Sunday, October 20, 2013

National Water Week

Today is the beginning of National Water Week throughout Australia which runs until the 26th of October!

Dedicated to raising community awareness about current and future water issues, National Water Week seeks to encourage the community to take action to protect our vital water sources. As a landscaping company that seeks to minimise water usage wherever possible, capture all water on site to revitalize vegetation and work with nature, not against it, PJL is a large supporter of this cause. 

For this week, we have enlisted the help of one of our amazing horticulturists, Claudia Green, who will be talking about water usage and how you can create a sustainable water wise garden in you own backyard!

The Problem With Drains
Claudia Green

Did you know that one of the best places to store water is in the soil? Our cities are designed to quickly remove water from hard surfaces and direct it into storm-water drains where it flows into the nearest stream, river or other water body. While this is a very efficient way to get water off our streets there are also significant problems with this “out of sight, out of mind” system. 

Firstly, water falling on hard surfaces cannot soak into the ground. This in turn causes changes in the water table and further damages already disturbed soil. Soil that has no water is effectively dead, as it cannot support the multitude of bacteria, fungi, animals and plants that are an essential part of a living soil system. A dead soil in turn cannot support healthy plant growth which is essential for healthy ecosystems even in the middle of our concrete jungles.

Another problem with our urban water system is that it increases the peak flows in local waterways. It may seem counter-intuitive that more water is bad for a stream, but it is when it occurs suddenly as happens during rainfall events when all that water that runs off hard surfaces suddenly gets dumped in the stream. This sudden increase in water flow causes erosion and stirs up the sediment in the stream causing turbidity (murky or muddy water). The runoff also carries pollutants with it such as rubbish or motor oil washed off the streets. All this causes problems for plants and animals living in the stream system and so has a significant impact on stream and river ecosystems.

Over the next week, keep your eye on our blog, Facebook page Twitter and Pintrest as we investigate some cost effective and simple ways you can help reduce these problems by capturing water falling on your roof or other hard surfaces and using it to replenish soil water, create havens for wildlife, and improve the health of your garden!

Head over to the National Water Week website for more information on what events are taking place and how you can get involved in this amazing, sustainable cause!

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