|Stone underpass photo by Alfonso Sahagun Casaus|
Our infrastructure was designed so rainwater is directed into the streets where it creates hazardous driving conditions until it evaporates in the hot desert sun. This makes me crazy!
|A catchment basin|
This is Tucson recently posted the article, "Here's why those same Tucson streets flood every time it rains." According to the article, the reason we have flooding is because it would cost $100 million to fix the 47 projects that flood every year. The attitude of the state officials is "Why bother? Just leave the water in the street and it will evaporate." But that is just the point. We need an infrastructure that directs the rain so it sinks into our depleted aquifer instead of just letting it evaporate. There is actually enough rainfall to supply water for every person in Tucson! That doesn't seem to be our representatives priority - even with Tucson suffering from a 20 year drought.
|Curb cuts get rainwater off of city streets to water native plants and our aquifer.|
A while ago we made some minor adjustments in our yard to make use of the runoff to water our Mexican Honeysuckle.
You might recall me frantically hacking at the bricks that were trapping the water on our patio. (It wasn't a pretty sight!) Dan had suggested that if I used the right tool for the job, I could get that brick out lickety-split (actually that's my mom's word) with the brick intact.
Turns out Dan was r-r-right. Using his new pick, Dan got a row of bricks by the cactus garden out in 10 minutes. He was mostly done before I managed to get the cell phone. (But, to be fair, the bricks weren't even half as deep as mine!)
Yesterday's monsoon was the perfect time to test how well they drained.... After three hours of raining, our "wading pool" drained in a few minutes! And I have to admit, Dan's drained better!
We can use a similar technique to get water off of our city streets! By putting in curb cuts, rainwater is directed to roadside catchment basins to irrigate native trees and restore our aquifer!
By working together we can take advantage of our abundant rainfall to make our city greener, save city water, and get rainwater out of our city streets! Making use of all that glorious rain is a great reason to celebrate!