Conservation, Food Forests, Land, Storm Water, Swales, Urban Projects, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Andrea Pape March 13, 2009
Swales aren’t often found in backyards, and water systems are the backbone of a permaculture design, so the Permaculture Sydney North Gardening Team jumped at the opportunity to take on a swale project in a lush Turramurra backyard, just around the corner from the APC9 venue.
Turramurra has the highest rainfall in Sydney with averages of around 1300mm a year, and issues such as flooding and erosion are common in lower areas of the catchments. The traditional approach to urban storm water has been to treat it as a problem, and to our detriment our cities have largely been designed to collect and dispose of rainfall as quickly as possible. City watercourses are being battered by dramatic and damaging flow patterns that would not have existed before hard surfaces and drainage systems were put in place. We are also wasting a hell of a lot of water.
Local government often approaches the problem with end-of-pipe solutions such as preserving riparian vegetation and stabilising channels with weirs, logs or concrete ‘realignments’. Water sensitive urban design is starting to be considered by councils, but this usually focuses on public or industrial areas, and will often prescribe expensive engineering structures that are out of reach of most home owners.Comments (9)