Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Desert Streetside Rainwater Abundance at 25 years!

Brad Lancaster leads us on a tour of the rainwater harvesting neighborhood transformation that has happened in the desert city of Tucson, Arizona.

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Comment by Dave Riley on August 18, 2019 at 18:09

Do the maths.

If one third of our suburbia is made up of road surfaces. And another huge percentile is occupied by our roofs  -- 'stormwater' runoff is massive .

Indeed the vulnerability of the Brisbane River Valley to flooding is ruled by suburban sprawl.

The other factor is that we here on Moreton Bay don't want your wash out  in our seawater with its pollutants, petroleum and high nitrates. Even the sediments are brutal as they smother the seagrass beds. Moreton Bay is actually filling up with mud.

A healthy catchment is one that buries most of its rainfall.

But any rain that falls on the ground here is absorbed by the sand.No water pools. It's amazing. So no flow at all, except where artificial engineering has been put in place. A trimmed lawn is an example.

No design template will stop a major flood -- but it can surely slow down a flash one.

I'm a long time fan of Brad Lancaster's work because of the way he looks at the landscape. Even if you don't green up the verge there is a lot you can do in-house to hang onto the rain flow.

His approach however doesn't allow for parking,  and the paths are surely more trip prone being so  tree-lined.

Here, on the coast, on low lying flat land --storm run-off (roof and road) is  a major flooding threat because outgoing drain waters meet the incoming tide or storm tide. So you can get serious back up.

Even, hypothetically, if there was a dyke the drains would still compromise the township behind that wall.

In flash flooding the often seen scenario is that the drains -- both engineered and natural contours -- are over whelmed by the sheer volume of rushing water.

Then some death wish person decides to drive their car into the torrent.

Comment by GayleD on August 18, 2019 at 10:36
adds a whole new dimension to verge gardening. It would probably reduce dowstream flooding as well.

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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