Friday, January 04, 2019

An insignificant puddle

What will happen to this remaining little puddle sitting atop bluestone blocks, or large cobblestones if you like? Pitchers, even.


Some of the water will evaporate but mostly it will soak into the ground. In this case the ground was already waterlogged when I took the photo, so it will be a race to see whether more will evaporate than soak in. Soaking in. This is a good thing. Moisture soaking into the soil, sustaining all sorts of things and giving a large surface area for moisture to rise into the atmosphere and return as rain.

But, we are sealing so much of what used to be areas where rain soaked in. From the city, where smooth concrete paving is now preferred, against the above bluestone, to the inner suburbs where medium and highrise buildings are aplenty taking up whole blocks, to middle suburbs where large blocks of land with vast soak in areas are being replaced with medium rise buildings, covering the land completely, to the outer suburbs where new developments have houses built almost covering the whole are area of land.

We are already seeing the result of this, but it would be stretching it to say it has led to less rainfall but what we are seeing is greater flooding, meaning our streets, roads, train lines and tram routes become impassable after heavy but brief rain. There is just so much water to run off now, rather than soaking into the ground.

The authorities have made a terrible mistake and there is no going back. A lot of money will now have to be spent on drainage, and of course the taxpayer will pay, not the profit driven property developers.

32 comments:

  1. Well said. We need to start taking care of Mother Earth before it's too late.

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    1. Indeed we do and I hope our young people will do a better job than we have.

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  2. Quite true in many areas. I am still in the country and in my area of New Hampshire they are very careful and cautious about building things and our waterfronts, as well as drainage systems are considered first and foremost. This is not the case where I grew up on Cape Cod. Very sad.

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    1. Maribeth, that is so good to hear, but not about Cape Cod. I think we are well behind NH in the this area.

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  3. I heard once in some us cities concrete is being torn up for drainage again, to give water back to the ground, as was intended.

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    1. Strayer, that is also great to hear. I wonder if it will happen hear.

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  4. Sadly true. And becoming more so each year.

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    1. EC, yes, you think of your own city and what has been covered over in the last twenty years. Scary.

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  5. I love those old blue stone paving and I have never thought about the water it lets seep in ... that must help all sorts of things .... even the foundations of tall buildings.

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    1. Lady J, I am sure it does help keep moisture levels more stable in the soil and so help buildings. It may not be the nicest surface to walk on, but it is important.

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    2. Andrew ----- how are you going in this heat!!!
      Waiting for that cool change .
      Its 42c or 107f as I type.

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    3. I worked in the heat in the morning and the afternoon, but a nice cool break for lunch of three hours at home kept me going. It really was killer hot, but not a heat wave as some media are claiming. Days of above 40 is a heat wave, and we have had them.

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  6. In some parts of the UK they have allowed building developments on flood plains. I'm no genius but even I could work out why they are called flood plains. And you'll never guess what happened in heavy rain the other year - the buildings were flooded!!

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    1. I hear you Marie. The same has happened here, but we haven't seen much in the way of flooding, but all it will take is for a sustained heavy downpour, and newish houses will be flooded. Add to that, allowing buildings to be built not high enough above sea level to cater for rising sea levels.

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  7. I'm sure with the heat predicted for Melbourne all moisture will soon dry up!

    It would appear a Catch-22 situation is in play!

    Keep cool..and keep your cool! :)

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    1. Lee, any moisture I had certainly dried up this morning. Back out into the heat this afternoon for work.

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  8. Didn't the City Council put in rain gardens? Google it for me dearest, I'm too tired.

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    1. I've heard something about that Jah Teh, but one rain garden does not a swallow make...ahh, it's hot.

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  9. Stone or whatever for pavement - yes it's costly to make it all smooth. I recall years ago we women used to wear high heels into the city, here and in Melbourne then the pavement changed and we had to wear flatties :)

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    1. Margaret, I would have to think about that. Yes, I know some areas where it would be very hard to where heels.

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  10. With our President Trump in simple term he doesn't give rats ass about the mother earth.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, that is an area where he could redeem himself, if he cared for environment, but no, he doesn't.

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    2. At least your town will be safe, once the wall is built, from Mexican invasion.

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  11. Here in France, one often sees large areas of car parking etc that are totally covered in tarmac, but with huge (and beautiful) Plane trees dotted around. I often wonder how they get their essential water, but they seem to thrive.

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    1. Cro, there has to be water under the tarmac. Are there drainage spaces under the trees? Clearly the ground underneath is moist, so water is coming from somewhere.

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    2. No, the tarmac goes right up against the tree trunks. It's always been a mystery.

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  12. Yes, spot on! Building and smooth paving sometimes even over watercourses goes on continually and when heavy rain occurs there is nowhere for the water to go.

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    1. Cheryl, I don't remember our city flooding so easily in the past. It used to take an awful lot of heavy rain. Now we flood so easily.

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  13. Isn't it a shame the drainage wasn't built-in when the roads etc were being constructed? No foresight at all on the part of the developers. And when they do include them, they are never big enough to withstand the sudden downpour or flash flooding, so driveways, corners and intersections are awash several times a year.

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    1. River, I think the developers do build drainage to cope with normal conditions, but not adverse conditions. That is where is goes wrong. Aside from that, our soil needs soak in water.

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  14. My best guess is that yes, the authorities have made a terrible mistake. But experience has shown us that the profit-driven property developers are rarely held accountable. We have seen examples all over the city :(

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    1. Hels, it is so sad but so true. It is relentless now.

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