Category: Water Harvesting

Win-Win Situation. Retrofitting Farm Dams to Increase Freeboard and Increase Wildlife Habitat and Productive Edge

The first thing I look for in a dam retrofit other than the spillway, is the freeboard. The freeboard is the height of the dam wall above the spillway. The freeboards presence is critical to the safety of the dam.  After looking at the spillway and the freeboard, I would look at the batters of the dam wall bot. inside and outside.  What degree slope are they?  Can you build […]

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Texas Food Forest and the Results of Good Design.

Five years ago we moved to our current property in North Texas.  While the general area is not particularly challenging, the property itself was.  The three acre property has anywhere from 11 inches (28cm) to as little as 3 inches (7.6cm) of soil, sitting atop a limestone slab.  Note: not rocks but solid slab. An insane place to build a permaculture property but we set to making it happen. In our […]

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Water Saving Irrigation Practices

Saving water in the soil is without a doubt the easiest and most effective way to manage the water flowing through your land. If you need extra irrigation, however, the water stored up in your soil isn´t easy to access. For irrigation needs, you´ll want to use water that you store in cisterns or tanks. This water can be harvested either from the sky in the form of rain or […]

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Reducing Resource Use (Energy and Water) in Industrialised Farms

Resources such as energy and water are consumed directly and indirectly throughout the supply chain of products emancipating from industrialised farms. The indirect use of resources in this context refers to the resources that are used for operations carried out by a third party on behalf of an industrialised farm as well as those resources used to fuel activities or processes that are linked indirectly to them. The indirect use […]

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Turn Your Sink and Shower Water into an Abundant Oasis

Chances are that you have probably heard of the importance of conserving water. Dozens of governmental and non-governmental organizations have orchestrated campaigns trying to convince the average person to reduce the amount of water that they use. From high-efficiency laundry machines to shower heads that are in line with the current national energy policy act standard, most advocacy for conserving household water use focuses on having us use less water. […]

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Rainwater Catchment Systems

Of the many problems that our civilization faces, one of the most worrying problems is water scarcity. Without a safe and abundant supply of fresh, potable water, our species is vulnerable to many crises. Our current industrial society depends almost exclusively on groundwater sources for our water needs, while many of those sources of water are slowly being depleted, contaminated, and require more energy to access. The rain that falls […]

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Researchers Can Make Water Out of Thin Air with New Technology

A new prototype developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may provide the technology to harness the power of the sun to pull water out of the air – allowing households around the world to gain access to safe, clean water. Worldwide, an estimated 4 billion people are currently facing serious water shortages, and as many as 1 in 10 people […]

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Water-Farming Part 2: Practical Ways to Harvest Your Sky-Fruits

In Part 1 of this article (1), I went over the importance of incorporating water and water flow into any design you make, as well as sharing some ideas about how, if we want to encourage using water in a way which is beneficial for ourselves and our environment, we need to also reconsider how we relate to this element  (for more ideas about this see 2). The easiest and […]

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Building Ponds & Talking Liners

We all know that harvesting and storing rainwater is a huge part of designing a garden, and while swales are super functional and a fantastic way to hydrate a landscape, I—like many others—dream of an area replete with ponds. I want those permanent water features to attract wildlife, to swim in, and to use for irrigation if and when that’s necessary. Consequently, in daydreaming of some day soon owning a […]

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Evolutions on Mr. Phiri’s Water-Harvesting Plantation, 1995–2016

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to return to Zimbabwe and to the farm of some of my prime water-harvesting mentors, Mr. Zephaniah Phiri Maseko and his family. While in the region, I also visited the farms of many other innovative farmers who are enhancing their soils’ hydrology and fertility by cooperating with natural systems. In this blog entry, and some to follow, I will share some of the […]

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How Does a First Flush System Work?

What is a first flush system? It’s a system where you flush the first dirty rainwater after it rains. This is to eliminate or reduce the contaminants present in your rainwater harvesting system. When you harvest rainwater for future use, you have to make sure that it’s clean enough. If it’s not, the debris and contaminants might clog the pipes and the spouts. With a first flush system though, you […]

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Groundwater Re-charging

It’s a rainy Monsoon day. Today, it’s water, water everywhere, but soon there will not be a drop to drink. Think forward to April & May. Dry times ahead. And for some, water problems could come as early as February & March. Every monsoon, Goa receives around 3000mm of Monsoon rainwater. That’s a lot. In fact, it’s plenty, and more. So why are we faced with dwindling water tables, empty […]

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