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Forums: permaculture ponds greening the desert
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Sepp making lakes (specifically the hydrological costs)

Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Listening to the podcast right now, I've seen paul talk about Sepp greening the desert a few times, and I feel like a super crucial piece of information has been left out. If Sepp is damming seasonal streams that really changes the picture. A desert that only gets 3" of rain a year is a difficult prospect, but if you are damming streams then the catchment above your dam is a crucial piece of information. If you have a catchment that's 4 times as big as your plot then suddenly you are working with 15" worth of rain per year.

Edited: to make title less appealing.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Does the lake raise the water table sufficiently to enable all your favorite garden plants to grow without irrigation?  Or what is the benefit of the lake?




Idle dreamer

Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Oh I'm sure that it raises both the water table and the humidity. Allowing your plants to grow. Whoever is downstream from you is now denied water however.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
There's also a possible downside of making lakes in a dry climate which is evaporation of the large surface area of water, versus storing the water in the soil in small earthworks like swales and basins.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
The only way to increase humidity is with evaporation I'm afraid.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Seems like more benefit would accrue from plants transpiring the water from the soil than direct evaporation from lakes. 
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
what about the people downstream that lose all their water?


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Does anyone know more details about exactly what Sepp is doing to make these lakes? 
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
@Ludi, for efficiencies sake yes, but some of our favorite crops cannot manage with out humidity at a certain level.

@Brenda, They are SOL.

@Ludi some more, According to the podcast he is damming seasonal streams, or at least that is what he did in portugal.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Ok, thanks. 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3947
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
Brenda Groth wrote:
what about the people downstream that lose all their water?


As Emerson said, the lakes in Portugal were damming seasonal streams.  During the time of year those streams run, Portugal has seriously heavy rains.  No-one is deprived of water at those times - in fact, with all the soil erosion there is a growing problem with villages in Portugal being damaged by flood water and mud slides.  I don't know of anyone in my locality who uses the seasonal streams as a water source - when they are flowing, no-one needs water.  During the summer, they use water from wells or bore-holes.  I should think that the lakes do nothing but good here.  


What is a Mother Tree ?
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Do we know who is downstream though? I went to school in south west colorado which has a similar situation, monsoon season brings endless rain, then the dry season comes along. While that part of colorado has no want for water during the wet season people downstream need it to do things like recharging their groundwater for their wells to work in the dry season, and further downstream other people catch it in a dam and use it. If I had gone out and dammed up the seasonal streams out of the mountains the people just below me would have been fine, but someone else whos water practices were before sustainable would now not have enough water to survive.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3947
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
I guess you'd have to look at each site and make locally based decisions.  The rains here are heavy and last for weeks at a time, several times over the winter.  The soil is thin.  All the groundwater is thoroughly recharged just by the rain falling directly over that land.  The streams carry a lot of the surplus away, but most of the land seems to get totally waterlogged. 

But Portugal isn't Colorado!  What will probably do nothing but good here might not be such a perfect answer anywhere else. 

I'm very interested in the whole concept as we have a longish strip of land of around ten acres just below the little farm which we aren't doing anything with yet, and this year it looks like we'll have access to a JCB/backhoe so I think some serious pond-digging is going to be undertaken.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
We have two seasonal creeks across our place and have had a "pond" with earth berm dug on the upper end of one where it enters our land, but the pond is not meant to hold water for long, the bottom is quite permeable.  In fact, we have only ever seen a tiny puddle in it since it was dug.  We won't be damming the creeks except using permeable "brush dams" as described in "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands" by Brad Lancaster.  A dammed pond in the deep part of the creek would fill up with gravel and soil pretty quickly, so any kind of expensive construction would be kind of a waste.  The brush dams will (we hope) eventually trap material and slow the water but not stop it.

We get about 39 million gallons of water (about 120 acre feet) an hour over the lower few acres of our place during flood.     This has a tendency to wipe out our driveway and our downstream neighbor's driveway, so it's a bit too much of a good thing.

I wonder what kind of dams Sepp uses on those seasonal creeks?  Perhaps they have a much smaller upstream watershed than ours!
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
[quoted bit deleted by paul]

That's what I had understood; if water is slowed (not stopped) and allowed to infiltrate, it percolates downstream instead of rushing through in a flood, so building appropriate water catchment upstream actually helps downstream neighbors.  Even to the point of getting seasonal creeks to become year-round creeks (there's a thread about this somewhere).

See also "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands" by Brad Lancaster. 
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
EDIT:
i think that stealing water upstream sounds a lot like america stealing water from mexico through the colorado river. i think that others may think this is not true and that is their opinion, i fully respect their opinion and hope they will express it to me with vigor and aptitude.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
[deleted by paul]

Edited: Thanks Paul, I think I like the new system.

To sum up the appropriate bits not removed in moderation; I think that there is an important difference between using water efficiently and not using any water at all. I think that what we do has impacts on the system. I think that a poly culture is a wonderful thing, something that reduces many negative impacts, but that it does not remove all consequences from the actions taken to establish and maintain it.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Maybe we're talking about two different things:

1. damming streams so no water goes downstream (denies downstream neighbors their water)

and

2. slowing and infiltrating water via earthworks and forested land (helps provide water to downstream neighbors plus protecting them from flooding)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iQ-FBAmvBw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFeylOa_S4c


Removing diverse forest has never helped the downstream neighbors, to my knowledge.

                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
It seems to me this thread started off with a reference to greening the desert. Not a word about forests; two very different places, IMO. I live in the desert in NM. I do not have a stream of my own. At times I'd like to have one, but I'm not sure it would do me any good other than to look at it. If I did anything to cause interruption to the flow of water to the downstream land owners I'd be in trouble. A hundred years ago if I did such a thing there would have been a good chance I'd be shot.

Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
mtnDon Miller wrote:
It seems to me this thread started off with a reference to greening the desert. Not a word about forests; two very different places, IMO.



Many deserts are forests, just not the sort most of us recognize. 

Bill Mollison talks about desert forests:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W15RRvKyJSk
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
If the downstream neighbors are beavers removing your forest gives them the rich topsoil that they want and the particle sizes that help them build and maintain their dams.

The site in portugal benefits from an upstream catchment area, if someone were to go and buy up all the land in that upstream area from them and install swales to slow the water and fill the dirt with organic matter to make it into a soil sponge and plant plants in it then that catchment area would pass much less of the flood water to the commune (I guess it's a commune? Ecovillage? Collective?) than it does currently, but presumably would pass water on for a greater duration of the year. However the volume of the water during the dry season would be much smaller than the volume not received during the wet season, and lakes the size of those Sepp has built would probably evaporate themselves down to almost nothing during the dry season.

It just feels like people are writing off the seasonal streams as the ultimate source of this water because they are periodically dry. Depending on who got screwed downstream from them (for instance if they are right at the coast and did not destroy an estuary with their dam no one got screwed) I am a huge supporter of the more efficient use of the water to do something agriculturally beneficial, but I just don't like that this kind of cost was written off.

It's my opinion that the reason that Soil sterilization chemical bath farming got to be so popular is that no one bothered to account for the downstream losses. No one paid attention to the costs to those outside of their farm (or to the costs to their farm ecosystems) and instead just paid attention to the price of inputs, labor, capital and what they maid selling their products. I've heard the story of Sepp in the deserts several times, but this is the first time I heard about how he was making his lakes, and it struck me that the most important detail of the entire story (more important than poly culture, more important than huglebeets, more important than using animals to work the land) was left out every time I heard it before. If you dam a river and catch seasonal water you can use machines and chemicals to grow cotton in the deserts of Arizona (we know this because it's been done before) but with out earthworks to take advantage of a large catchment area I don't think that you can fully green a desert with 3" of rain a year.

@mtnDon Miller, you cannot catch the water and hold it, but you can legally slow its movement across your property using techniques like keyline swales, and it can "accidentally" be soaked up by your land. Same thing with increasing the organic matter in the soil.

Edit: Most important characteristic from a production standpoint, not necessarily a sustainability standpoint.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Emerson White wrote:
It just feels like people are writing off the seasonal streams as the ultimate source of this water because they are periodically dry.


In my region the seasonal streams used to be year-round or only dry in droughts.  But they became seasonal when the land was stripped by overgrazing  - removing the climax "forest" of this area, the prairie savannah.  This caused flooding to deepen the streams to gullies, lowering the water table and depriving pretty much everyone of water except during flood times when nobody uses it (because it is washing away their driveways, gardens, houses, etc). 

rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
 Any water you can get to seep into the ground, high up, by holding the water in dips and puddles ponds and lakes, as long as the ponds are not totally water proof, is water you are storing in the ground, while rain water that is not held up might easily run off the land straight in to rivers. And if you think how bumpy unfarmed land can be, you will understand that in the natural course of things there would be lots of dips in the ground to hold water.

 If water seeps into the land it will fill the water table and come out lower down as springs. The experience of people who make a lot of ponds up river, is that rivers down river and wells down river, that had run dry flow again. If  the water table  is empty the springs lower down dry up.

      In the wet season not only the villages where the rivers have their birth can fill up ponds, all the villages in the whole country can fill up ponds,  at least in a smallish sea board country like Portugal they can.  

         Rivers can be veiwed as a frieght trains that carries the river through the villages so fast the villages dont have time to  make use of ithe water. Rivers aren't canals, they are a way of getting rid of water, a fast ride to the sea, especialy as we have ironed out their curves and dried out the places where they spread out and create marshes.

      Colorado is South of Portugal the middle of the Iberian peninsular is on a level with New York. Also Colorado has a continental extreme climate, while Portugal is on the Atlantic sea board of Europe like Irland, the Emerald Isles, so pretty wet.

      The answer is to let rivers distribute water in times of drought but considering rivers main function is to dump water in the sea, we have to think how to hold up as much water as we can, as fairly as possible, to stop it all going to the sea too fast. If it passes through the earth and then out into springs and that find there way to the sea,  then we have made that passage slower.

       The earth stops the evaporation of the water she has stored, if it is stored deep inside the earth.

      "Mother earth is good, she drinks and drinks but when she is full she gives the water back" in springs and such, story of a villager from India. I have to find the name of the man who collected that story, i have his art¡cle printed out and saved somewhere.
   
    What we have to do is fill the earth as much as possible to stop the water from being taken to the sea in rivers. agri rose macaskie.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
I was referring to the American state of Colorado (I was 25 miles from the New Mexico border) , not the region of Spain, sorry.
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
Different situations for different conditions.  I could do exactly as Emerson mentioned Sepp does and not harm anyone or have anyone notice. 

It would only benefit all later in the year as more water was allowed to slowly make it through the clay soil and prevent flooding as much downstream.

The soil build up in small dams is not a loss either.  It also fills with water and becomes a storage area as Brad Lancaster mentioned at the seminar in our little town a week and a half ago.  He mentioned using a one rock dam then as that built up add another level and continue doing that until a large area is filled in to store and delay the downhill movement of the water.

Water does not have to be stored as a lake - it can be stored in the soil and withdrawn by plants.


- Glenn -
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Imagine what would happen to these people if someone set up an identical dam half a mile up their creek.

If you are in the central valley then All the water goes into a reservoir for the big cities on the coast doesn't it? If it doesn't flood out to sea then I suspect that you doing what Sepp does would certainly step on someones toes.

Edit: Additionally there are rivers in California that go seasonally out to tidewater, but need to for the salmon to get up them and spawn. If not for the seasonal floods the Salmon would be stuck out in the tidewater and everyone who relies on eating those salmon would be SOL.
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
No problem.... I am at the top of the ridge. 

Nobody can possibly live above me except in a blimp.....

Below me it is only seasonal and I would only delay the water from getting down there and only on 60 acres of hundreds of thousands.  I would actually increase the amount of water available to neighbors downstream by holding it here to store it in the ground a little better .. otherwise about a foot to 2 feet down there is impermeable claystone type bedrock.

Water that flows off of our mountain too rapidly only creates problems for people below.  Roads flood.

It could slightly change things downstream ... mostly making things better, but the big improvement would be in my land and in preventing floods downstream.  If everyone stored water in our area, it would only improve the groundwater situation for the most part.  Even for the San Joaquin Valley below us where they are rapidly depleting their water aquifer.  Our water delayed would improve their water supply.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
I think that your conception of what constitutes downstream is considerably narrower than the one I am talking about.
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
That could be possible, but the improvement possibilities could also be considerably larger than you are talking about.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
I would like to know what gave you the impression that I have a narrow view of improvements. I just think that improvements come with costs, they do not erase them.
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
It just seemed to be implied, probably a mistaken supposition on my part, but I agree.  A drop of water kept here is a drop of water that doesn't go there....
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    7
I'm sadly disappointed I thought this was a thread on Sepp holzer's pig wallowing technique's of using an excavator vibrafloatation style to create pond's and larger ponds "dam's".  I've only been a typing participant to the site for 10 minutes, but a reader since forever and a day.

My question is when did this all spiral into opinionation? I didn't know so many cultures came from the same land. I was so happy to see someone quote from rainwater harvesting, rather from their own imagination of how water hydrology works.

I do my best to read an entire thread before even considering entering into debate, it's wisest to know allot about something if you plan on disagreeing with it.
I think the hydrology subject that really attracted the brunt of falacious viewpoint's was that of " if you dam the stream you'll cut my water over.
Now let's state a categorical limitation on what we mean by dam's, ponds.  We do not mean "barrier Dam" do people even know the are different style's of dam's that have all sort's of different effect's on the landscape?
P.A Yeoman author of "water for every farm" <-- Authority by Experience not by Authoritarianism
state's were talking about 5 million liter's or less is a small dam. That's right 5 megalitre's = small dam

Let's toss around a few statement's I'm going to limit myself to , Bill Mollison, P.A. and Sepp. In order for the debate to avoid the pitfall's of rhetoric.

-A full dam is 100% runoff  
-Vegetative catchment is the only true erosion control, only way to manage evaporation over rainfall
- Swale's feed Dam's, Dam's feed Swales
- 15% or more of your landscape should be in water.
- P.A Yeoman states "there shouldn't be any bloody runoff your property"  <---- very few designer's achieve this.

Run that last statement through the mind "without commenting" what would happen if I managed to capture all the water that flowed into my property.
It doesn't take long to realize you would have a massive network of underground water developing into a perennial springs downslope.
By the time my neighbor got to my house to shoot me over cutting off his "intermittent" <--entropic water flow, I would have enough water to guarantee him water for life.  "Granted I followed my permaculture directives" You build dam's at the end of the dry season beginning of the wet season, hence nobody would even know I did it, and nobody would know why the steam never dried up.

Just look at the consequence of building a rock gabion in a trickle of water in the desert
http://permaculture.org.au/2010/11/25/gabions-water-soaks-in-the-desert/

Next man who say's if I block the stream I'm getting shot is going to dye of dehydration.

I didn't write this to make a point, get my ideology on deck, or to see my name in the forum's

I'm simply banging my fist on the table, trying to call some order to a group that hopes to present to the world permaculture directives as the solution's to man's disfunction with nature.  
Cuzz at this point if I ever see Sepp's name being toss around with "dirty water thief" and guy who's name is in the thread subject but isn't discussed in the thread, I dunno maybe i'll go down to my pond and eat a patch of Giant Hogweed and down it with a glass of water hemlock. Cuzz there are more people talking about permaculture by far than seem to have any basic academic standard's to adhere by when entering into a forum of debate that require's a high degree of logic and reason to be at all meaningful.


Now can someone please say they've at least tried to slosh around in a pond like me with an excavator hoping to build a pond based on a 3 second clip of Sepp swinging his arm back and forth in one of Paul's video's to explain how he makes ponds.  That's right I almost fliped a bobcat the day before trying to turn 72 frame's of "Austrian Sage gold" into a vibraflotation technique, I think the saddest part is after i tried it with the excavator it worked 80% and now my duck's live in a natural wetland swamp instead of a boring patch of moss.

Cuzz I sure had my hopes up when i clicked "Sepp making lakes"
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
I am a well driller also and have a good grasp of how groundwater works.

I have made 4 ponds - 3 from a plugged up spring and 1 on the side of a mountain using techniques as Sepp teaches.  He is not afraid to use an excavator and I am not afraid to use a tracked 963 Bobcat.  As Sepp mentioned though he gets away from the heavy machinery more after he has made his improvements.
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    7
Lay it on me Glen, you sound like someone to learn from.
I don't think my wetland butcherjob is something I could repeat, nor was any move of the bobcat or the excavator intentional. I just had to try out the equipment by renting it for a day, it was burning me alive never knowing the machines I see doing the job's.  I don't own anything but the pain in my back, so i'm really apt to expand my frame of reference next time 300 dollar's need's to get thrown into the wind to breakout into a new territory of experience.

My background is visual effects, my specialty talking animal's, my " man frame of reference"  when it comes to everything = ZERO, 2 two sisters, mom was afraid of worms, agoraphobia and a father who never fixed anything or had any tool's but built car's for a living.  I've done so many things of theory because I seem to be quite isolated when not on the internet, so I really take the "edict" 100 hour's thinking before 1 hour's work to be a directive to live by

I really love being behind an excavator, I really couldn't imagine letting someone else dig up my property, even though as a permaculture designer I would never consider not bringing in a professional for a client.

What can you tell me? not the literality of it, every patch of earth is different.
What I'm really looking for is some directives rather than principles.
Is it essentially track rolled underwater? are there different lift's per roll when dealing with compaction in water. 
I practically run off the highway rubbernecking any earth moving tool that's in action, I can't get much data on vibraflotation, but I due know a met a construction guy who raved about the benefit's of the " ho-pak" vibratory plate compactor, while Geoff Lawton rave's about the "sheep's foot roller" method. 

I don't know enough to debate the merit's of either as my only authority on the matter is if you want to dig a dust bowl then run up and down the side's hoping your compacting something before your machine flips or your wife catches you.

Is my intuition sniffing in the right direction? Is this method require high degree's of intuition? Sepp never mentions anything about needing clay as in the traditional australian earth dam. He mainly seem's to focus on the natural sorting of particle size to create the seal if I've understood all of the "non english" video's i've watch of sepp hoping to steal just a few more moment's coverage of an excavator doing it's thing in the background of sepp talking.

Any sermon you could give me on the subject would be highly valued.


Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
I feel like my hydrology professor would be very concerned if he read what I think you are saying about me. As would the professor I learned about water law from, and the people I did all of those volunteer hours with at the waterways council here in Anchorage.

It is a rule on this forum that you are supposed to present everything you can as opinion rather than fact (a four letter word starting with "f". My biology background has always leaned heavily towards the evolutionary bent which requires a good deal of analysis of the costs and benefits in an economic fashion. I'm very used to seeing people make ... less than well supported ... inferences that ... in my opinion ... generally turn out to be incorrect when they set out only looking at the benefits of one feature and the costs of another. It's my opinion that that behavior is something we do far to often. To that end I'm always trying to get the most complete picture that I can of a situation.  

The hard sciences have not relied on a scholastic tradition (where quoting authorities carries weight) since they became the sciences. To that end I do not rely heavily on quotations; I cannot be sure but I think it's safe to assume that none of us think that Sepp authored the laws of nature (well, actually Paul might... ) they can simply probe and test nature. I know that Sepp studies his own property very carefully, and the properties that he works on, but I am generally inclined to think that those that do not give the outward appearance of making a careful search for the negative impacts that they may be having on others are not likely to find them.

If that was tl;dr I'll sum up. I am using the science tool kit I have to try and broaden the scope of information we have available to give what I think is a more accurate description of the techniques available. I tend not to rely on quotations and instead build cases from acceptable assertions and commonly available evidence because we only get to pick the choices that we make, not the consequences of those choices.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Emerson White wrote:
I would like to know what gave you the impression that I have a narrow view of improvements. I just think that improvements come with costs, they do not erase them.


Damming a stream may have costs downstream.  To me, maintaining or establishing forests appears to have only benefits downstream.

"Forests, in turn, are vital to the water cycle and to water quality. In essence, the forest acts like a giant sponge, filtering and recycling water. Approximately 80 percent of U.S. fresh-water resources are estimated to originate in forests, which cover one-third of the U.S. land area.

Tree leaves intercept water from rain, snow, and fog; the leaves also release water back to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration . Tree roots extract water from the soil while helping hold the soil in place. Forested land reduces the surface impact of falling rain through interception and delay of water reaching the surface. Forestland also decreases the amount and velocity of storm runoff over the land surface. This in turn increases the amount of water that soaks into the ground, a portion of which can ultimately recharge underlying aquifers . Conversely, water from hydraulically connected surficial aquifers may enter streams and wetlands , helping to maintain their water levels during dry periods."

http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/En-Ge/Forest-Hydrology.html#ixzz1KFuAHbZf
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
For that dude looking to vibrate his wetland. i don't know much about sepps technique but there is a vibrator used to settle concrete that might help. its not a plate but shaped like a vibrator. i wonder if an attachment could be made or if it is even necessary.
Mekka Pakanohida


Joined: Aug 16, 2010
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
Glenn Kangiser wrote:
I am a well driller also and have a good grasp of how groundwater works.

I have made 4 ponds - 3 from a plugged up spring and 1 on the side of a mountain using techniques as Sepp teaches.  He is not afraid to use an excavator and I am not afraid to use a tracked 963 Bobcat.  As Sepp mentioned though he gets away from the heavy machinery more after he has made his improvements.


Swales here have opened up 3 new springs, sadly, all three are in the middle of a road downhill from my property.  Swales have also caused more growth and more water coming up out of the spring south of my property as it flows into the creek and eventually down into the river coursing through my property.

Humus, shade, and a closed overstory helps bring the water up, as does the capillary work of trees and plants, so, as such, when a swale or sepp water feature is made it actually helps increase the water table around it...  ..not to mention all these factors raise and lower the level of water in a given water table all day.
endurance McCoy


Joined: Feb 04, 2011
Posts: 8
While not Sepp-style lakes, I know the Anasazi Indians in the four corners region used check dams on seasonal streams for corn (maize) cultivation.  Archeologists have revealed that they would build a rock dam in small dry gullies and over time, silt and soil would build up behind these creating a level piece of land.  They would plant corn in these level spots and as thunderstorm season rolled around, the check dams would capture and hold water in the soil like a sponge, allowing the corn to grow. 



To me, this is preserving top soil, protecting downstream water quality, and taking advantage of surplus in a dry land when it becomes available.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
saybian, there is a lot of the information youy are looking for in threads on gley, that is rotting stuff, anerobic rotting stuff that rots in the wet, under a plastic sheet for example, vegetable matter, or and manure, that willl seal you pound for you as will pigs if you have them or can borrow themand let them wallow in your pond an occupation they love, there is a german i think it was, video of someone putting their children in for a mud bath in a small hollow in the land, as it is a permaculture video to seal the small pond i suppose, I could not understand the commentary and also the latest information is that if the area will hold any water fish will seal it for you.
      Maybe some one else can be more precise about the names of the threads on these forums that give you the information you are looking for.
Put the words "permaculture gley" into google and press search and maybe you will find a thread from these forums that explains it all.

      There is a company that sells silt in europe and the middle east called, "Zander corporation" you can find it in google. They were't very specific about what the silt is good for, they are a business that started because of a desire to create the good chernozen or black soils of Romania or the Ucrain, I can't remember which, in other places, but maybe the silt they sell is your gley ready made for you. It is dredged from lakes and said to be renewalble and inagotable, the lakes just produce more silt.

      Much as i would rather dig my own land the idea of driving a digger is like part of a horror film. Or the idea of how many days i would need to learn to manage it, makes the price seem nightmarish.
        Did not Sepp hire the digger driver too in one video he is out in the feild and the digger is working away in the background if i remember right. Geof lawton was organising the digging of a swale with a digger in another video and it seems that he knew how to set everything up so that the digger dug just what he wanted dug but it has seldom been my experience that people do what i suggest, so it would take me a long time to get that skill too. ISosmetimes a bit of the spell mentioned in Harry potter called imperiouse is needed, though over used and it is just the mark of a tyrant or snob. agri rose macaskie.

 

 
 
subject: Sepp making lakes (specifically the hydrological costs)
 
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