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When will stage 1 be released for sale?
Can I design and build my own home?
Will we be required to build our sustainable home within a certain timeframe?
Who will own the Witchcliffe Ecovillage agricultural lots?
Can I have a pet in the Witchcliffe Ecovillage?
What is the land tenure and governance structure for the Ecovillage?
How will the Witchcliffe Ecovillage manage water sustainably?
What is the Witchcliffe Ecovillage water footprint?
The average consumer connected to mains water in WA’s South West uses around 150 litres per person per day in the house, however, this is only a small part of an individual’s total water footprint, which includes water for landscaping, industry, power generation, and food production and processing. In Australia, we have one of the highest water consumption footprints in the world, and a large proportion of that water is used to grow the food we eat. Michael Mobbs, Australian author of Sustainable Food, says that it takes an additional 10,000 litres of water per day to produce the food consumed by the average Australian. http://www.foodwise.com.au/michael-mobbs-talks-sustainable-food/
We initially planned the Witchcliffe Ecovillage water budget based on individual usage of 150 litres per person per day within the home, consistent with WA Health Department requirements; however, a water consumption of 100 litres per person per day can be achieved without impacting lifestyle simply through using AAA rated appliances in each house.
The water used for food production at Witchcliffe Ecovillage will be approximately 400 litres per person per day, captured, biologically filtered and stored in dams from stormwater runoff from roads and roofs, and piped back to community gardens and agriculture using solar energy. If the majority of residents’ fresh food consumption comes from the Ecovillage community gardens and farm, then their water footprint for food will be vastly reduced compared to the Australian average.
Where does water for food production in the Ecovillage come from?
In the south-west of WA, we experience wet winters and dry summers, so we need to collect and store water during winter to enable food production throughout the year. We will capture the rainwater that will run off the impervious surfaces of the village (roads, paths, roofs) and store it in dams so that residents can grow fresh organic food in the community gardens and agricultural land all year long. Surplus food will be sold through the Ecovillage cafes, restaurants, and food hub to provide agribusiness and employment and fresh organic food for residents and locals. We have allowed for an average irrigation of 4mm per day for food production on agricultural land and in community gardens between November and March.
Are the Witchcliffe Ecovillage dams sustainable?
How will the Witchcliffe Ecovillage manage stormwater runoff?
In an urban environment, water runs off hard surfaces such as roads, driveways, paths and roofs quickly with very little absorption. Landscaping in an urban area slows down runoff and increases infiltration, but usually not as effectively as a natural system. Runoff from agricultural land varies depending on the way the land is managed and plantations can reduce stormwater runoff but many agricultural uses such as pasture and vineyards result in increased stormwater runoff.
At the Witchcliffe Ecovillage, we have designed a series of raingardens, wetlands and water storages that will intercept stormwater runoff, slowing its movement through the village, filtering sediment and stripping any nutrients before flowing into downstream watercourses or being captured and stored in tanks and dams for use throughout the year. The water storages will help to manage the flow of water from the Witchcliffe Ecovillage site, more closely replicating pre land clearing flows.
How were the Witchcliffe Ecovillage stormwater flows calculated?
Post development flows are estimated based on well-established stormwater design principals documented in national guidelines, such as Australian Rainfall and Runoff, with local data for rainfall intensity and duration obtained from the Bureau of Meteorology Witchcliffe weather station, which is currently located on the Witchcliffe Ecovillage site.