While others talk “Peak Oil” NEEM talks “Peak Water”
It took 100 years to use oil that took 100 million years to create. If we look at this history with oil and consider our tendency to abuse resources as a species then we must address water now through aquifer management before the aquifers themselves are compromised. We could not replace oil but we can replace water if we start now.
NEEM and Rain Water Harvesting
NEEM promotes replacing what we remove. We know our aquifers are at risk. We know the agricultural community would like to pass their farms on to their children knowing that they will have water to continue to farm. It is the future of agriculture in the United States; no water, no farm.
We design large-scale, simplified urban and rural systems. NEEM promotes systems that provide naturally filtered water with the majority harvested returned to the aquifer to recharge it.
We can easily determine usage through existing data. We know an aquifer’s capacity and what is removed from it in acre-feet. We therefore can determine the amount we need capture to recharge it. This dictates the number and size of systems required. It is as simple as that. There is an inexhaustible supply of rainfall yearly that exceeds what we currently use but is only beneficial to us if we harvest it. Rain falling on the ground is not efficiently returned to the aquifer. NEEM specializes in design and installation of large-scale, unique systems that require little or no maintenance.
The yearly capacity of a given “capture area” is calculated as follows:
Capture area square footage times .623 gallons per inch of annual rain = annual capacity
For example, the NEEM greenhouse at Rolls Garden will be used as a capture area. It is 2,850 square feet of surface. At the average annual rainfall for Durham, this will yield 85,226.4 gallons of water in the course of a year. Average monthly total is 6,747 gallons. Therefore, a two month supply is 13,294 and tank size required is 20,000 gallon tank or cistern.
Note: Let NEEM calculate your tank size accurately. Contact us, donate $20, give us dimensions and roof type, and we’ll get you the correct data before you commit to a system.
Daily Consumption Rates
- Per Person: 50 -100 gallons
- Gardens/Lawns: 600 gallons per 1,000 square feet
- Young Trees: 15 gallons
- Small Animals: .25 gallons per 25 pounds
- Dairy Cattle: 20 gallons
- Range Cattle: 15 gallons
There are more detailed methods of determining plant water usage based on transpiration (loss of water vapor from plants) or counting the number of drip irrigation heads or outlets used. These can yield more exact calculations.
We create new, one-of-a-kind rain water harvesting systems using SPLASH from Digital Software, Inc in Chapel Hill, NC. NEEM never takes shortcuts in quality and is always ahead of the curve. SPLASH is ahead of the curve in engineering capability and NEEM and Digital have an agreement and work together on sustainable concepts in rain water harvesting. As with SPLASH, we also have agreements with Western Environmental Liner, the only company on the planet with a capability of a 250 foot by 60 foot 45 ml seamless liner. We work with them in creating innovative and unique systems utilizing their capability to manufacture components based on NEEM design specification. We do not stop at the capture, conveyance and containment. We carry it a step further in drip irrigation systems and have a contractual agreement to carry Netafim products. The Netafim drip line irrigation is the system we use in our projects large and small. These and the other companies we work with give NEEM capacity. We consider evapotransiration rates and all criteria that affect outcome. Together in the cooperative spirit we work together as stewards to the planet.
NEEM was hired as a consultant to design a rain water harvesting system for Dine College and the Navajo Nation at Shiprock farm in Shiprock, New Mexico. We were proud and honored to be hired by the Navajo who have culturally been harvesting rain for 2,000 years but have in the last 125 become reliant on the European canal system. NEEM designed a system based on Anasazi/Puebloan/Navajo traditional methods. The result was an under-budget system and sustainable orchard management. This first-of-its-kind rural rain water harvesting project is capable of providing the necessary water for the Dine/NEEM Sustainable Agricultural project at Shiprock Farm.
Contact NEEM regarding your rain water harvesting design and consulting needs.
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