A lot of permaculture viewpoints give some idea of how layout a property; store water high, house halfway, parking on the north side etc. However, I'm yet to find any views on what to do at the lowest point of a property.
I'm in the bottom of a valley, with a river on my boundary that every once in a while, floods. Mostly I'm planning on putting this to trees on mounds but in one spot there is a depression. It's the first thing to show standing water when the water table rises and is the furthest point from the house. The least effort I can fathom is an intentional pond in this place, surrounded by willows, alders, other wet living species. There are some considerations about contamination from either direction in a flood event (pond species being washed into the river/ river species appearing in the pond) but that aside it feels like a good use of what's here to me. An area that is already wet, at the lowest point, with a depression already apparent.
Whatever happens, it's pretty scrubby right now and needs an overhaul but I'm intrigued - how have others planned their lowest point, especially those next to a river? What general 'you should always think about this' type generalities are there that apply to lowest points?
How deep are the floods? How long do they last? Do you have enough water everywhere else? A dry season?
You could do chinapas, raised beds, pond with solarpump to refill upper swales, ...
What do you WANT?
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I would put a pond there as well, definitely making use of chinampas if possible, but mainly focusing on heavy feeders, so as to clean the water.
If it's the lowest point on the property, it's the point with the shortest distance to travel to replenish the aquifer. That said, there's the least amount of mineral filtration there, too.
My feeling is that in any position with water pooling and/or exiting the property, either on the surface or sub-surface, I would want to have the bottom of my system have more filtration aspects than even the rest of my system (when we build nutrient uptake systems that generate carbon in the soil and aboveground, we're essentially creating nutrient runoff filters, in those places where it's a problem). I would want to treat my system like there were theoretical particulate and water quality sensors upstream and downstream of me, judging my contribution.
But generally, yeah, why fight it? I want to do a two-pond system, myself, with a flowing watercourse for fish movement from one pond to the other, and for irrigation. I would want to figure out an efficient method of doing this, and hopefully the terrain will help me out, but essentially, I want to do a solar/wind pumped return from the bottom of the system to the top, during which it also filters and aerates the water reentering the top of the system.
I mean, the amount of land it takes up is an issue, but above a certain point, why can you have only one pond?
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R Scott wrote:How deep are the floods? How long do they last? Do you have enough water everywhere else? A dry season?
You could do chinapas, raised beds, pond with solar pump to refill upper swales, ...
What do you WANT?
Not deep usually - 3/4 inches max, but had a big one in 2000 which was 4 ft.
Normally not more than a few days
We have too much water in some places, but still want to store water as high as I can. Planning on introducing a ram pump when I can afford to, moving water from the river to the highest corner (12m difference despite only 100m from one side to the other).
The question really was more inclined towards how the lowest point is best employed, rather than what I WANT. The pond idea is something that has presented itself more than me looking to impose it onto the site.
Anne Miller wrote:I agree with Ansis, put a pond there.
Years ago we had Soil Conservation come out and look at our property for the best pond site.
What Soil Conservation picked out was the lowest point on our property.
Interesting, thanks. It really is the obvious thing here. It does feel a little strange to store water so low, next to...water. But this area really, should be somewhere close to zone 4 in permie terms. I cannot say it would be zone 5, it does need managing, but light touch.
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