
In the half cycle, on the other hand, no such nutritional flow occurs. If the surface area has little or no vegetation cover, as for example after timber cutting, it becomes warmed up by the sun. If the ground is warmer than the precipitation the moisture is prevented from penetrating the soil.
As the water sinks just below the surface, it rapidly warms up and runs off, without having been able to bring up any of the nutritional salts. It evaporates much more quickly.
The cycle also governs the formation of subsoil water, and its relative level. Where only half that cycle is completed there is no subsoil water, or rather, it is at great depth, having been dependent on the vegetation’s cooling action of the soil. If, for example, there was a dry period in a normal landscape, the evaporation rates of the trees would increase, meaning that warmth was taken away from the root areas, which cools down towards 4oC. Here Archimedes’ principle comes into play as lower layers of less dense warmer water can never lie below colder water, which has a higher specific gravity. In other words, the subsoil water level rises towards the surface and offsets the threatened drying out of the root area. If there is no vegetation then no such rise in water level can take place.
In this presentation of water’s temperature changes throughout it’s cycle, Schauberger provides an interesting explanation of the continuous nutrition supply to the growth zones within the natural landforms, and also an explanation of the exhaustion of the soil that takes place when natural forests and healthy water conditions are destroyed….
Following forest clearance the water level drops, interrupting the otherwise continuous transport of nutrients from underground. It may be clearer now why modern forestry techniques require the artificial fertilizing of their commercial forests, as the normal nutritional build up that nature normally provides can no longer take place.
Schauberger did not approve of pumped subsurface water as drinking water. This water forced artificially from the depths was “immature” – it had not yet passed through the whole of its natural cycle, and therefore in the long term would be injurious to man, animals and even plants. Only the water that runs out from the soil by itself in the form of springs and streams is suitable as drinking water.
The tapping of the Earth’s subsoil water resources contains, according to Schauberger, a double risk; these reserves of “immature” water are used up, and also this water acts in a negative way upon all living biological processes. Instead of imparting energy to the drinker, it takes energy for itself from the organism.

follow up water refs:
Max-Planck-Institut. Gottingen. W. Germany
Pythagoras-Kepler-Schule. Lauffen. Austria
Flow Design Research Institute. Emerson College (Steiner’s biodynamics). Sussex. UK
Geothean Science Foundation. Sussex. UK
Nettlestone Laboratory. Herts. UK
Institutet for Ekologisk Teknik. Umea. Sweden