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Rainwater Preservation

Rainwater Preservation
August 18
08:46 2015

Laurence De Bure is encouraging Native American tribes to return to the old ways – and start saving rainwater.water-drop SMALL


“Every drop of water is precious,” De Bure said. Especially now, with the Southwest embroiled in a historic drought, she added.


From Mirepoix, Midi-Pyrenees, France, De Bure now lives in Tucson. She speaks three languages; English, French and Swiss.


Two years ago she started Waterock L3C, an advisory company that demonstrates ways in which to capture rainwater before it evaporates.


“It’s a new way of doing business,” De Bure said.


Waterock’s’ motto is: “With great respect and gratitude to every raindrop, a zero runoff policy must be adopted everywhere in the world.”

With climate change leading to severe droughts, water will become more important than, ever, De Bure said.


“It’s not rocket science,” she added.


The company’s mission statement says Waterock, with encouragement by Native Elders, is sharing knowledge with Tribal leaders and grassroots organizations, of the ancient wisdom of skillful placement of rock formations to benefit their lands with retained rain water.


“This also results in the control of erosion of stream and river beds otherwise caused by the rapid flow of rain and snow melt run-off,” De Bure said.


These water harvesting techniques are the essence of the Waterock L3C Workshop Program. The workshops involve community leaders in erosion control procedures. It also leads to inter-generational community participation in the construction of water detention, and diversion structures.


By capturing rainwater, Native American communities are becoming leaders in guiding the flow of rainwater runoff into retaining ponds, deep aquifers and wetlands for the re-introduction of wildlife and for irrigation to support farming and ranching.

De Bure said she is currently working with the Hopi Raincatcher Team, a 10-person group.


“We did some training over there, and they were convinced it was the way to go,” De Bure said. “The way to bring water back to the land.”


In September, she plans to meet with Navajo and Hopi leaders to discuss working jointly.


“When working on water issues, you can’t have the story of the past on your shoulders,” De Bure said.


De Bure did humanitarian work in war-torn Kosovo and she came away believing one important thing:


“Water is sacred.”


Waterock L3C Workshops train “Trainers” in water preservation techniques to direct rainwater runoff to prevent land erosion and conserve water for community use. The Trainers are then expected to return to their communities to share their knowledge.


Workshops usually last 3 to 4 days. Each workshop is custom designed and priced based upon the number of days and participants to be involved.


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