Conserving Water in the Mojave Desert Climate

The Mojave Water Agency held a workshop on capturing rain water in the desert for later use or to help re-charge the local aquifer. The presentation was part of the ABCs of Water series. Rainwater run-off from a 1500 sq.ft. roof can quickly fill up a rainbarrel during a rainstorm. This can be used later on to water landscaping such as bushes and trees, or for garden plants like vegetables, and more. Harvesting storm water in rain barrels, or diverting it into a swale, are ways of managing it more productively than just allowing run-off. Swales are rock and gravel streambeds that a homeowner or business can create, that helps re-charge water into the underground aquifer. Many city ordinances now mandate that new office and retail buildings create sunken run-off areas that are specifically constructed to re-charge water into the ground. Attendees of the workshop learned how to coodinate the use rain gutters with several types of rain barrel systems. Another topic was managing water collecting systems to keep mosquitoes out and discourage breeding (yes, we do now have them here in the desert). Landscape designs were presented showing attractive rock-scapes and swales with plants that encourage the water to soak into the ground. The next ABCs of Water will present “Groundwater – Dynamics of Local Water Supply,” on Tuesday, March 22. RSVP is required by calling Gloria at (765) 946-7001, or email:

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