As the rainwater hits the earth, the water begins to soak into the soil until the soil becomes saturated. Once the soil cannot absorb the water quick enough or the water lands on impermeable surfaces, it begins to flow on the surface. Managing this surface water can be done in many ways. Some methods are described on our passive rainwater harvesting page. In many cities this surface water is channelized onto our roads, washes, and storm drain systems. This accelerates the water, causing it to pick up pollutants and cause avoidable erosion issues. This water should be slowed down, spread out, and retained in beneficial spots. This does a number of beneficial things. One of the greatest is that the water is retained locally and returns to replenish the groundwater aquifer, enhances the green islands effect and prevents damage to our roads (potholes).
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