Maddie Akkermans on changing the weather systems in the Middle East through regeneration at scale

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Maddie Akkermans, co-founder of The Weather Makers, joins us to discuss the role of water cycle, aquatic systems, and weather systems in regeneration. 

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THIS EPISODE IS PART OF THE LANDSCAPE TECH SERIES. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT HERE!

What if we can re-green the Sinai desert? What if we can influence the weather patterns in most of the Middle East and the Mediterranean through local water cycle restoration? Why and how do we need to think and act at scale? 

The Weather Makers’ Vision

The Weather Makers’ holistic vision is revolutionary. They believe that the use of water cycles for the full northern part of the Sinai influences the wind pattern. Consequently, the changed wind pattern impacts the weather system of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean. While many are critical of their business model as the consequences of what they want to do is still unknown, many experts believe that this is a promising means to regenerate. 

“We were at that moment already very much assisted by what we call our ‘jedi’. We have a group of scientists, biologists that have spent their whole life creating visions, creating solutions, creating data, and theories at a high level. They are now like 80-year-olds that really assist us and stand with us.” – Maddie Akkermans

Focusing on Aquatic Systems

Restoring our aquatic systems is a win for both the people and the government, especially that aquatic systems regenerate way faster than the land system. The restoration provides livelihood and resources for the people, while the government collects more taxes.

“We should first have our attention on the coastal zone, create more fish stock so that people can eat from it, have livelihood from it, and then move forward.” – Maddie Akkermans

The Role of Technology 

The restoration process involves dredging or deepening the lakes to regenerate life—not only fish and other aquatic animals but also plants or other living things to form a wetland around the water. The results should be visible in three months, and the point of abundance should happen in a span of around 5 years. Technology for monitoring, measurement, and management play a critical role as they dictate the adjustments needed to ensure the success of the dredging project.

“The most important thing is to have the people that are doing their work, have all these different data inputs, so that they can have easy access towards decision making.” – Maddie Akkermans

Regenerative, but also Sustainable

We need more projects that are not only regenerative, but are also sustainable. There are so many organizations willing to invest (e.g. United Nations, World Bank, European Commission, etc.), but there aren’t many projects to invest in. The real sustainable projects are those that don’t need support forever. At this time, what we need to promote regeneration in scale is to look into those companies that generate solutions that can be copy and pasted, which eventually lead to calibrating those (people or companies) with the same interests and goals. 

“We’re talking about creating projects that have a sustainable future in the sense that you need to invest in it, but after a while, the system will keep itself in balance.” – Maddie Akkermans

Other Points Discussed

Koen and Maddie also talked about the following:

  • The political aspects of regenerative projects;
  • There’s still a lot of testing, The Weather Makers need to measure the success of their prototypes and pilots;
  • We should have continuous research about restoring the water cycle;
  • We should not be completely dependent on technology.

To know more about Maddie Akkermans and The Weather Makers, download and listen to this episode. 

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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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