CHECKDAM | Friday, May 22, 2020

7:37 AM

#CHECKDAM: After reading fourteen books cover-to-cover on water and its management around the world, I decided NOT to do my MA final project on the World Water Crisis. It was simply too big, too complex, and not visual enough without a huge budget. But it’s hard to not remain interested after so much research, so I instead took smaller parts of the story and shot those, which led me to all kinds of interesting people and projects. This is one on The Big Island, Hawaii. The watershed above Pelekane Bay was trashed through overgrazing and deforestation - the topsoil blows away, the rain comes down and just erodes the mountain by washing it into the sea. The Kohala Watershed Partnership stepped up to both restore the forests and build check dams to arrest the sediment - they fill up gullies with a stack of rocks, wrap it in wire and material and it blocks the sediment and slows the water, allowing it to penetrate the ground. Melora Purell, the KWP coordinator, responded to me and invited me to watch a group as they spent a hot day building two check dams. The work was hard, and the dams are quickly covered up with sediment and become part of the land again. The picture shows some of the team scouting for locations and getting ready. A long while later, I had another exchange of messages with Melora she mentioned they’d named a dam or two ‘Vish’. 😆 The Big Island might just be my favourite place in the world, and I look forward to going back one day and seeing a blossoming island packed with native flora. #Hawaii #watermanagement #PelekaneBay #Kawaihae #KohalaMountain