• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Rainwater catchment in desert question..  RSS feed

 
Eli Boyd
Posts: 16
Location: Taos, NM
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well I've ended up with land in a very dry climate(@8 inches rain per year).
I've come across this indigenous technique called kunds:

www.rainwaterharvesting.org/methods/traditional/kunds.htm

I think this is an interesting idea for using the ground to catch water.
I want to build domes and vaults with the earth, and they aren't particularly good at catching rain so this makes a lot of sense to me.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this sort of thing.

Also, has anyone heard of using flat stones(which are abundant on the land) as sort of 'ground shingles' that overlap and slope down grade?

Any thoughts would be helpful, thanks.

 
                              
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was a boyscout we used to build water catchment structures in the desert for wildlife.  Basically, you had a concrete bowl dug into the ground with a dome on top.  The opening was usually placed on the north side and that is where the water entered also via a culvert.  Placement of the culvert was along a natural seasonal water path.

Not sure how large of a property you are dealing with.  If you have some land, then I'd look into using something like this to feed a large cistern:

http://www.bosstanks.com/wwckit.htm

I have a smaller residential area to work with here in Vegas.  I am planning to use the roof to catch water and divert it into rain barrels.  I'd also like to install a cistern like this to fill with rain water and grey water:

http://www.watertanks.com/category/115/
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
181
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's probably best not to mix your nice clean rain water with grey water, because if grey water is stored in a tank it turns into black water. 

Reference:  http://oasisdesign.net/greywater/index.htm
 
                              
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That would be yucky

I see I have misused the word grey water or would runoff also be considered grey water?  Or would it depend on what it is contacting as it runs off perhaps?

Either way I better do some more reading
 
Eli Boyd
Posts: 16
Location: Taos, NM
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I may end up with 55 gallon barrels so my thinking is to create a ground catchment area(say 1000 feet), and divert that into a temporary small container(or even a hole), and when the heavy monsoon rain comes, pump that into my barrels..(or larger tank when I can afford one)
If I can divert the rain from a 1000 square foot area, I could capture @620 gallons per inch of rain..
If I could store it, a year's worth of rain should produce around 4000 gallons.. That should be enough for a small garden anyway..

But I'll start with survival and work my way up from there. Might be awhile before I can handle growing most of my own food in this desert..

And I would filter it through a bio-sand/charcoal filter before drinking..
 
Lee Einer
Posts: 169
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mother Nature has worked out strategies.

Much of the life in a desert is in and around bosques, where mesquite and other arid-acclimated trees and shrubs protect moisture in the soil from wind and sun.

Creating canopy in this way can help store moisture in the soil. As can adding sub-surface organic matter for water storage. Doesn't have to be a log-based hugelkultur, burying junk mail and old phone books near plantings can help.

As can using slope to concentrate runoff, and using gravel mulches to further protect soil moisture, harvest organic matter and dew.

 
We find this kind of rampant individuality very disturbing. But not this tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!