Swales and Water Harvesting Systems


Harvesting water was once a worldwide technology, but was replaced by tubes, drip-lines, canals, sprinklers; an inefficient and wasteful strategy that results in running dry. The local and global world water situation is becoming urgent. As humans in first world nations our consumption of natural resources is generating sufficient pollution and depletion, to damage and impair the healthy functioning of nearly every natural system on earth.


Reversing the degradation requires a profound transformation of individual and communal perspective and behaviour. It is important to realise that harvesting rainwater is a crucial means of fighting climate change, preparing our homes, families, neighbourhoods, and communities for the coming consequences. Any change you make on your land can become a demonstration and model that others (your neighbours, elected officials, or government agency staff) will be able to study and copy. Forests are natural sustainability infrastructures.


Trees are THE basic earthwork. Trees and forests, and highly porous and mulched soil beneath them, capture, slow, filter, store, and recycle rainwater and thus recharge streams, ground water aquifers, and springs. They provide protection from droughts, floods and pollution. By adding additional rainwater-harvesting technologies that are designed to mimic nature, such as earthworks (infiltration pits, swales, and cisterns) it is possible to replace the watershed and ecosystem-functions that were lost.

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