Rain Water Catchment – How The Cities Have it All Wrong

We in the city should be ashamed of some of our practices. On my lunch break the other day – rather than going to a nearby cafe for something to eat – I took a walk around the suburbs surrounding the industrial area I work in. The area is fairly dense with residential houses with the odd commercial premise dotted here and there. Most – around 90% – of these premises had something in common – water catchment was piped directly out onto the street.

How this is allowed I do not know. Considering Australia has faced water restrictions in the past due to drought and low

Here is an example of the sort of drains I saw on my wander the other day. Most houses had something like this, directly from their roof.

Here is an example of the sort of drains I saw on my wander the other day. Most houses had something like this, directly from their roof.

water storage levels, it seems utterly irresponsible that we are still allowed to continue to treat clean, safe rain water as waste; something to be disposed of down the drain. Only to have it piped back in from a different source so we can turn on our taps and be guaranteed something will come out.

Kirsten, over at Milkwood, wrote a blog this morning about rooftop farming, a phenomenon that seems to be gaining traction in cities across the world. The article was about chickens still being of importance in such a system. I agree. But my mind turned to the rooftops of buildings here in Australia. Consider your local Bunnings Warehouse (Australia’s answer to Home Depot, to my American readers). Look at the size of the place. I did some crude measurements of my local store, using Google Maps, and the catchment area is a massive 7000 square metres (almost 2 acres!). According to my water catchment calculations, that would see a yield of around 3,850,000 litres per year, based on local average rainfall. That’s enough water to satisfy the average needs of 35 people! I can only imagine how much water is wasted by residential and commercial premises that just pipe it down the drain. This is a large scale problem, one that councils and government encourage.
As I said in my comment to Kirsten, this must make rural folk like her, who prey for and respect every last drop they receive, cringe.

My Permaculture Dream and the “Laws of Attraction”

According to the theory of the laws of attraction “focusing on positive or negative thoughts… can bring about positive or negative results“. In a practical sense, this could mean staying focused and striving to reach a particular goal. Scrapbooks, plans, mindmaps, etc, would help one achieve this task. To the ultra-ambitious – perhaps gullible, a la Marshall Sylver followers – this could mean blanketing their living room walls with pictures of the fancy houses and cars you would some day like to own. I’m big on planning. I like to get my head around the tiniest detail of an idea. I am also a very visual person. I like to see things. I like to picture ideas. I like to imagine myself in a situation as a part of plucking up the enthusiasm to take on the project. And that’s why I spent a bit of time today mocking up a design for my permaculture dream property – based on a block of land I am interested in that is very much within my means to own. Enjoy.

Permaculture Paradise - Victoria

My attempt at a rough permaculture-inspired design.