“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days I thought would never end.” - James Taylor
Finally El Nino is getting some cojones and the drought is breaking a little. We are still not having the rains we need to fill the reservoirs, but at least the trees are getting some water, and the springs in the Pass are up. It’s time to watch the flow and prevent erosion as much as possible with sandbags, wattles, and jute netting.
In the Trout Club my friend and neighbor Art Ludwig is taking it to the next level. He has devised an ingenious system of rainwater catchment that he calls “run-on” as opposed to runoff. The days of diverting water to concrete channels and pavement are now seen as a wasteful drain on precious rainfall.
He has made a series of stone terraces on his property with a diversion that takes all the water from his neighbors roofs above him, and all the water streaming down the road, and directs thousands upon thousands of gallons of rainwater onto his land. Additionally, he built a ferro-cement cistern that collects all the water flowing down the roof of his house and saves it for irrigation and fire safety.
The old way of dealing with runoff is to get it off the property and into the ocean as quickly as possible. To this end all of our front country creeks have been channelized through town and all the water running off of the roads is directed to storm drains with the same purpose. The result is that the ground water and underground aquifers do not benefit from the essential nurturing water. This is now seen as a mistake and storm protection includes pervious materials such as gabions, which are made from rocks and strong wire in modular blocks which allow for water percolation.
In the recent rains the huge volume of water flowing down the streets and into the ocean could be directed with thousands of small diversions, berms, and swales, to collect and use the wasted water.
Take a look at your place and see if there is a way you could benefit from this concept.
For more information go to Art’s website
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