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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 38 posts ] 
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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:29 pm 
Image
A few minutes of rain and this newly created creek begins to run. In one and a half days work, ending today, this creek and 4 precipitation ponds were created by Van Clothier of Stream Dynamics on a private lot here in Silver City. This system captures only a small portion of the accumulated water flowing down 2 blocks of street runoff.

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The creek is fed from the 2nd catch pond in the system

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then spills into the third pond

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and under this walkway with a pipe culvert to the forth pond, on the right, which spills down the slope to another street if there is enough rain.

Image
It all starts here with a new section of sculptured curb with a diverter pipe, directing a limited amount of water into the first pond. A spillway pipe takes water under the wall to the second pond.


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 Author: Ike Eastvold
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:10 am 
Is there currently a stormwater diverter like this one at the Botanical Garden site? If not, that would be a perfect place to install such a system, perhaps with several points of diversion, and have it available as part of a water harvesting demonstration at the park. Lots of ground remains to be irrigated or watered in some way, so why not this?


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:58 pm 
There is a catchment system at the Silva Creek Botanical Garden. When you are standing on Virginia St looking at the big water tank the ponds and diverter are at the left end of the park. When the ponds fill up they spill into and sheet flood the lower levels of the park. As I recall these were built by some students from Also Leopold HS under the tutelage of Van Clothier.


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 Author: Lynda
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:48 am 
This is really beautiful. I'm so impressed. Congratulations on this terrific accomplishment.


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 Author: jwdemo
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:59 pm 
Imagine a steep Silver City road where several neighbors caught street run-off and planted native plants to provide habitat for our wild neighbors. Beautiful.


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:08 am 
Let me know if you do a neighborhood system and I'll do a story. The only work on this that required a pro was the curb cut, all other work can be done by able bodied residents. Van is available for consultations where he will not be doing the actual building.


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 Author: Jill Steidl
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:58 pm 
Does a curb cut like that require town approval?

Jill


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:13 pm 
Yes, it requires a permit from Peter Peña, Public Works Department. There are 2 people that I know of here that know how to do the curb cut and replacement (as in the photo above) and do very nice work.


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 Author: jwdemo
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:34 pm 
These figures are rough but I believe the permit is $125-ish and there is a deposit (refundable) of around $150.


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 Author: Azima Lila Forest
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:17 am 
This is so inspiring! I'm gonna share it with my neighbors on San Vicente St, which has quite a slope to it (a favorite with skateboarders!. If I can get a project plan together, I'll keep y'all posted. Wow, I love this!!!

_________________
Azima Lila Forest
www.zianet.com/azima
azima@zianet.com


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 Author: jwdemo
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:45 pm 
Keep in mind that a big slope is not necessary to be able to harvest the street runoff. Most streets, if not all streets in town would allow for a project like this.

It is the same with a piece of property. You shouldn't only consider these types of systems if you have a steep sloping property. Anywhere that water runs it can be slowed down and allowed to soak back in to the ground.


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 Author: Jill Steidl
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:05 pm 
Any thoughts about petrochemical type toxins from the street if you were going to use run off for a vegetable garden?

Jill


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:49 pm 
Street runoff, to my knowledge, has never been promoted for vegetable gardens. Captured roof runoff and water captured and/or diverted from a natural hillside runoff would be usable for such gardens if it wasn't allowed to go down the streets and out of town. This is just one more thing to do as we "fight" for the end of petroleum powered vehicles and a cleaner environment in general, perhaps one day this water could be safe for vegetables. Until then we water the open spaces, even if it is our own yards and raise the water table below us and all the benefits that accrues.


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 Author: Jill Steidl
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:03 am 
Actually, I was curious if anyone had ever had the street runoff tested, since it would be wonderful if it could be used for vegetable gardening.

But I agree with you. Keeping the water in the ground is a good thing in either case.

Jill


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 Author: elektron
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:02 pm 
Actually, I think the pavement itself is a hydrocarbon -- asphalt. And we patch street cracks with tar. I am not sure how soluble these things are, but the streets themselves pretty-much came from the oil fields, I believe -- subject to more info, of course. But removing petroleum-using vehicles still leaves the pavement. So I do not believe that street runoff is going to be a good choice for vegetable gardening, absent a water treatment plant. But at the same time, I am not sure that plants "take up" petrochemicals. Does anyone know?


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 Author: mclark
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:32 pm 
Good articles about Mayan water harvesting, and how they purified the water.

http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07 ... ?hpt=hp_c1

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/ ... for-today/


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 Author: Azima Lila Forest
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:58 pm 
and there's great work being done now in many places (including the international township of Auroville in South India (where I lived for several years)) using natural wetlands processes to purify water. Mostly right now it takes sewage and graywater and makes it usable for agriculture - but I'm sure it could be taken a step further to make it potable.

_________________
Azima Lila Forest
www.zianet.com/azima
azima@zianet.com


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 Author: Pandora
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:35 am 
I highly recommend NOT using water from the street. My father inlaw did this once to water his lawn...he fought the weeds that brought in for YEARS...he said it was really really bad. Almost ruined their lawn.


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:44 pm 
So what are weeds but wild plants, often native, often medicine or food that grow where you don't want them. What are private lawns but water sucking status symbols where native plants must stay away. Often when lawns are invaded, every kind of poison is used that pollutes both the ground and water. This is an attitude imported with "settlers/invaders" who would pis and crap in streams because it flowed away, out of sight and out on mind. In our wish to keep water here we may wish to become active in cleaning up the runoff as we devise ways to keep it here.


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 Author: Pandora
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:53 pm 
Well their yard and house is beautiful and in the summer that little lawn is heaven by the pool


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:16 pm 
Years ago, my wife Dorothy & I visited Tucson for a two-day water harvesting workshop from a master, Brad Lancaster.
He gave lectures, and slide show, and then we visited a neighborhood in downtown Tucson. There were many water harvesting
features, such as shown in what was built here recently. Every frontage of a home owner had one or more curb cuts, where the
water could not only be harvested off the street, but, fed newly planted, desert friendly, shade trees. They'd also built a round about
in the intersection of several streets, where water could be channeled onto lawns, etc., rather than go down the drain.

At another location, an entire community had been built around water harvesting, use of solar panels, rain barrels, metal roofs,
and swales. The swales were fed by runoff and I believe had cane like brush planted, which helped filter the water. I'm not sure
how extra "community" water might have been used, but again: not simply solar panels; metal roofs; rain barrels; but recycling;
and passive siting of homes for the best solar gain. It boggles the mind to envision how much potential is out there for water harvesting.

I am certain that in my years "Hiking Apacheria," I've found the remnants of likely Mogollon or Saladan water features. Some might
have been terraces. Others, check dams in arroyos that have long since "blown out" but would've caught torrents in heavy rain spells.
Some of the sedimentation behind these staggered check dams may have caused enough soil to be captured to allow terrace farming
in certain times of the year. I'm not an archaeologist, or hydrologist, but the formations at least seem to lean in those directions.

The people who were here before the Apache were agriculturalists in places we'd never associate with growing produce. But that was
easily before the aquifer had been tapped by any modern western civilized use. No farming on a scale that would resemble, perhaps,
field flooding for pecans and other nuts; vast tracks of water sucking cotton; and certainly no ranching and mining.

The millions of years of very little human habitation, even then, very sparsely situated, would've not done much detriment to the OVERALL water supply. Yes, situations and short term droughts did effect those people. But their movements might not have been so drastic because there was so much more water available through harvesting techniques. The rainy season and snow melt season is a wonderful time to visit some of the areas surrounding Silver City, and see seeps and springs come to life. Those people, and the Apache after them, moved "from water to water" in a highly symbiotic rythmn.

Eagan


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:02 am 
It occurs to me that the new affordable housing unit on 10th Street? below Mountain View road, within city limits, might be a place to determine if:grants are available for a solar array large enough to care for the needs of the four homes already there; integrate water catchment features; this to include purchase by the city at the best bid price, from local suppliers, of Spanish style ollas and modifications to rain gutters, to harvest rain water and snow melt; sighting (if not already started) homes for most optimum passive solar gain. The CITY COUNCIL and MAYOR should also look at modifying or installing overhead lighting with appropriate low impact street lights with full cut off shields to give these fortunate people some real boost in witnessing future stellar star showers. and then THE CITY COUNCIL can tout this as an even more eco-friendly place for people to live. I've given thought to such a place if I need to downsize. Silver City Counci, Mayor, our eleceted state reperesentatives, and Grant County Commissioners could focus on the Leonid Star Showers in the fall ... close but far enough away to discuss ... and PLAN on turning off every other city street light, asking home and farm and ranch owners, if they have the capability, to turn off outside lighting, and police and sheriff, and reserves, to make a "special dark sky night" for all of us ... Corre Camino could be pulled in to haul those without transportation to some excellent locations outside of town ... and we can then enjoy what might be an annual event:

The Grant County Star Shower Parties (Perseids and Leonids). The whole gig could be a big WIN WIN for state and local politicians, or city and county leaders. Put the thing out there to CNN, etc., and then look at the possibility of luring people who want to live in one of the already darker places in the SW, to a place that honors the beauty and majesty of God's gift ... these incredible nights of falling stars.


For a reference that will blow your mind:
The Night The Sky Fell, was a real, documented event in 1833 (5 years after Geronimo was born). All across the northern hemisphere in that year, people wrote about between 140-240,000 THOUSAND meteors fell that night.

Several Native American Plains Indian tribes recorded the event on buckskins ... see recent article in Smithsonian Magazine.

Silver City, and for that Matter, parts of Hidalgo and Catron Counties are looking at attracting a small event/big event group of touristas to our area for these star parties. Maybe even attract some astronomers who'd like to live here. But it all has to start with the City and County Council & Commission, working with local police (to ensure safety) to turn off the lights. Places in Europe do it, but of course, Europe is miles (kilometers) ahead of us insuch endeavors.


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 Author: marthaeverett
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:26 pm 
Upcoming series of Dry Land Water Harvesting Beginning February 21st, 2016[/color]

Classes with Douglas Smith, ownder and operator of Townside Farm.
All information found on this online flyer.
https://www.smore.com/cfufr-permacultur ... nside-farm

_________________
remember something ancient...


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:14 am 
I'm currently about 1/3 of way into a water harvesting project on my property.

My wife and I attended Brad Lancaster workshops ten or twelve years ago.

Made imminent sense to harvest water. We have several ollas that allow about 200 gallons with each 1" rain. Van Clothier has some good opening for people on right away. It would, again, be interesting to see more than say, three or four homes in a neighborhood get these features. Van calculates the water flowing past the property I guess, when he sees a big rain coming. While this water where I live flows eventually into San Vincente Creek, I see it as a way to divert some and with help, plant some native plants. I think I'll be concentrating on cacti. Some Milk Weed that could attract butterflies and humming birds, bees; and, if I can get some more Mexican poppies seeds and Bird of Paradise ... those too.


In 20-30 years, "water wars" will be intense. A small town such as ours, that can get a head start on:
Solar panels;
Wind turbines;
Water harvesting: can serve as a "gem" in SW NM that could become part of a tour. Perhaps people with moxie in the grant writing business could churn more out ... harvesting water is something that can take off and show what Silver City can be about.

Getting ranchers, who often have metal roofs, to get into the act, might allow them to fill a series of stock tanks that could be used to water cattle. And if anyone's new to town, building or renovating, look into the cost of Van's grants ... and metal roofs, with large ollas from local providers ... to circulate grant money locally more than twice. I don't know how one could calculate the water pulled out of gutters into water catchment features, but I'm sure it's doable. Feeding native plants or trees along streets can eventually give some shade over all that black asphalt and whitish sidewalk. If we can attract Monarchs back ... what a wonderful thing.

I personally think this is absolutely a very right thing for Silver City to look at as a city wide experience. Restoration of some cienegas or wetlands in town will also be a really nifty thing to see happen.

Check out the beautiful pocket park now in from of Zyzergy Tile. Very, very nice.

Now if someone could find a bit of such land and create a true Zen Garden ... dry or wet ... wow!!! Will all the Buddhists in town ... maybe there's a way for that to happen!!! Be sure and visit Dr. Paul Stuetzer's Zen Garden at his Zen Center on 13th Street, near the dog park. It's a real labor of long term love.

Visit Dawe's Arboretum near Newark,Ohio, for a world class wet/dry Zen Garden of ten or twenty acres. Very cool.


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 Author: AlgaePower
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:35 pm 
For more on this topic, tune into GMCR / KURU 89.1 Sunday 1 May 2016 at 10am to Earth Matters for an hour long program discussing sustainability, green infrastructure, rainwater harvesting, Stream Dynamics, Inc., and local rainwater harvesting efforts. Guest speakers are Asher Gelbart and Mike Gaglio (speaking on behalf of Stream Dynamics, Inc. and their own companies, Green Energy Now and High Desert Native Plants, respectively). You can live-stream the program or search for it in the archives if you miss it.

Enjoy,

Asher


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 Author: frances
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 7:55 am 
In response to the Botanical Gardens and creating diversions comment /question. I guess diversions are not as "pretty" as fully graded level ground. You see, there were several channels in place there but ONE individual with ancient think (funny how just one person can make a difference...an unwelcome one in this case) decided to eliminate them...and would not be dissuaded by the knowing individual who created this obvious natural method of watering a collection of native plants. Dumb ass. Once your eyes are open to the "engineering" paradigm in place and the retinue of men who like to tweak Mother Earth by putting her in the equivalent of a 19th century steel stayed corset , once the mind is opened to actual sane methodology it's impossible to look back. I believe the pool /catchment pond that John spoke of is the proverbial pool to nowhere...the grading done after the placement of this feature eliminated it's effectiveness.


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 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:54 am 
Here's something to think about when looking at the capture and use of rainwater runoff.

The percentage of area that we make impermeable to rainwater varies considerably in towns, from essentially 100% in downtown to maybe 50% in residential areas. Our perspective begins at the current time, when the development has already been done, so we think in terms of capturing runoff to use on the landscape. I think water law even starts from this perspective, so that efforts to collect and use runoff are viewed as needing a water right in many places. Depending on the jurisdiction, it may be illegal to use runoff, even from your roof. In Silver City it is okay to use rainwater runoff, though I believe this is not strictly in accordance with water law.

The irony is that before the hard surfacing that development caused, the runoff was "used" on the landscape naturally. Because less water soaks into the ground, the runoff reaching drainages is now concentrated and accelerated, which causes all sorts of problems, from flooding and erosion, to less healthy and vigorous plant growth across the landscape.

But using rainwater does not really consume it from the system, it only borrows it. A healthy functioning landscape, where runoff soaks into the ground as it did naturally before the introduction of roofs and streets, still delivers the water downstream - it just happens much more slowly and evenly through movement in the aquifer, supporting more plant growth in the process. Water soaking into the ground also replenishes the aquifers that we pump from.

Because the natural flow of water through the ground reduces our need to water the landscape, it is the same effect as having more water - with the exception that it is free and unchlorinated! The town does not have to pump it and the residents do not have to pay for it. And using less pumped water means that our existing well-sourced water supplies will last much longer; should be forever, in fact.

The same principles apply to the greater forest and range landscapes. The slower the runoff, the better the health of the plant communities will be, and the more water will be available in a sustainable way.

The AWSA water fund can easily pay for large amounts of watershed improvements, from forest to town, that will yield more available water while using less, and huge associated benefits will result, including lower costs.

Compare that to the illogical desire to dam the river and take its water, at very high and never-ending cost, under the illusion that some local "market" for it will eventually appear and have the big bucks to pay for it. What diversion proponents don't seem to understand is that using less water is a way to HAVE more water, only without the expense and environmental damage.

"Water harvesting", or better stated, the sensible management of landscapes and rain water runoff, is a powerful form of economic development that costs very little to implement.


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 Author: Bruce
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:09 am 
Gordon mentions the claim that water harvesting may be illegal n some jurisdictions. I have heard that this is true on the west side of the continental divide, but not on the east side. At one point I did some research to find what law this was referring to. I found nothing to support it, and some evidence that it isn't true (although it's hard to prove a negative). One online discussion said that only one person has ever been prosecuted for water harvesting. This person in Oregon was prosecuted not for collecting water off his roof, but for creating a large diversion lake that was taking water from neighbors downstream. While there is no definitive answer, to the legality of harvesting water, I think most of the rumors of it being illegal are greatly exaggerated and that you can safely redirect reasonable amounts of rainwater on your own property. There may be other issues if you have a stream or river running through your property.

Bruce


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 12:21 am 
Bruce, have you checked the Arizona Water Settlement Act? This issue of water catchment on the western slope as it heads towards Arizona was decided through a court case and the subsequent Congressional AWSA which we are still dealing with. The original court case was between California and Arizona wherein California wanted more water from the Colorado River and Arizona said "no way" and California said "but you have all that water flowing into Arizona from the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and the western watershed of the southern rockies, ie: the Burro Mts. New Mexico then jumped into the court fight and said "no way, thats our water and we're planning to dam the Gila"; that was late 1970's early 1980's with the proposed Wheeler and Conner Dams.

During the mid 1970's when I lived in southeast Arizona a study was trotted out by the state that said "if Arizona doesn't quickly take the water from the Colorado as it enters northeast Arizona there would be long protracted Indian Wars over water so they built the Salt River Project that diverts water to Tucson and sells to Safford and the San Carlos Apache Reservation to supplement for an inadequate flow from the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and the Western watershed of the Burros and generally west of the Continental Devide. So, for every gallon or acre foot of water we divert from the Gila and San Francisco Rivers we will have to pay the San Carlos Apache Res whatever it costs them to buy that much water from the Salt River Project.


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:37 am 
I've had my project underway and completion is somewhere in near future. This is a good community project with a community grant that will assist
in costs. The work Stream Dynamics, again, has done on Market has helped with the normal flood that occurs, with accompanying gravel, mud, debris on Market.The cost of constantly removing this debris (especially on the highways, where crews must drive, bring equipment if not already staged), would be another cost in terms of time, money, gas. That's a highway problem, but hopefully, someone will be astute enough in the State Highway system to look at creation of some water harvesting features out on those sections of highway that have always flooded, bringing debris across the highway. It's all part of a shift in mindset, but hopefully, the effect of a number of water harvesting projects in Silver City will inspire locals to talk about the alternatives in County Commission meetings.

My perception is: the county is more conservative in it's actions; points of view (current person running for County Commissioner is in favor of Gila diversion of some kind).

Gila Diversion, when placed against a wide scale water harvesting project, sorry, flops. Many possibilities for better use of those millions. Diversionistas are fixated on creating something ... concrete, steel, moving water ... and so I doubt they will be moved by this ... but a drumbeat of alternative thought and mindset may cause them to consider the insanity of a massive water diversion project that will somehow be paid for ... by magic. God? Congress?
Or, US and our children and children's children.

Every water harvesting project in town provides examples of what can be achieved. A kinder, gentler approach to retaining and harvesting water. No big deal. Construction with concrete & steel somehow appeals to those who haven't believed climate change will alter the Planet's existence and by the way, we humans will have to absorb massive changes at some point in our lives. As always: "The Day After Tomorrow" is instructive. A fine volume about the Mini-Ice Age also demonstrates that a "flip" occurs at some point in global warming turning to global cooling. Not a pretty picture when one looks at the massive population disruption.


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 Author: Bruce
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:23 pm 
Crow, I haven't read the Arizona Water Settlement Act. I found it online a few weeks ago, but was intimidated by its length. Maybe I'll get around to skimming it for limitations on water harvesting. But regardless of the result, there is no enforceable law. There is no water police, and it would be difficult to get local police or deputies to prioritize enforcement of a law against using rain barrels. I have read a couple of science fiction stories about a not-so-distant future when corporations that own all the water rights hire police or even armies to enforce water restrictions in the Southwest. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but we're not there yet.

In any case, as Gordon pointed out earlier, most water harvesting doesn't change the amount of water. You harvest water to put it back on the land in a slightly different location. The only way you change the long-term amount of water is if you do something crazy like piping it over the continental divide into a completely different water table.

Bruce


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 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:18 am 
there are so many half baked assertions in this thread that the mind boggles.
i'll mention just one . all plants as a part of their life cycle transpire water. they suck it up in their roots and emit it from their leaves, stems and branches.
this basic fact makes the use of water here in silver city a taking of water that either now or in the past supported "beneficial use" in deming, in the mimbres acquifer.
people whose lives and income are based on agriculture in a dropping water table are highly incentivized to use political means to replace what they see disappearing and understand to be essential to their livelihood.

so cut your curb, spend $300 for a permit to do something that could be more economically watered from your roof or your hose..... its a free country, so it is said!


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 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 4:21 pm 
A point I wanted to make in my previous post relates to what the natural baseline is for determining what water should reasonably flow freely downstream to other uses.

My opinion is that the baseline is what ran off before hard surfacing from roads and roofs greatly increased total runoff. Plant uptake and transpiration of some of the water that soaks into the soil is also natural - having 50% of the rainwater that once soaked in running off in a flood, perhaps making it all the way to Deming, is not.

Slowing that runoff down by allowing more of it to soak in to the landscape, as it did before our development, seems like a good idea to me. It should contribute to replenishing the aquifer that we pump from. Using the hose to water plants with pumped and chlorinated drinking water does not seem like a very good idea by comparison.

We will not be shorting Deming of its natural share of rainwater in the watershed by using curb cuts.


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 Author: mimbresgranny
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 10:10 pm 
My readings from the Acequia Association talk about the flow of water just below the surface. The water doesn't just trickle down into the aquifer but travels towards the streams and rivers. They are trying to convince the agencies that much of the water that is put onto a crop field actually returns to the river flow from which it was taken.

Another precept of permaculture is that the root mass below is actually a water storage system and that it releases water when the earth is dry as well as takes it up in wet periods. By taking the run off into the gardens we are charging the system for healthier streams rather than starving them.

When I bought property here I was told of the restrictive rules on the west side of the divide and that new construction cannot even have outside water faucets without additional water rights. There is a group in Colorado challenging such rules, attempting to show that the captured water from a house roof, were there no house, would actually be absorbed into the ground long before making it to the river in the first place. I think the same argument could be made for our pavement which increases the run off and thus eventual evaporation.

Although I am in the country. the precepts Stream Dynamics are using are the same. A lot of the catchment I'm using is based on swales and berms (rather than a series of pools although I plan to add some of those also) which pull the water into the soil of the berm which then "puddles" just past the berm [called the lens] and then continues under the surface in the same direction it would have run off in the first place but much slower. I am hoping for healthier grass lands as well as increasing plants over the lenses. After an initial reduction of the flow back into the river system, once the system is "charged" there ought to be only a little loss to the outflow because there is less evaporation. A town full of curb cuts would, in the not so long term, put more water into the streams.

We know that the Mimbres used to be higher flow and the reduction has been blamed on less rainfall but there is another theory that starts with the loss of trees due to construction and household wood burning beginning way back, increasing run off and the high evaporation of current irrigation techniques all reducing the water that is absorbed into the soil to travel into the system more slowly through the year. A second and related issue is the closing of the acequias into pipes which starve the vegetation along them. We think of this vegetation as stealing valuable water but it might just be storing water as well as cooling the soils, providing habitat, etc. As these plants and trees along the acequias die the valley becomes more arid, increasing the evaporation. But all that is for another thread.


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 12:27 am 
Thanks mimbresgranny, I've been searching for just those words, well said.


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 3:33 pm 
I like what mimbresgranny had to say. Storing the water in water catchment basins ... as many as can be constructed in town ...coupled with planting native grasses or trees or cacti ... should theoretically allow that water to soak in ... as it does so, given time, it seems like that would be a way (albeit slow in human terms) to replenish the acquifer. When the Spanish came here, and later when the first Americanos arrived, the grass really was reported by many, many experienced and inexperienced explorers, travelers, to be either "to the stirrups" of a horse or "to the belly of a horse."

Generally, about 3.5 feet - 4.0 feet tall. Get Bartlett's Boundary Commission where he traveled across the new bounary set by the Mexican American War ... and how he traveled UP the Mimbres, finding trout in the stream, with intermittent dry areas ... but where water flowed, it was, I believe, knee deep, with trout in some areas.

In my view, the Spanish and Mexicans never ever brought up so many cattle in huge herds into this country, at least, where people from East of the Mississippi saw all that grass and said: Holy Shxt! We can bring x million of cattle out here and they will get fat and we can just become rich cattle ranchers.

Sadly, the grasses and aquifer had taken millions of years to fill ... and sustain those grasses, fish, beautiful clear streams.

I'd guess within 125 years, that grass was down to the nub and they were scratching their heads. Make all public available to we ranchers. One way or the other.

I just hiked in the Burros, where a cattle rancher of some note has his bred cattle ... they've eaten an area of grass down ... down ... down. Amazing transformation. Maybe I can post a "before" (last year) and "now" (Friday night).

Aquifer replenishment might be a GOAL that Silver City, at least, could commit to as part of a sustainable community. Imagine (as I've seen in Tucson neighborhoods), where water basins are all along streets, at circle rounds on the streets, at small pocket parks ... larger community gardens ... with trees being grown for shade on streets that normally bake. Allow all that water to trickle into the acquifer. I suppose some of our really gifted hydrologists we have here could begin to measure the changes. We may be "powerless over all the massive political forces attempting to divert the Gila River ..." be we are NOT helpless.

Calling for MORE grants for water harvesting, imagine if we could get a chunk of that dough and offer free or reduced metal roofs for homeowners IF they would agree to capture water in large ollas,which a local merchant associated with crafts people in Oaxaca make. Sell locally. And if we had 1000 roofs in Silver City (including out buildings), what the gain would be for water catchment that can and is used for watering my garden. Further assistance in xeriscape landscape ... include that in the grant ... catchment basins (1000) and we have begun to take our own part of this issue and just say: the HELL with the DIVERSIONISTAS.

We all see they are floundering. Inherent in their mind set is that climate change is b.s. A Left Wing Liberal conspiracy. That mind set is well demonstrated in "The Day After Tomorrow." A book on the mini ice age shows what can happen when the ocean currents in the Atlantic finally ... flip. Beware: watch that movie ... there are millions of people above certain longitudes who may well have to move SOUTH. US. Water waters will happen by 2030. Count on IT. What we do in Silver and Grant could make us the Apple of Many Eyes of folks who suddenly want to capture water. California is the harbinger of what can happen when idiots have turned desert into massive green spaces ... California, if I'm not mistaken ... will begin to show the world what solar and wind energy can do in massive projects; they will find out on a massive scale, what water harvesting can do; they will set the pace.

But back here, in SW NM, if we fight for some part of the dough for the AWSA, we can formulate a plan that will incorporate these things. Pocket parks with trees grown from harvested water. Shrubs, swamp milkweed to attract endangered monarchs ... etc. Attract hummingbirds and bees. Another thing people might actually want to come and SEE ... how did you do that.

1000 would be a goal. 1000 water catchment basins. 1000 roofs with metal and olla water collection. Group rates. Employ several hundred people for a year or two, at least. Give them skills to take their ideas out into the county ... wherever there are paved roads in the county ... any places where curbs could be cut ... Jewel In The Crown ... eco dollars spent here ... and, throw in dimming our street lights as a mandate ... 10 years, all lights in town are installed to allow the best star gazing ... eco dollars come from Upper Middle to Middle Class to Upper Class people who want to get hip and see what this is about. Eco dollars are spent here ... and some folks who learn how to do this might get the nod to come and do work ... elsewhere.

This is a Vision For You ... and Me.

And, we can continue to stand as a alternative to old, mechanistic, 20th Century thinking on dams and diversions that will only bankrupt the four counties down the road. County commissioners complain about the Detention Center and roads being a drag on their budget. Wait until a diversionis built ...watch those taxes sky rocket. As if Congress ...stingy and cold hearted as they've been with Obama ... will care. What a joke that is.

Sanders or Hillary ... they'll want examples of what these kinds of things mean. Come to Grant County. "We may be Powerless over numskulls like Pearce, but we're not helpless." Plenty of gifted grant writers hit. Hit the paper with the pen! Go for it. I'm trying to do what I can. My facebook has many photos of "Apacheria." Many. And many photos of water sources in this wonderful place.

The Spanish called it the Rio de Xila, and the word apparently is from Pimas. The Gila ... track it out on Google Earth. My LORD, what a sinuous body of water it is. We cannot let this part of the Gila get blocked off by concrete. No way. A Democrat in the White House for one or two terms ... appointing several to the "Supremes" ... thing WILL change.

I'm going to check my rain olla ... see what just fell.


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:23 am 
I'd guess this has been covered long ago. But: isn't or wouldn't a series of larger scale water harvesting basins along the Gila River constitute a diversion also? If the intent is to capture water during peak run off, what would be the effect say, if a dozen water basins were established along the San Francisco and Gila that would capture x, y or z amounts of water each time we got a heavy rain, snow melt, or flood? What would the short term effects be for the AQUIFER along the western side of the Continental Divide?

What would be effects if all parties agree to a minimum, ten year moratorium on use of those waters for irrigation? Allow ten years of the waters to percolate into the water table. Would there be any noticeable and appreciable effect on individual water users? Is ten years even enough? If we're going to pat ourselves on the back for harvesting this water that will otherwise go to Arizona, what net effect in usable water for irrigation, farming or ranching, be after a huge diversion project were built v. allowing ten or twenty years of pecolation into the water table to take effect?

How are those of us who propose such "diversions" as opposed to a massive concrete and steel diversion to be given some of this pie?

I would contend: the "diversionistas" have never come up with a cogent plan;
Have not incorporated into their thinking, the cost downstream for Hidalgo, Luna, Catron & Grant Counties.

Have the "diversionistas" prepared a plan to finance the downstream maintenance and upkeep and operation of a concrete and steel diversion for the next twenty five years? Do we really have the right to plunk down onto future tax payers what could be an enormous tax burden?

With such vituperitive hatred against the Federal Government in some circles out here, how, exactly, do the "Diversionistas" realistically expect the Federal Government to fund this project, and then, not pass it on to tax payers somehow. In an era where a "balanced federal budget" has clearly been tested and found social programs always take hind seat to Intelligence; Agrifarming; Defense; denial of Planned Parenthood; denial of voting rights to a greater & greater number of minorities ... does anyone really think the Federal Government will issue bonds to these four counties that could be paid off in 30 years?

How do four counties in SW NM, a remote, if not at times, "frontier' section of the West & Lower 48, pay off bonds on one billion used for steel and concrete diversions, in 10 years? 20? 30? 50? One billion is a LOT of money. Has anyone paid attention to the drift of an increasingly stingy, draconian Congress so far as spending a dime on anything other than Defense; Intelligence; IRS people to collect taxes v. "social programs?"

Does anyone believe that any facsimile of the current Congress would warm to the idea of forking over any part of such a large scale water project?

Would it not be worth while to establish a "test" of larger scale drainage or water harvesting basins; use of metal roofs; water collection maximized with locally provided ollas; fashioning drip irrigation methods associated with these kinds of water harvesting methods. A Ten or Fifteen year assessment of such methods while the steel & concrete people are doing their thing.

What would such an effort look like in job creation; project work and completion; first tests of water captured; estimates of water capture and distribution for drip irrigation purposes. Use of such ponds or basins for farmers for measured hauling of water in and from such basins?

All the while, the steel and concrete alternative goes through environmental and archaeological assessments and analyses before the first load of concrete is dropped.

Eagan


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 Author: MineralMama
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:00 am 
JE1947, rather than just 'checking' your ollas have you heard about reporting your daily precipitation to CoCoRaHS --Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow NetworkCo? http://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=aboutus. Please consider being an added reporter for Grant County. I encourage any & all on the Forum to consider signing up. The only cost is their initial rain gauge ($30.50), http://www.weatheryourway.com/cocorahs/store.html but after that it only takes minutes a day to check your gauge & report. I have been reporting for several years now, along with a friend in Gila. This would be a tool you & many others could use to gather important data in the area in regards to seasonal precipitation, etc. Think about it.


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Community Events
Week of October 19, 2017

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19
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
Volunteer at The Bike Works 3-7pm
GMCR & KURU / Fall Pledge Drive
GC Commission Regular Meeting- Agenda
Tai Chi at Lotus Center
GRMC Cancer Center Open House
GC Lodgers Tax Advisory Board Vacancy
The WildWorks Youth Space
Blooming Lotus Meditation
Grant County Search and Rescue
Jayme Stone’s Folklife Project – Performance
Global Sisterhood New Moon Tele-Circle
Pet Central Thrift Store
20
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
Qi Gung for Health at the Lotus Center
fall break family movie
Women's Al-Anon Meeting: Women Embracing Recovery
Gila Native Plant Society meeting
Pet Central Thrift Store
Community Bike Ride @ The Bike Works
Hapkido Class
21
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Our PAws' Cause Thrift Store
Farmer's Market
Tai Chi Chuan
Permaculture Silver City - Monthly Meeting - Aquaponics!
22
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Ecstatic Dance
23
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Laughter Club at 12:15pm
Hapkido Class
Tai Chi Chuan
New Hope Al-Anon Family Group
24
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Silver City Rotary Club Meeting
Hapkido Class
Compassionate Friends Gathering
Tai Chi at Lotus Center
Wine & The Word @The Toad Brewery
25
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
Hapkido Class
Wednesday Evening Al-Anon Family Group Meeting
Insight Buddhist Meditation
Tai Chi Chuan
Farmer's Market
Gin Rummy
A Community Storytelling Project
MRAC Annual Meeting










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