As I watch this downtown Boulder neighborhood dry slowly, and listen to the sounds of rescue helicopters overhead, there have been a few thoughts at the front of my mind: design for disaster! People Care! Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share (to achieve the aims of Earth and People Care): the ethics of permaculture. Boulder was hit with the Four Mile Canyon Fire in September, 2010. In September, 2013, over the course of a few days, the heavy rainfall and flooding in the burn areas formed devastating landslides that took lives and destroyed homes and roadways. Last week, many farms in Boulder County were under water. The excess of the 10 to 15 inches of rain that fell in the Boulder foothills, and 15 to 20 inches of rain that fell in downtown Boulder between Monday, September 9th, and Sunday, September 15th, 2013, is making its way eastward in the form of flood waters. As flood waters continue to spread from the Front Range, thousands more people, structures, roads and farms are affected. In some areas, raw sewage is flowing into waterways. We must design for disaster.
Check out this article from treehugger.com: Food, Water, and… Permaculture? Rethinking Disaster Relief for Haiti and Beyond
In the spirit of People Care, comments, reflections, and/or requests for help from the permaculture community are welcome.
This is a current link to the 100-yr Boulder Flood Plain map that was proposed in September 4, 2013, the week before the floods began. It is worthwhile noting your location on the map and comparing your observations from this past week with the flood plain map predictions. Create your own flood plain map of your area, if you have notes on each day’s rainfall and the results. It will be indispensable in your design.