Have you ever thought about what happens to the water that rains down on your yard?
Did you ever wish you could become less dependent on the municipal water supply?
Did you ever want to take some of that massive amount of water that rained down on your yard and have your plants use it later, with or without having a rain water tank?
The changes you need to make all start with a pickax, a shovel, and a plan……
Some boys wanted to give us a hand in changing the topography of our yard to help us do just that.
“the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area.”-Oxford Languages
Take a look at the two examples below.
This first example shows the typical city or suburban yard.
What’s wrong with this picture?
- Mounds of dirt around the trees cause runoff
- Clean water from the roof that could have been captured for future use is wasted
- The semi clean “greywater” from the sink and bathtub drains are lost to the sewer
- No thought has been given to the shape of the surface of the ground so that water puddles near the house causing damage
- Downslope the water runoff causes flooding or fills the ocean with the runoff water that has picked up contaminants and sediment along the way
All the clean fresh water from the Lord above is being flushed off the property by the way the yard is shaped.
Now take a look at the second example below.
The wisdom of this homeowner is causing an abundance of water resources for himself, his plants, and the surrounding environment.
Look at all the things he’s doing right!
- Indentations instead of mounds around the trees allow the rain to soak into his yard causing an underground water supply that his trees can tap into during dry times.
- Runoff from the roof is captured into a rainwater tank and the runoff from that, waters his fruit tree.
- The semi clean “greywater” from the sink and bathtub drain into the yard to water the tree.
- Runoff from the walkway goes back into the yard instead of off property.
- The water soaking into the ground recharges the water table keeping well water fully stocked, and creeks and rivers as well. Downslope flooding is also reduced.
- Leaf drop and mulch stay on the property instead of being washed away, causing fertility and increasing the soil’s water holding capacity, further drought proofing your land.
By: Christina Hans
Christina Hans is a student of nature and has studied sustainable agriculture at Wild Willow Farm, San Diego and at the Permaculture Academy, Los Angeles.
She is founder of Future And A Hope Ministries Inc. a charity founded to rescue street children in Asia and care for them sustainably. www.FAAHM.org
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