Water Harvesting Permablitz Write Up

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I hope you all still have as fond memories of the Permablitz as we do and just incase you need to refresh on what we learned together here as promised is the write up. This write up will go through the Rainwater and  Water Harvesting techniques we implemented on site during those days and the reasons why we did. So lets start by refreshing the 8 principles of Rainwater harvesting  ,click on the bold titles to see more info.

 Principles of
Successful Water Harvesting


These principals are taken from Brad Lancaster book: Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond and were very useful to us when designing our site. 


Measuring contour lines with an A-frame and Bunyip


The first thing we demonstrated was how to measure the site's slope and find the contours  we did this by building simple but effective tools, A-frames and Bunyips. The purpose of this is to work out what kind of earthworks  are suitable for the site. 


Following principle 3 we started small and simple by mulching trees and areas where we want to grow our plants. 



Making use of the canalized water from the mountain  we dug out deep paths  around our beds and created swales to hold the water and sink it into the soil ready for our plants to consume.We also created little boomerang swales around our trees to direct surface runoff to the roots of the trees. We also planted the bermed part of the swales and you will be pleased to know all the plants and seeds have settled in well 

  Rainwater Calculations and Tank Placement 


Another important part of our design was to catch rainwater and store it for use in the garden during dry periods. We calculated the expected rainfall and put the tanks into posistion bearing in mind overflow routes.  Since the Permablitz we have altered the guttering on all of the roofs on one property  and have collected a good 1500L into the plastic containers  in just two rainfalls. It is very satisfying to water the plants with this water and the superior quality of the water means the plants are also satisfied. Our tank placement and storage capacity was put in place solely for watering plants in the garden however with a bigger tank and screening facility there is no reason why we could not be harvesting rain water for our domestic needs 

Further Reading and Links




We hope you have found the write up useful in someway and that you are on your way with your own plans for water harvest. Tx again for your lovely company and hope to see you back in Shipka sometime.  

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