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How to catch and distribute water on flat, urban property?  RSS feed

 
Ivan Mayes
Posts: 13
Location: Fayetteville, AR
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Hey Aranya!

+1 for Claire's comment, I'd love to see more information that is applicable in southeastern climates. I am in a fairly flat area and trying to work out how to best catch and distribute water into my urban permaculture area, any tips?
 
Aranya
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Posts: 42
Location: Seaton, Devon, England
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Hi Ivan,

First of all see my reply to Claire:
http://www.permies.com/t/17489/permaculture/Any-tips-hot-humid-damp#150669

As for water, it behaves very well in always traveling at right angle to contour - very convenient in that we can map these out using simple surveying tools like an A-frame or Bunyip water level (I prefer to use the latter). Being on a fairly flat landscape rainwater should move slowly enough to soak in to the soil, which is the best place to store it and where nature favours (anything that percolates into the soil helps to recharge the aquifers). If you have well-structured soil it should receive it easily and if you know where any surplus is headed you can either make a surface storage or arrange for excess to be drained elsewhere. Brad Lancaster has written some great books on water harvesting, though he might not receive the kind of tropical downpours that hurricanes bring.

Hopefully roof catchment where possible is a no-brainer. Grey water reuse can support garden plants too in dry periods, you just need to make sure you let hot water cool, filter it and also be careful of the kinds of soaps and cleaning products you use.

So build your soil (adding organic matter is always the easiest way) and if you have times of water shortage, use some of Brad's techniques like planting in pits, to make sure that when you do get rain it goes to your preferred plants first.

My favourite book on soil by the way is 'Teaming with Microbes' - fantastic! But make sure you get the revised edition with the two extra chapters.
 
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