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How to Build a Rain Garden to Capture Runoff

How to Build a Rain Garden to Capture Runoff

There are many reasons to build a rain garden. Rain gardens help filter out pollutants like bird guano from stormwater and turn them into nutrients for your garden. They help reduce the draw on local aquifers to irrigate our gardens and allow those aquifers to be replenished by the natural water cycle. Because of this, rain gardens are essential in the fight to reduce stormwater pollution’s impacts on river systems, which in turn, end up in our beloved ocean. Stormwater is one of the largest sources of environmental pollutants entering the world’s oceans today. Rain gardens can even help reduce the populations of mosquitoes and other biting insects who rely on stagnant water to breed. As climate change brings diseases like malaria further north, managing mosquito populations becomes less a luxury and more a public health necessity. 

Apart from purely utilitarian reasons to build rain gardens, the hobby gardeners and organic farmers of the world will find that rain gardens also provide an opportunity to sculpt a beautiful new aesthetic which conventional gardens simply cannot match. To get started, all you need is a ruler, a level, and a calculator.

Doing The Math

Rain gardens capture the rainfall from impermeable surfaces that flows across your property. Then, using nothing more than the natural slope of the land it collects and disperses that water into the garden and out into the local watershed beyond. If done properly, this water should collect and drain away within 24 hours of any given rainfall. Of course, to capture all the water falling on your roof, driveway, patio, and other impermeable surfaces you’ll need to know roughly how much water to expect.

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Water Procurement: Setting Up a Low-Budget Water Catchment System and Why It Will Save Your Life

Water Procurement: Setting Up a Low-Budget Water Catchment System and Why It Will Save Your Life

Using the information from Part 1 & 2, the setup of a water system, decontamination station, and rain catchment procedures entailed to blend all parts together.

catchment

How are you doing, Ready Nutrition Readers?  This article is the final segment of a three-part series dealing with obtaining water in a preparedness and survival stance.  We will focus today on home and small group needs for water, incorporating knowledge from the prior two segments to complete the picture.  The needs of each home will differ considerably due to varying needs of water consumption.  A two-story home with five children, two parents, and an elderly grandparent with a long-term illness, for example, will need a different amount of water than two brothers in their thirties living in a small cottage.

The basics we’ll cover can be tailor-made to fit the situation that governs your needs.  Conservatively speaking, each person needs between 1-2 gallons per day for intake; this does not include use of showers, toilet, sink, and laundry.  As we covered in part 2 of this series on water, during a survival/grid down scenario, there are a number of diseases that must be taken into consideration.  There are filtration and purification methods as detailed in part 1 as well as large-scale considerations.  First things first: let’s discuss obtaining water.

I have included a diagram that shows how to make a water point for the family.  Prior to doing any of this, consult with your lawyer or your local and state guidelines concerning laws, statutes, and regulations in the state you live; they may prohibit your obtaining and storing water (surface, rain, or other). 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Water and Cadillac Deserts

Water and Cadillac Deserts

California Aqueduct near Kettleman City. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

My lengthy experience at the US Environmental Protection Agency brought me face to face with the terrors of our “modern” times. One of those awful realizations was that the leaders of America – and the leaders of other countries — are not telling the truth about the impact of people and industries  have been having out there, on the natural world. For example, water.

The degradation, poisoning, and the disappearance of water is, first of all, the result of too many people inhabiting the planet. Despite perpetual wars and plagues, world population is steadily rising.

However, an even bigger force has been undermining water and life on Earth: industrialization: the machine power man acquired and employed to reshape the world to his interests.

This engineering power spread to plantation owners and modern oligarchs who rushed and grabbed land from indigenous people or small family farmers. Water has been absolutely necessary for “landscaping” the natural world and the production of cash crops in large farms and plantations. In addition, developers, miners, river-dam builders, and large cities want lots of water.

Before I tell the story of what “moderns” are doing to water, let’s turn to an earlier age when the Greeks treasured water.

Sacred water and Greek cosmology

Water was sacred to the Greeks because nature and the cosmos were sacred. The gods, and the universe those gods represented, demanded that the Greeks understand their power, which meant an understanding of nature and the cause and effect of phenomena in the natural world and the universe. Mythology informed them that:

(1) the god of southern wind, Notos, was the father of rain, Zeus having given him the prerogative of sending rain-giving clouds from the sky to earth.

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‘We Need Water Before Oil’: Kenyan Communities Scarred by Chinese Oil Exploration

‘We Need Water Before Oil’: Kenyan Communities Scarred by Chinese Oil Exploration

A herder walks a Merti road

The repeated honking of a speeding Tawakul shuttle announces the return of travellers to Merti from distant towns at dusk. It also marks the close of another searing and slow day in this part of northern Kenya.

Idling villagers’ faces are suddenly lit by the prospect of seeing their families as they rush to meet the late arrivals, stirring this sleepy shopping centre into activity.

Wako Ade, a local motorbike taxi rider nods towards a reunited couple as the dusty vehicle empties its passengers at the bus terminal and says with frustration: “We are tired of this life. The bus is our only connection with Kenya through Isiolo town. I think the rest of the country forgot us.”

It wasn’t always like this.

About a decade ago, all eyes were on this weather-beaten and marginalized part of the country. Ade remembers seeing visitors from as far as the capital city, Nairobi, flocking to the town, positioning themselves for prospective business. For good reason: Merti was about to strike oil.

But it never materialised.

Destruction

In 2008, the China Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) announced it had identified 15 wells which showed strong signs of holding oil and gas deposits. But by January 2011, CNOOC had left, leaving the community with damaged land and $2 million worth of shattered hopes.

“There was excitement everywhere. We began preparing for an economic turnaround that has eluded us since Kenya gained independence,” recalled 75-year-old Dika Bidu from Dadach Basa village, which sits 12km away from CNOOC’s Bhogal rig.

As a village decision maker, the government told Bidu of the new health facilities, schools, piped water and tarmac roads that would be built to improve the lives of the people there.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Barrels, Buckets, and Bottles: Adventures in Low-Water Living

Barrels, Buckets, and Bottles: Adventures in Low-Water Living

water barrels / Public Domain / pxhere
WATER BARRELS / PUBLIC DOMAIN / PXHERE

Water is invisible to most people in developed countries.

We turn on the tap, and there it is.  It’s provided free in restaurants, without our even asking for it.

We can spend money to buy water in bottles, but in America at least, we’re never far from a water fountain.

There have been revelations recently of lead or other contaminants in water supplies, but still the concept of a universal “water supply” is rarely questioned.

Water for Granted

This easy access to water is not the case in many places on earth and was almost never the case in the past.  And it’s looking like it will not be the case in the future, as sea-level rise threatens fresh water supplies, energy resources are depleted, political systems lack the will or ability to maintain infrastructure, and climate change creates unpredictable rainfall and temperature patterns around the globe.

If our water systems collapse, or if we decide to simplify voluntarily, individuals and households may be surprised at the lifestyle changes that will be necessary.  What we own, how we use it, and even our domestic architecture will be affected.

This was something I had to learn during two years without running water in Liberia and seven years with erratic running water in Kyrgyzstan.  I offer my experiences in living without reliable water sources not because I’m the expert.

There are millions of people around the world who have managed their whole lives on a tiny fraction of the water we consider necessary.  But perhaps I can describe to you what living with unpredictable water is like and make it less daunting.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Panicked Hong Kongers Hoard Food, Water, Supplies Amid Coronavirus Hysteria

Panicked Hong Kongers Hoard Food, Water, Supplies Amid Coronavirus Hysteria

Now that striking health-care workers have successfully forced Carrie Lam’s government to close most of its border links with the mainland and dramatically restrict travel from elsewhere in China, a full-on panic has engulfed the city, fueled by “malicious rumors” about supply shortages, Reuters reports.

Chaos has erupted in some areas as supermarkets have imposed limits on how many items customers can buy. Hundreds of shoppers have thronged aisles of supermarkets as they struggle to buy up as many consumer staples – rice, water, meat, noodles etc. – as they can again on Friday. Chinese-ruled Hong Kong has reported 25 cases of the virus and one of only three deaths outside the mainland.

“Everyone’s snatching whatever they can get. I don’t even know what’s going on,” said a 72-year-old woman surnamed Li as she clutched two bags of toilet rolls.

The situation in Hong Kong right now is incredibly tense. Many still have horrible memories from the SARS outbreak of  2002-2003, which killed roughly 300 people as it swept through the city. But the scare also comes after months of anti-Beijing protests by the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.

Already, Matthew Cheung, chief secretary for administration, said that Hong Kong people returning from the mainland must stay home for a fortnight or risk a $3,200 fine and up to 6 months in jail. Non-Hong Kong residents must stay in government isolation centers or hotel rooms for the same period, facing the same penalties.

“Self discipline and having everybody in Hong Kong fighting…this infectious disease is the most important thing,” said Sophia Chan, the city’s health secretary.

There was some good news in Hong Kong: Thousands of medical workers who had been on strike this week to press the government to close the border voted to suspend their action on Friday night, though they said they would continue to pressure the government for tighter measures to suppress the outbreak.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Vital Implications on Water Scarcity According to 14 Experts

Vital Implications on Water Scarcity According to 14 Experts

WATER DAM / UPSPLASH

With factors as precarious as climate, failing infrastructure, increased global population, pollution, and excessive groundwater pumping, it is no wonder that the concern for water scarcity has garnered the attention of authorities across many agencies and sectors.

And while those in developed countries might not experience the effects of the water crisis as imminently as those in more water-stressed regions of the world, the reality of water scarcity is ultimately a global concern and should certainly be treated as such.

Solutions such as demand management, culture and policy change, and improved infrastructure are practical and achievable – contrived through extensive research and collaboration. Because combating the global water crisis is such a complex issue, it requires a multi-pronged, multi-disciplinary approach.

Read our Related Article: 9 Viable Water Scarcity Solutions

In this article, we’ve asked water experts in the NGO, government, academic, and private sectors to share their candid opinions on water scarcity and to shed light on potential and practical solutions.

We’ve asked the question:

In your opinion, what are the main contributing factors to our current global water crisis and what actions do you believe are most crucial in mitigating it as best as humanly possible?

The following are their answers.

Causes and Solutions to the Global Water Crisis


Image

Read our related article: 10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore


Democratize Access to Information


The main contributing reason is that public policy has failed to adequately address water scarcity, poor quality and lack of access of water for economic development, business growth, social well being and ecosystem health. We have framed this failure as the “Day Zero” which obscures the underlying issues of overallocation of water, lack of incentives for sustainable water use and the realization that the past is not a guide to the future.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

6 Ways to Recycle Water

6 Ways to Recycle Water

Water is an important part of our lives, and something we take for granted. Learnings ways to conserve water will help during droughts, economic hardships, keeping the utility bill down and conserving our vital natural resources. Here are 6 ways to conserve water from the home.

water (1)

Watching the aftermath unfold during recent major disasters, has caused many of us to wake up and start finding solutions to be better prepared and more independent. One of these solutions is finding ways to conserve water for later use. Instead of looking forward to the future to find the answers, we are turning our heads back to the past, to our forefathers. Many have begun to grow gardenscare for  livestock, and started learning self-reliant practices.

Conserving water is an important aspect of preparedness and homesteading alike, and also something that every home can begin practicing. These conservation methods teach individuals the importance of frugality, prudence and self-reliance. Using  water consumption calculators is a great way to start researching how much water is used on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. When a person gets an idea as to how much water is used in the home, they can begin making appropriate changes.

Here are six easy ways to conserve and recycle water for later use:

1. Use rain collection barrels.  This is one of the most efficient ways of collecting water. Because the barrels come in different sizes, you can adjust your conservation method to how you see fit. If a person does not have rain collection barrels, they could use buckets placed out in the yard to collect water. The stored water can be used for a short or long-term needs. As well,because rain water lacks all the chemicals added to tap water, it can be used for other purposes such as feeding livestock, or watering the garden with.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore

10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore

Why is water scarcity a legitimate concern?

It is true that the hydrologic cycle, the process in which the earth circulates water throughout its ecosystems, is a closed-loop cycle that neither adds nor takes away water. In theory, the amount of water on earth will always remain the same.

The problem therein is when the hydrologic cycle is disrupted and water which normally gets distributed to a certain area no longer does so. This is precisely why some regions are becoming arid while others are experiencing flooding and other natural disasters.

In this article, we’ll discuss the role that humans play in the global water crisis and we’ll cover the 10 most alarming water scarcity facts that we shouldn’t ignore.


The Alarming Human Factor in Water Management


Humans play a large role in the disruption of the hydrologic cycle.

  • The excessive building of dams prevents rivers from distributing mineral-rich water to areas that are dependent on the nutrients for plant growth.
  • Pollution caused by large factories can render freshwater sources such as lakes and rivers unusable.
  • The constant paving of roads seals the surface of the ground, preventing it from soaking up rainfall and replenishing the underground aquifers, a very vital part of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Excessive drilling into the ground can disrupt the structure of the bedrock, potentially allowing fresh groundwater to be contaminated with seawater.
  • Bottled water privatization creates a monopoly on a resource that should otherwise be available to the people who live in the region where the water is located.

As the world’s population increases the demand for the required amount of water necessary to sustain large communities does as well. While water is involved in the sustenance of virtually every aspect of a human’s life, the production of food makes up the majority of it.

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Save The World By First Saving Yourself

Save The World By First Saving Yourself

We each have a role to play in how the world recovers from the coming crisis

Ripped from today’s headlines:

From news reports like these, it’s understandable to think that our future looks bleak.

At this point we can only ride out the consequences as the systems we depend on collapse and then ebb away — exposing that the structure of our modern way of life is really a just an edifice built of sand.

That may be true. But not necessarily.

I’m here with some good news today. There remains a multitude of options that each of us can and should do to prepare for what lies ahead. And in so doing, we can help to avert the worst of it, as well.

But only if enough of us try. Critical mass is key here.

Yes, the world is busy collapsing around us. That’s true.

But collapse is a process, not an event. It can be ameliorated and even reversed, depending on the actions we decide to take from here.

And there’s still time left to change our fate.  Not much, mind you. But enough to matter.

The good news is that more and more people are heeding the call and taking action. The bad news is that too many still aren’t.

And the worse news is that the many entrenched powers of the status quo are working against our future best interests, as they desperately cling to old notions of advantage, wealth, and privilege.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘I Want Them to Have Justice’: Inside the Fight to Save the Shubenacadie River

‘I Want Them to Have Justice’: Inside the Fight to Save the Shubenacadie River

In Nova Scotia, water protectors have fiercely opposed a gas company’s plans for a decade, helped by a celebrity supporter.

Dale-Poulette-final2.jpg
Can ‘water protectors’ like Dale Poulette (seen above) and his partner Rachael Greenland-Smith win a war against governments and a resource company over the future of a grand river and the people it helps to sustain? Still from There’s Something in the Water.

It is so quiet on the banks of the Shubenacadie you can almost hear the river breathe.

Standing by the Treaty Truckhouse with Rachael Greenland-Smith and Dale Poulette, the instinct is to fall silent. The landscape draws you in with elemental power — an Alex Colville painting come to life.

Blue sky above, tawny long grass below, all of it bisected by the reddish tidal waters of the Shubenacadie. The only sound is the flapping of the Indigenous Unity flag when the wind picks up from the river.

The RCMP didn’t want any flags flying on nearby Treaty Island, but Mi’kmaq water protectors felt they had no choice. They believed that the Alton Gas company’s storage project, which would dump huge amounts of brine into the Shubenacadie, would endanger the river.

The company wants to build massive underground caverns to store natural gas. It would use river water to flush out salt deposits at a site 12 kilometres away, creating the caverns. The salty water would then be pumped back into the river over a few years.

582px version of Shubenacadie-River.jpg
The reddish tidal waters of the Shubenacadie. Photo by Michael Harris.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘You can’t drink money’: Kootenay communities fight logging to protect their drinking water

Glade Watershed Kootenay logging Heather McIntyre Louis Bockner
Heather McIntyre and her grandson Carmi Restrick collect water samples and record the temperature of Glade Creek. This daily community monitoring program began two years ago and is an effort to provide hard evidence should the proposed logging go ahead and the community’s water is negatively affected. Photo: Louis Bockner / The Narwhal

‘You can’t drink money’: Kootenay communities fight logging to protect their drinking water

In Glade, where clear-cutting could begin any day, determined residents are pulling out all the stops in an effort to protect their local creek — even though a judge ruled they have no right to clean waterSarah Cox Jul 20, 2019  17 min read

Four years ago, on a morning hike with her husband, Heather McIntyre spotted red and white flagging tape near a creek that supplies much of the drinking and irrigation water for her village of Glade in a pastoral Kootenay valley.

The tape marked logging boundaries and roads and was stamped with “KLC,” the initials of a local timber company, Kalesnikoff Lumber Co., which planned to log in the community’s watershed on the slopes of a low-lying Selkirk Mountain in the interior rainforest.

“We kind of panicked,” said McIntyre, who lives in a yellow strawbale house amidst a patchwork of fruit and vegetable gardens, in a community named Dolina Plodorodnaya by its Doukhobor founders, meaning “fertile valley.”

Glade Watershed Kootenay River Louis Bockner

The community of Glade sits on the banks of the Kootenay River near Nelson, B.C. The Glade Creek watershed has been at the centre of an ongoing dispute between community members and two logging companies — ATCO and Kalesnikoff Lumber Co — who have been given cut permits in the drainage. Photo: Louis Bockner / The Narwhal

“Everybody in the lower part of Glade gets their water from the creek and the logging flagging was right above the creek,” McIntyre told The Narwhal. “We’re using a lot of water in summer for irrigating and then there’s our drinking water.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

State of the Globe: 13 Facts: why the next crisis is inevitable

State of the Globe: 13 Facts: why the next crisis is inevitable 

The order of the current problems laid down below is random. Hard to say which factor will be the next catalyst. Maybe all or several at the same time? Decide for yourself.

1. Unresolved political conflicts. Ask yourself: which conflicts have been finally resolved since the 2007 crisis? In the Middle East? In the Balkans? In the former Soviet Union? (in Ukraine, the proxy war of the EU against Russia?) In Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya? In Sudan? There is no end to this list. The UNO, NATO, the international coalitions for the “defence of human rights” or interventions of the major powers for the defence of their own interests in a region (e.g. Russia and the USA in Syria) only bring more unrest and destabilization in the individual regions and cost the Western world pots of money. Aggressive foreign policy by the great powers and threats to geopolitics will continue to put a massive strain on the world’s economy and pose a risk to investors.

2. The most powerful countries in the world have been arming themselves for years. World military spending increased by 2.6 percent last year to around $1.82 trillion – a new high since 1988. The mainstream media, unlike in the sixties of the last century, are reluctant to talk about the new Cold War because they are fully engaged in creating the delusion of a united, peaceful humanity.

3. Since its inception, Marxism has been an ideology that has not inscribed itself as anything positive in the history of any country. Because of Marxist ideas, more than 100 million people died in Europe in the 20th century (according to the calculations of the French historian Stéphane Courtois).1)

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Forget “Money”: What Will Matter Are Water, Energy, Soil and Food–and a Shared National Purpose

Forget “Money”: What Will Matter Are Water, Energy, Soil and Food–and a Shared National Purpose

If you want to identify tomorrow’s superpowers, overlay maps of fresh water, energy, grain/cereal surpluses and arable land.

The status quo measures wealth with “money,” but “money” is not what’s valuable. “Money” (in quotes because the global economy operates on intrinsically valueless fiat currencies being “money”) is wealth only if it can purchase what’s actually valuable.

As the world slides into an era of scarcities, what will matter more than “money” are the essentials of survival: fresh water, energy, soil and the output of those three, food. The ability to secure these resources will separate nations that fail and those that survive.

In a world of abundance, it’s assumed every essential resource can be bought on the open market. Surpluses are placed on the market and anyone with “money” can buy the surplus.

Things work differently in scarcity: “money” buys zip, zero, nada because nobody with what’s scarce can afford to give it away for “money” which can no longer secure what’s scarce.

Parachute into a desert with gold, dollars, euros, yen and yuan, and since there’s nothing to buy, all your money is worthless. Once you’re thirsting to death, you’d give all your money away for a liter of fresh water. But why would anyone who needs that liter for their on survival trade it for useless “money”?

Imagine the longevity of a regime which sold the nation’s food while its populace went hungry. Not very long once the truth comes out.

Having resources is only one component: consumption is the other half of the picture. Having 4 million barrels a day of oil (MBPD) is nice if you’re only using 3 MBPD, but if you’re consuming 8 MBPD, you still need to import 4 MBPD.

Water and soil are not tradable commodities. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mapping PFAS Crisis: New Data Reveals 19 Million Americans In 43 States Exposed To Toxic Chemicals

Mapping PFAS Crisis: New Data Reveals 19 Million Americans In 43 States Exposed To Toxic Chemicals 

Tens of millions of Americans in 43 states may have been exposed to toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS in their drinking water, according to the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, at Northeastern University.

The report shows PFAS chemicals have exposed upwards of 19 million through contaminated groundwater. Researchers found 610 contaminated locations ranging from public water systems, military bases, military and civilian airports, industrial plants, dumps, and firefighter training sites.

PFAS chemicals were used in thousands of industrial applications and consumer products such as apparels, carpeting, food packaging, firefighting foams, and metal plating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that the toxic chemicals are present in the blood samples of the general population. Prior studies have shown the dangerous chemicals have been linked to weakened childhood immunity, thyroid disease, cancer, and other major health issues.

“The Environmental Protection Agency has utterly failed to address PFAS with the seriousness this crisis demands, leaving local communities and states to grapple with a complex problem rooted in the failure of the federal chemical regulatory system,” said Ken Cook, president of EWG. “EPA must move swiftly to set a truly health-protective legal limit for all PFAS chemicals, requiring utilities to clean up contaminated water supplies.”

The map below locates 610 places in 43 states that have dangerously high levels of PFAS chemicals in groundwater. Data from the US Department of Defense and public water utility reports were also included in the map. This additional data shows 117 military sites, including 77 military airports, which have high levels of PFAS firefighting foam.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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