Dry Riverbeds Solve Water Runoff

With spring here, you may be wondering how to control runoff from snow or rain hitting lands. Sudden or mismanaged water is not just inconvenient; in certain areas it is really dangerous. In my native Los Angeles, too much water can cause slope destabilization, slides and ocean pollution as runoff overwhelms storm methods. These are nasty troubles, but one of the potential solutions is extremely beautiful!

Dry riverbeds are a visually striking way to participate and manage the water on a house, whether you expect flash flooding or just aspire to ensure that you command and direct the water that enters your site as quickly as possible.

Landscape Architects, Golden Associates

While dry riverbeds are all workhorse features, don’t underestimate their capability to make a positive visual impact. In arid landscapes, the mixture of river rock and other permeable materials like this contrasting, colorful gravel could be dramatic and aesthetically pleasing.

Celine Fisk

While it may or might not be true in this backyard, it is possible to track water to feed water features like this small fountain.

Cassy Aoyagi, FormLA Landscaping

While the sense of power and energy created by the dry riverbed above is enhanced by the contrast in colour between the river rock and surrounding stone, riverbeds surrounded by materials of more similar materials, like the decomposed granite still convey richness and energy.

Note: A rain string visible on the left of this photo allows water to permeate into the ground and feed back into the groundwater table. An infiltration pit could help move excess water off the house.

While infiltration is favored, dry riverbeds can also help extra water percolate onsite before efficiently leaving the house after it has saturated the soil.

Cassy Aoyagi, FormLA Landscaping

While generally associated with more xeriscaped seems, as desert gardens live or die in their ability to efficiently handle sudden and low water, dry riverbeds can match a vast array of aesthetics.

Field Outdoor Spaces

A dry riverbed will help stabilize a slope by providing a place for water to escape, also a significant factor in preventing slides. This specific river may also feed an infiltration pit.

Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

Dry riverbeds will help route water away from the base of a structure. This is important, so many structures are made without a firm understanding of the natural water flow on a house.

River Valley Orchids

This riverbed appears to feed a biological pond, a gorgeous and effective way to store water onsite while permitting some water to percolate and infiltrate the groundwater table.

Dry riverbeds are just 1 strategy for managing and directing extra water. Watch for forthcoming more ideabooks on associated subjects and test out Erin Lang Norris’ post on rain chains.

More:
Easy-Care Landscaping With Rocks and Boulders
Great Design Plant: Slipper Plant
Steeply Beautiful Slope Retention

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