I live on a sloped lot in desert country. There is little vegetation on the lot - bushes and small trees. When it rains there is 99% runoff. I want to channel the water so that it does not eat away existing structures. I have earthen (natural soil) ditching now. I am looking for ideas of what to use to remove the water without losing too much cover - with some esthetic appeal.
If you're living in desert country, you should be aiming to capture as much rainwater as possible, and prevent it from leaving your property if you can. If the property is sloping, you need to build swales on contour with the dirt excavated from the swale used to build berms on the downhill side of the swale where you then plant deep rooting plants to hold the berm in place. If there's a lot of water, it can also be directed into ponds for storage or underground storage if it's really a desert.
Geoff Lawton has done a lot of work in Jordan in re-greening the desert using various permaculture techniques, and the first part of the video discusses water capture.
If you can dig small 6" deep ditches, and it's legal (it's illegal in most US campgrounds to use even 1" deep trenches around a tent or anywhere else), and they stay formed, use that to collect and redirect runoff. If not, line the ditches with house gutters and stake them in place somehow.
I don't know exactly how your soil is, but you might have to put a 6-12" stake in a hole in the bottom of the gutter. Before putting the stake in the gutter hole, fill the hole with silicone caulk to prevent leaks, then pound the stake right through the hole and the caulk.