While the city of Chicago was shutting down due to too much rain last week just 60 miles north of us, the swales, ponds, berms and rain gardens we have put in around our home and in Stelle did their job of filling up and holding water back from the creeks. Over several days they will slowly release that water into the water table rather than let it run down into our creeks and rivers all at once.
The water we are holding back will eventually make it to our creeks and rivers anyway, but it will do so slowly… and over a long period of time… thus trickle-feeding our creeks and rivers all year round. This is the way a normal hydrological cycle works.
Considering that we were approaching drought conditions last summer, it feels incredibly good to be able to capture and store so much water in the soils around us. All of the trees and perennial plants with deeper roots are now secure with ample water for another year. We will only need to concern ourselves with watering our annual gardens throughout the year now.
Should you have not seen this yet, here is a simple video that explains water storage in the landscape. It is by Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI). Our CSC Permaculture Design Project is posted on the PRI Worldwide website as it has been modeled after their Master Plan program. Thank you to Geoff and PRI for their vision and leadership.