In the 1950s, the Jewish National Fund, with the help of the World Bank, devised a system to manage the effect of torrential downpours in the desert by creating planted areas in ravines. These ravines, if left in their natural denuded state, are subject to drastic erosion. By the use of minimal grading with heavy machinery to change the depth, the slopes and the edges of the ravines, much of the flood water can be retained to make a micro climate in which trees can flourish. Thus, with a minimum of input, a profound change can be made in the landscape. Shade can be provided in a harsh climate; and the visual delineation of landforms is, in itself, an amenity in a denuded land.
Limanim (Bays) and Ravines
A Liman (bay) is a sunken basin planted with a small grove of trees, in size varying between about a quarter of one hectare to one hectare. Limanin are typically located near roads. Thus they can be used as shaded rest areas for motorists. As in “ravines”, floodwater is retained to create a micro climate for trees. These floods occur twice or three time a year during the rainy season. The bay is filled to the rim and the contained water slowly seeps into the ground.
In the case of ravines (deep drainage runnels) the section of the channel is flattened and dammed in order to slow down water runoff and increase water retention.
Our part in this project was to locate the sites for implementing the different types of solutions, to design and appropriately execute those in a variety of different locations in the desert.
Desert areas throughout Israel
Jewish National Fund
J.N.F Team: Naftali Yaffe, Eli Kligler
Marks in the Landscape