Due to corona this years edition of Oerol Festival on Terschelling Island in the Netherlands is rescheduled into an imaginairy island festival. Studio Makkink & Bey and Studio Corvers will stay on Terschelling for 5 days and present Radio Watertoren (water tower), a podcast about water on Terschelling.
Where does drinking water on an island in the middle of the salty Wadden Sea come from? Who ensures that the soil does not salinize? How does Terschelling deal with increasingly longer dry periods? Water is increasingly “under pressure” as a result of climate change: flooding, drought, heat stress, shortage of clean drinking water. This presents new challenges, also for Terschelling.
Radio Watertoren is a search for the answers and starts daily from Monday 15th to Friday 19th of June at the foot of the water tower in the Hoornse Bos on Terschelling. We talk to water experts and users. It will be an estaffette, one story leading to another. This creates a series of water stories that offer a new perspective on this everyday good.
First episode | Water under pressure
In this first episode we speak with Remi Hougee from Staatsbosbeheer. He talks about the history of the woods and the role of water on the island. His story on the quality of the wood of Terschellinger forests was our reason to find the man who works with Terschellinger wood – Pieter de Jong. He tells his story on drying wood and making furniture that tell the history of the tree. Jan Elkhuizen of Terschellinger Cranberry talks about the oppposite – how the cranberry plants flourish on the abundance of water in the wetlands of the dune valleys in autumn and winter.
Episode two | The under water mountain
Today we meet Nienke Hamstra of Waterskip Fryslan. She tells us about the large sweet water bubble under the island that floats on the the salt water. The under water mountain is as big as the island itself and the only source of water on the island. She tells us about the dykes and the importance of sheep, their feet settle the soil making the grass thicker. This brings us to Bentum Bierema of Puur Terschelling, who owns the sheep. He tells about the mother sheep and their wool. The Terschelling poet Ina Schroder Zeegers recites her work. Listen to all stories by clicking below.
Episode three | Who owns the water
What an interesting day. We learn about the drinking water of Terschelling and who owns it. Hessel Rozenga of Vitens shares his knowledge on water winning, how much water we use daily (125 liter per person per day!), the color of water, oxygen in water and the ‘wadleiding’, the steel pipe that comes from the mainland to supply 2/3 of the water needs of the island. He also tells us about the role of the water tower – the namegiver of our podcast – in the old days, before pumps took over. Our next stop is an interview with Bernd from the local fire department. Where is the water for extuingishing a fire? The episode ends with a poem from Ina Schroder Zeegers, Terschelling’s poet.
Episode four | The journey of rest and rain water
What happens to the water that end up in the sewer? The water we use to flush the toilet, to wash the dishes, to do the laundry. All sewer water from Terschelling ends at Jacqueline of Waterskip Fryslan. She runs the water purification plant on Terschelling. She shows us the whole process, from the mash coming in to clean water leaving to sea. How interesting: the residue water would be of a much better quality if the rain water would not end up in the sewers. This story brings us to Jaap de Jong, a Terschelling inhabitant who collects rainwater in a huge tank in his garden in order to flush his toilet and do the laundry.
Episode five | From sweet to salty water