Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rainwater Harvesting

This is an El Niño year, so we're getting drenched with rain here in Southern California, and I've been thinking a lot about rainwater harvesting. I've seen very clearly that the areas of my yard that have the most mulch or compost absorb water much better than areas without added organic matter. In those patches, the water pools and puddles fast and deep; in the areas that have added organic matter, the water soaks right into the landscape.

I dug a swale to help irrigate one dry patch where I want to place more raspberries this year, and I'll definitely add more organic matter. I have one rain barrel and several 5-gallon buckets collecting water from this week's storms. I'm looking into purchasing some ollas as well, for use in drier parts of the raised beds.

Long-term, I would like to rip out our concrete driveway. The driveway's surface area is a very large part of our home's square footage. It's an eyesore, but it's also preventing us from retaining as much rainwater as possible on the property.

Meanwhile, here is a lovely video from India encouraging rainwater harvesting.

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