|Plot 144, Swakop River Plots, Swakopmund, Erongo Region, NA
(projects i'm involved in)
Posted by Grant Van der Merwe 3 months ago
Due to lack of interest in social media and the general availability of time (we are full time employed in 8to5 jobs). We have implemented varias aspects of our "homestead" at Plot 144 over the past few years. This update serves to get all the readers up to speed on the current status of the project, and we will be updating it as time allows.
We made a fundamental error, and stored all of our pictures of the progress of the property on one hard drive since the time we started (over ten years ago). Our hard drive crashed and we are unable to access the information on it at this point in time :-(
We have now over the past few months scratched through all our phones and media on all our systems, and are greatfull that we still have quite a few pictures to share, albeit at poorer quality, and potentially not the full progression as we would have loved to share with you. But, the hope is that it will get you the reader to a point where you understand where we are currently.
The Original Design
As with all things, one needs to start at the basis.
The property is situated at 22°37’50.89”S 14°41’54.05”E in the Namib Desert (oldest desert in the world). The property is at an elevation of 126m above sea level and is situated in an area known as Richthofen, along the Swakop River, overlooking the moon valley landscape. The Atlantic Ocean has a maritime effect on the property as it is only 18.4km away from site.
The Swakopmund Area is said to enjoy a mild desert climate, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. The lowest temperature of 1°C was recorded in Jul and August, and the highest temperature was recorded as 40°C in May. It is not uncommon for temperatures to go above 30°C in the summer months of Dec, Jan and Feb.
Average rainfall is less than 20mm per year with 0mm readings not being uncommon. There is, however, another supply of moisture to the desert in the form of mist/fog. The cold Benguela current supplies moisture for the area in the form of fog that can reach as deep as 140 km (87 mi) inland. Fogs that originate offshore from the collision of the cold Benguela Current and warm air from the Hadley Cell create a fog belt that frequently envelopes parts of the Namib desert. Coastal regions can experience more than 180 days of thick fog a year.
The predominant wind in the area is a South Westerly wind, that can reach speeds up to 20m/s. This wind brings in cool moist air of the Atlantic Ocean (as mentioned above).
Another phenomenon that occurs with regards to wind is known as the East Wind Conditions by the locals. This is when cold air from the inland sinks down to the coast during the winter months (known as berg winds). Once the wind reaches the ocean it has heated up significantly and picked up a lot of dust and sand from the desert, and it is not uncommon to have temperatures above 30°C in the Autum/Winter months of May, June, July and August, making the growing of deciduous species quite challenging.
This was my original mainframe design submitted for my PDC in 2013. Not my best work, but the concepts remain the same. Main water harvesting structures (still to be installed as finances allows), includes fog nets and swale and gabbion systems to intercept any possible water flows accross the property. As we have lived on the property things have eveolved and as such the design in being updated. Further details on the design will be covered in its own category under the project as "Design Details".
We currently use desalinated water supplied by our local municipality as a means of hydrating the landscape and getting systems implemented.
To keep the update short, we will continue updating in new posts, as we learn to Navigate through this PRI global site.
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