we need water catchment

on thursday we got a little over a full inch of rainfall in about an hour. that’s 20-45% of our expected annual rainfall.  it’s pretty crazy to see this place go from bone-dry to a flooding torrent in minutes. we’ve been thinking so much about water scarcity, but looking around  during the cloudburst, there was so. much. water! and then it stopped raining, and all the water rushed off. we might get another storm this week, or it may be  months before we see another drop. the trick here is capturing and storing that water when it shows up. how much could we catch? i want to find out!

Imagedamian in the swale on his parent’s property. this was overflowing in whitewater gullies at the moment. this swale was built (in a heroic, single handed effort by nathen) to keep the water from flooding steve and darlene’s house, which is obviously a good idea, but it would be even cooler if there were trees planted at the bottom of it and deep deep mulch to hold the moisture in. photo by reanna.

photo (2)you can see the flooding in the pic above. unfortunately most of our tree wells effectively create a dam preventing the water from saturating the main root zones. it would be better if the tree wells were sunken so rain water pooled in there. water could also be directed into a sponge swale or sand dam for future use. photo by steve

photo (3)more flooding. photo by steve

Imagewe can collect drinking water from this metal roof, but gutters and a cistern would improve the efficiency a lot!

Imagewe have these 55 gallon rain barrels, but they overflow almost instantly in a heavy rain.