Qanats & Windcatchers for Lytton BC

A civil engineering concept to help Lytton resiliently mitigate fires for generations to come…

The Village of Lytton, BC had a catastrophic fire in 2021, after a wildfire started in the early evening of June 30, 2021, after suffering the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada. After percolating ideas in the back of my head for a year, last weekend, I wrote up a suggestion and sent it to the Village of Lytton and Lytton First Nation; and then afterwards to leaders in the insurance sector (Insurance Institute of Canada, CISO, Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction). The suggestion is to propose a way to mitigate future risk in Lytton and similarly situated communities. The concept is to use natural resources to help retard future fires. The idea is to consider the opportunities that arise when the rivers and architecture of the landscape is seen as a fire defence resource. This is an example of my practice to periodically intellectually refresh…by taking a day, here-and-there, to do something else entirely different. Exercise for the imaginative mind.

1page PDF: [Link] = (A) Local natural resources + (B) Combining civil engineering technologies + (C) new civil infrastructure administrative framework,

A) (See PDF)

B) Civil Engineering Idea

Combine Lytton’s location architecture + two ancient technologies into a system to create a local “cooling bubble”:
  1. Water sources (currently the Thompson R. and Fraser R. (in future, perhaps aquifers and springs?)
  2. Moisture-Sourcing subsurface “Qanats” [underground aqueducts, known as Qanats in the Middle East and as “Puquios” in the coastal deserts of southern Peru and northern Chile);
  3. Natural wind and heat-activated Air-Cooling “Windcatchers”):

Inside Qanat aqueduct

Access well for Puquios aqueduct

How the windcatcher works

How the Windcatcher works


C) Fire Protection Infrastructure Idea

Create a civil infrastructure administration mechanism called the “District Fire Cooling System (DFCS)” to emulate the familiar “District Energy System (DES)”: The concept here is to use natural resources to create a sustainable DFCS fire retarding system for the village.

  • Inside Qanat: Naeinsun, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons:
  • Puquios in Peru: Ab5602, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons:
  • Windcatcher Diagram: Fred the Oyster, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons:


Spider Web Space Elevator cable-pulling?

Bio-mimicry idea: Can we connect Space Elevator strands from Earth to Orbit, by mimicking the use of spiders of electric fields to execute Cable-Pulling? The idea comes from the discovery that spiders ‘fly’ using an electric field: “A study was conducted at the University of Bristol in 2018. The study said that electric field generated due to weather activity was capable of drag a single electrostatically-charged strand of web (and the spider) off the ground”

New 1-page “EAP”/”Proximity Pricing” Explainer

See [Link] to read 1-pager. Updated 24Dec2021.

The Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) (“Proximity Pricing” for private & hybrid sector investing) is summarized here – see Part C & D:

  • (C) (2017-19) Project contributions – link to report to funding agencies
  • (D) (2020) ESG Impact Investing Method (updates)

Respondents have mentioned not realizing that calculations can be two-directional (ie. we can calculate forwards and backwards, and that this can induce the process of continuous improvement to sustain access to the cost-superior services delivered by Nature). The new 1-pager ought to be helpful.