Category: Water Harvesting

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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Returning the Rain to Jordan

Alice has recently had this article published on www.alaraby.co.uk. “The most severe problem we face in Jordan is water scarcity,” says Mohammed Ayesh of the country’s Royal Botanic Gardens. “Most of our other problems stem from that – like food security, economic hardship, or the loss of biodiversity.” Jordan is among the world’s three most water scarce nations, according to a recent UN report, and is situated in one of […]

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Swales in North Texas Take on 2.5 inches of Rain and Perform Perfectly

In this video, Jack Spirko, shows just how effective good Permaculture Earthworks are in capturing 26,000 Gallons of water from a “barn burner of a storm”. This morning we got 3 hours of pouring rain. Then this afternoon we got hit with close to an inch in less than 30 minutes, and it totally filled the swales and overflowed them all. To drive home how passive this water system is, […]

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Understanding Water Part 1: The Theory of Flow

It’ such a key part of our lives – indeed, all of life – that it can be said to be quite literally elementary; but much of the way in which this vital force is being used appears sometimes to lack some understanding of what water is, and how it behaves. A Fragile Resource? Much of current thinking (see for example 1) emphasises the fragility of our access to water […]

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Contour Beds Peru

The ancient Inca also utilised contour patterning in their agriculture. This article will describe the process we took to create kitchen garden contour beds in the Sacred Valley Peru. Contour beds are annual and/or perennial vegetable garden beds that conform to the natural pattern of the landscape. Being on contour means that the paths and beds themselves are level and follow the lay of the land. Not only does this […]

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Drought-Proofing California…not in the news

Digging our well-surveyed swales. I woke up this morning, put on my gum-boots and went out for a walk around our family farm in the rain. This in itself might not seem to be anything special to many folks, yet this was a 2”/5cm rainfall after several intense years of drought here in Southern California. I cannot express how exciting this morning has been for me as I was thinking […]

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Bulldozer Digging Swales

Bulldozer Digging Swales from Midwest Permaculture. The Design We had been invited by a family in Southern Missouri to assist with the design of a 320-acre farm. They want to transition the land into a Permaculture landscape capable of producing a wide range of perennial foods (nuts, vegetables, herbs, fruit, etc.) as well as livestock (beef and goats). Over generations, rain has slowly degraded this sloping landscape with a loss […]

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