Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Gabions, Land, Material, Roads, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Alex McCausland March 1, 2013
We previously published a report on the development of our site’s flood control and defense infrastructure in October 2010. This is an update on that which goes on to describe some of our plans for developing that infrastructure more in the future.
Just to recap on the basics of our situation: in times of rain, the run-off from the western part of Karat Konso Town (South Ethiopia) runs down the side of the road which heads uphill to the south of our site. This flash flood creates a temporary stream which impacts the south eastern corner of the site. The flash floods can be pretty intense.
Western town watershed, running past SE corner of SFEL site
Conservation, DVDs/Books, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Material, Natural Swimming, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Terraces, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel July 14, 2011
The volume reviewed below comes highly recommended for all Permaculturists working in or around any water channels, and particularly on the broad-acre. While the methods happen to apply most immediately in drylands, they will apply directly anywhere that erosion, down-cutting, rapid gully formation, and other forms of channel incision occur. Keep in mind that these techniques will also apply in ephemeral channels that only carry water during rare rain storms, and are otherwise ‘dry.’
Importantly, even if you are working more within mesic environments and do not see a lot of actively incising channels, just the knowledge you will gain about stream dynamics and working with various stream powers and flood-regimes will be applicable and invaluable to your work. These factors, such as the ‘bankfull’ flood, and the specific inter-relations and ratios of multiple stream variables remain the same as basic physics of water flow no matter what the environment. These physics will dictate exactly where and where not to place any kind of built structure within an active water channel, and enable you to predict results of your efforts with much greater precision. How many of us doing this kind of work have lost stream structures to a “gully-washer”? The knowledge and approach in this book could have saved many a headache, cash outlay, and enabled construction of more durable, persistent, and ultimately useful work.
Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Rehabilitation, Roads, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Steve Grace May 12, 2011
The sun works on an 11 year cycle over which it radiates heat at varying levels upon the earth. The cycle is observed by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the sun. Currently we are at a peak of the cycle whereby the sun is radiating a maximum amount of heat and energy. This means increased evaporation off the oceans’ waters and therefore increased precipitation over our lands. When the sun moves towards its less generative stage of the cycle, less evaporation occurs, which means less precipitation and impending dry conditions.
And so the rains have come down upon Zaytuna farm — 111mm in 5 days. The dams are full to the freeboard, the swales are soaking in the sediment, the spillways are spilling, the swivel pipes are swivelling, the soil is having a regeneration party, and the plants are just hangin’ out doing their thing.
And the earthworks have been stopped in their tracks….Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Roads, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Terraces, Water Harvesting — by Alex McCausland October 8, 2010
One of the biggest challenges of doing Permaculture in a semi-arid place like Konso is the drought-flood hydrology besets in degraded dry-lands. The whole of south Ethiopia has now been so deforested, added to the fact that the global climate is getting completely messed up, that rainfall is now completely unpredictable. The old folks are always talking about it here – “you can’t tell when it will rain any-more, it’s not like the old days….” That makes planning plantings much harder for one thing. The other thing is that when it does rain, it pours.
Our site at Strawberry Fields is placed (purposefully) at the bottom of a watershed and at the junction of this watershed and a larger watershed which carries run-off down the main road from the town.
Rough Topographic sketch of the site at SFEL. Shows approximate
positions of the 3 ridges (R1,R2, R3 and 3 primary gulleys G1, G2 and G3
as well as the Main Gulley on as well as the 2 main flows of run-off
effecting the site.
Land, Roads, Society, Urban Projects — by Earth Policy Institute May 28, 2010
Rush hour in Utrecht, Holland
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
As I was being driven through Tel Aviv from my hotel to a conference center in 1998, I could not help but note the overwhelming presence of cars and parking lots. It was obvious that Tel Aviv, expanding from a small settlement a half-century ago to a city of some 3 million today, had evolved during the automobile era. It occurred to me that the ratio of parks to parking lots may be the best indicator of the livability of a city—an indication of whether the city is designed for people or for cars.
Tel Aviv is not the world’s only fast-growing city. Urbanization is the second dominant demographic trend of our time, after population growth itself. In 1900, some 150 million people lived in cities. By 2000, it was 2.8 billion people, a 19-fold increase. Now more than half of us live in cities—making humans, for the first time, an urban species.Comments (3)
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Food Forests, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Material, Natural Swimming, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Kym Kruse January 9, 2010
The Mushroom Dam overlooking the beach area
It’s taken a while to find the time to sit down and report on Part B of our earthworks here at Rosella Waters, near Cairns in far North Queensland. Phase I Part A was documented whilst the process was taking place. This latest update however will rely on memory and hurried notes made during the process, together with numerous photos. Large excavations such as the two large dams we constructed in part A are considerably easier to direct and far less time consuming than the finer detail work using smaller machinery as we experienced in putting in Part B.Comments (6)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Land, Limonia, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Surveying, Swales, Terraces, Water Harvesting — by Darren Doherty March 16, 2009
‘Soil, Water & Carbon for Every Farm’ – Building Soils, Harvesting Rainwater, Storing Carbon
by Abe Collins & Darren Doherty
Keyline Design was first developed by the great Australian, P.A. Yeomans (1904-1984), in the late 1940s & 50s initially as a practical response to the unpredictable rainfall regime he found on his new property, ‘Nevallan’, to the west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Soil Conservation, as developed by the US Army Corp of Engineers was the predominant practice of the time and for a time Yeomans was influenced by this, though soon found some deficiencies with the pattern of water flow its application expressed. Yeomans went on to devote the rest of his life to the promotion, research and development of Keyline Design and in doing so was labelled by Permaculture co-originator Bill Mollison as "…one of Australia’s greatest patriots… ".
Influenced by the likes of prominent organic agriculture figures in Andre Voison, Friend Sykes, Newman Turner & Louis Bromfield (among many others!) Yeomans has been attributed with being the 1st person to accelerate soil formation through the stacking of methods, overturning the myth that it took 1,000 years to create an inch of topsoil. Yeomans proclaimed that "…the landman’s job is not so much to conserve soil as it is to develop soil, to improve his soil and to make it more fertile than it ever was…".Comments (0)
Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Brad Lancaster January 19, 2009
© Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com
Fig. 24.The heat island effect.
An excessively wide, exposed, solar-oven-like residential street in Tucson, Arizona absorbs the sun’s heat during the day like a battery, then radiates it out at night. This local warming effect has raised summer temperatures in Tucson by 6°F (3°C) since the 1940s, which contributes to global warming since the higher temperatures result in people using air conditioners more, which are powered by electricity generated through the burning of coal. Note that no shade trees are planted in the public right-of-way along the street, leaving street and sidewalk baked. All runoff is drained off site leaving the development dehydrated. Reproduced with permission from “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1"
My view of public streets was radically changed when I heard ecovillage designer Max Lindigger tell a story of an insightful walk he took with his grandfather. “Look there,” said his grandfather, pointing to condominiums being built on the once forested slopes above his village in the Swiss Alps. “That’s where we grew and gathered food during the war. The forests were common land, a reserve of community resources. What commons remain? Where will we grow and gather our food in the next catastrophe?”
I then looked at my Sonoran desert city of Tucson, Arizona and asked myself, “Where are my community’s forests, our commons? Where would we get our food in times of need?”Comments (5)
Conservation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Roads, Storm Water, Swales, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 10, 2009
Two simple ways of illustrating how to plant the rain
Brad Lancaster, author of the award-winning books “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond” and info-packed website www.HarvestingRainwater.com, demonstrates how we can get the most from the rain by planting it in the soil, then accessing it with living pumps of plants. These are simple concepts that help turn scarcity into abundance.Comments (2)