July 2012 – Water harvesting project at School

July 2012

Water Harvesting Project

Ghor Al Mazraa Boys’ School

In July we built a graywater system in a local school, whose water will be used for trees and a garden. The school is one of the oldest of the region, and now has few trees and little shade – hopefully, the graywater system will make the trees grow more.

The Ghor Al Mazraa Boy School

We choose a school for this project in order to make the children come in contact and have first-hand experience of eco-sustainability. Reaching the children is one of the most important thing: one child who today sees the benefits of this way of living and thinking will tomorrow grow into an adult that will care about the environment.

We would like to thank Rafael Schouten, an Australian water harvesting practitioner who helped us design and implement this project.

Planning

We started by calculating the area extension and the amount of rainfall water that we could divert to the small garden where the trees are. We then estimated the amount of graywater that could be harvested. The rainfall water and the graywater could be used to water the existing trees, and also some more big ones to provide shadow, that we will be planting this Autumn.

Implementation

Working together with some students,  we created the basins to catch the water and channels to divert it. Water will be harvested in large basins, 3mx4m. We also created some smaller basins where rainfall naturally concentrates. Plants will be planted in each of these.

The large basin.

We created a deep ring-shaped area around a raised area where we will plant a tree. Water will concentrate in the ring.

A detail of the graywater piping.

Conclusion

This project was a success. The cost to the school was only of 100JD. We hope to bring similar projects to other schools and buildings in the area. More importantly, the children were exposed to the concepts of rainwater harvesting and greywater re-use. In the next years they will keep watching the trees and the garden grow, knowing that it is possible thanks to a sustainable approach to water.

As these plants will keep growing, so will the environmental conscience of the children.
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