Protecting both your property and the environment from the ravages of storm season brings to bear some special challenges and solutions. An article in the May-Jun Howler discussed various ways to minimize the environmental impact when building in Costa Rica. Green considerations take on added importance when it comes to the Guanacaste region’s extreme contrasts in rainfall patterns. For half the year we can expect little to no rainfall, having minimal impact on our properties. The other half of the year normally brings random events of thunderstorms, torrential downpours and flooding. A single storm can cause massive damage to roads, erosion of hillsides and flooding in low areas, unless certain preventive measures are taken.
Contrary to popular belief about trying to eliminate water from our properties as fast as possible, the opposite control method – slowing the flow of moving water – is typically more effective. Naturally slowing the flow of rainwater runoff is best done with the use of vetiver grass or bamboo.