This spring, no one can deny that much of New Mexico is in “extreme” and “exceptional” drought conditions. The landscapes in Albuquerque are dry and several types of trees are not leafing out.
Albuquerque’s annual average precipitation is 9.4 inches, but last year it was 5.5 inches. It is also hotter, thus more arid. As we acknowledge that every drop counts, many of us have started to practice water harvesting.
As more neighbors capture rainwater to support gardens, trees and wildlife, numerous benefits can result. We conserve potable water when we use rainwater for outdoor uses, and save energy used to deliver potable water through the distribution system of the water authority. On-site stormwater capture can also reduce the storm flows on our streets, thus reducing some of the nasty pollutants, like e. coli, that enter the Rio Grande.
Brad Lancaster lives in Tucson, Arizona, and he understands arid places! He is a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant, and the author of the award-winning books “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond,” Volumes 1 and 2.
Querencia Green is co-sponsoring a free public presentation with Lancaster on Friday, June 7, at 6 pm, at George Pearl Hall / UNM School of Architecture and Planning. Brad’s presentations are entertaining and informative, and in the heat of June, his message will be welcome!
Querencia Green’s vision is to support neighbor teams in developing green projects, and the story of Brad’s street is illuminating. He started collecting rainwater on his corner property, and gradually, other neighbors harvesting rainwater from their rooftops and the street. The block was transformed – see photo above. Mesquite trees and other plants provide shade, habitat, a sense of place and beauty. Flour milled from the plentiful mesquite pods is good food for all.
The other co-sponsors for this event are Erda Gardens and Learning Center, Kalyx Studio, and UNM Sustainability Studies Program. Refreshments will be provided by La Montanita Coop and a few sponsors will have information tables after Brad’s talk. Financial support for the event is provided by UNM’s Office for the Vice President of Research.
Workshop on June 9
Grab a shovel! Brad Lancaster will also lead a hands-on workshop at Kalyx Studio in the South Valley on Sunday June 9. Participants will learn and practice earthwork techniques to improve the efficiency of acequia irrigation and rainwater capture for the home garden. Registration and fee information is available from Leslie Buerk at her e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leslie is a certified permaculture designer.
And the clouds drift by!