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Stormwater Management in the Desert

Santa Fe's Botanical Garden where they have a thoughtfully designed, and beautiful, stormwater management system amongst its drought tolerant plantings. Using a design called the zuni bowl, rain water flows are prevented from eroding soft soil through the use of appropriately placed rocks. The bowl acts as a large infiltration basin allowing water to slowly percolate into the ground. As the bowl fills, it evenly overflows down rock lined paths leading to another zuni bowl, and so on until it reaches its final storm drainage. The design and installation of this system was done by Craig Sponholtz of Watershed Artisans.

This zuni bowl captures stormwater to slow it down for calm and slow passage down to culverts.

View from the zuni bowl above looking out to a large, grass seeded percolation basin.

Silt trap basins work best when they are flat, long, wide, and rock lined only on the sides for easy silt excavation.

Another stormwater management catchment to slow and sink rain water.

Stormwater slowly descends to its final exit point in a gully.

Enjoy this short video of this stormwater management system for inspiration in your own water harvesting and management designs.

More Stormwater Management Resources

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