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Passive water-harvesting earthworks are the foundation of the evolving Tumamoc Resilience Garden — and they just captured all the flood from a water line that burst upstream

See the video above was shot May, 2022, shortly after the passive water-harvesting earthworks/basins were completed (plantings yet to come), and the morning after the basins harvested all the nighttime flood flow from a burst water line above the site. The big flow from the broken pipe took the path of the stormwater that the garden and its earthworks were designed to capture. All worked wonderfully! No water was lost—all was harvested within the rain gardens.

Thus the Tumamoc Resilience Garden is starting to take shape at the base of Tumamoc Hill.

Inspired by Tumamoc Hill, or Cemamagi Du’ag (O’odham), the “Horned Lizard Mountain” is a 700’ high hill of volcanic rock with prominent ecological, cultural, and sacred significance; along with pre-historic, historic, and contemporary water-harvesting systems.

The horned lizard, after which the Tumamoc Hill was named, has evolved to harvest rainwater off its back, from which water runs down gutters between the lizard’s scales to its mouth.
So, similarly, the Resilience Garden has been designed to harvest runoff from the Hill and the raised pathways within the Garden via a series of stepped water-harvesting basins or rain gardens in which a native food forest will be grown sheltered by native bean trees.

The rain is planted first, then the plants. Thus the water-harvesting earthworks are the topographical foundation of the garden.

The water-harvesting earthworks plant the rain in a way that harvests ALL free on-site waters including stormwater runoff, and just this month—a flood from a burst water line.

The passive water-harvesting plan for the Tumamoc Resilience Garden.
Blue arrows denote water flow. Overhead view. North is at top of plan.
Design by Brad Lancaster

See the new, full-color, revised editions of Brad’s award-winning books
– available a deep discount, direct from Brad:

Book Cover #1

Volume 1

The big picture book. Helps you integrate the harvests of all your free on-site waters along with the sun, wind, shade, and more to grow regenerative abundance for all.

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Book Cover #2

Volume 2

Step-by-step instructions and stories on how to design and implement many water-harvesting earthworks.

Includes and appendix on various tools such as laser levels, bunyip water levels, and A-frame levels enabling you to get your elevation relationships just right!

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