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A Great "How To" Guide for Landscape Water Conservation
on September 11, 2008
This book deserves to be widely read, not just for people in the desert. I live in a region that gets nearly 45" of rainfall per year, and I can't wait to apply some of what I've learned from this great "how to" manual. Fresh water is a vanishing resource on our planet, and when we send it all down the storm drains, it makes its way from storm drain to stream to river to ocean: gone. To keep from draining our aquifers, we need to capture that water in our landscape, so it can percolate back into the earth, or be used by our plants.
My first project will be to divert some of the runoff from our blacktop driveway into an "infiltration basin", where it can be used by my trees and shrubs, and soak into the earth. "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2" shows you how to do this, step by step, and also tells you how to build the simple but effective specialized tools you'll need (such as a "bunyip water level", so you know BEFORE a washout rainstorm where the water will flow).
Other topics include systems of berms and basins; terraces; diversion swales; check basins; and french drains. There are many helpful drawings throughout (whimsical but clear!).
If you're interested in water conservation, this book is for you. It's a tour-de-force on the subject of capturing and using rainwater and runoff in the landscape.