• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • Beau Davidson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Leigh Tate
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Jules Silverlock
  • Jordan Holland
  • Paul Fookes

Looking for a rainwater/pond guru

 
pollinator
Posts: 277
Location: 18° North, 97° West
82
kids trees books
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In search of a rainwater pond or other catchment guru working in steep mountains.

I've been watching Youtube videos--I particularly like Andrew Millison's videos, but I haven't found one that makes me say--that's US, that's what we need, that's what we can do or anything similar...
I live in a very mountainous region of southern Mexico. We are in a semi-arid zone receiving all our rainfall between May-September traditionally, thought in the last decade is more like June to October and rainfall is becoming more erratic, with very heavy short storms and prolonged dry spells within the rainy season.  We've inherited degraded farmland that has been farmed, corn-beans-squash and greens, by my husband's family for as long as 2000 years. (not a typo) In the past 100 years, its also been highly grazed by goats outside of the rainy season crop (as in once the harvest is in the goat herds are allowed to free-range- Also contributing to the degradation was a push in the last 50 years of the 20th century so 1950-2000 to increase corn production as much as possible.
About 18 months ago we signed up for a government program to receive funding for planting trees, both "reforestation" and converting viable cornfields into fruit trees alley cropped in the cornfield. We have one plot of land in each, the past year has been a struggle to keep the young trees alive through our dry season. First, we were carrying water jugs but were still planting more trees until we reached our goal, about 3000 planting in total, though that includes cactus and maguey species that are not watered in the dry season, so let's say 1800 plants that need watering.  The size of this project meant we had to look for other ways to water. My husband is a mathematician and very science-minded. He wants to mechanize and solve the problem with machines. We are currently using fossil fuels to water the trees--first using a gasoline pump to pump water out of a river that runs year-round in the bottom of the valley. This goes into a tank mounted into a 1982 6-cylinder farm truck that takes it up the mountain into portable tanks where we can then house and/or bucket it around to the trees. While in theory, the reforestation trees should only need watering for a couple more years and they are local species most of the fruit trees will likely require some watering to bring them out of dormancy in time to fruit well during our rainy season.
So that's where I get to ponds. I keep saying to my husband, we need to put in ponds and hold the rainwater on the hilltops and stop using fossil fuels to pull it up from the bottom.  (I checked my GPS and it's about 1600 meters above sea-level down there and we take the water as high as 2000 meters above sea level in the highest point and other tanks in the 1800 range.)
So that's why I need a pond (and other earthworks) guru, but one who can show me examples of ponds in steep mountainous areas.  For example, most of the videos coming out of India look seriously flat compared to where we are.  So when I show him videos that what he always says--look how flat it is there. That's not going to work for us.
So who is a water harvesting/catchment-making guru has published work--articles, books, videos, etc. that can help me make plans?

Screenshot_20220620-114245.png
Here's a satalite photo to give you an idea.
Here's a satalite photo to give you an idea.
 
gardener
Posts: 828
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
577
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you haven't already, I would highly recommend checking out Brad Lancaster's book Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond. Volume 2, particularly. Though both are excellent. He is in a similar climate to you and definitely who I think of when I hear "rainwater guru". He has some amazing videos showing how he has helped transform his neighborhood in Tucson, among other things if you look on youtube. His website has lots of helpful info as well. You can check it out and find his books here:https://www.harvestingrainwater.com/
I hope this helps. Best of luck, that sounds like quite the project and such a worthwhile endeavor to heal the family land.
 
steward
Posts: 2815
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
1057
3
forest garden fish trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sepp Holzer has some information in his books about creating ponds, and he is in a very mountainous region.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1134
Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
317
2
hugelkultur dog forest garden solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Speaking of Sepp Holzer, an English speaking protege of his, Zach Weiss, has started a great community focused on watershed and hydrological restoration. I’ve found several excellent webinars in the free section, and he also offers courses that I would bet are worth the price:

https://community.waterstories.com/share/ly_odv08xmyNfzQa?utm_source=manual
 
Tick check! Okay, I guess that was just an itch. Oh wait! Just a tiny ad:
Tiny House Magazine (Issue 121)
https://permies.com/wiki/208685/Tiny-House-Magazine
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic