Restoring hydrological balance – the creation of water landscapes.
“Watch how water moves in a natural stream, and create water landscapes accordingly. A lake should be built to enable three ways of water movement, with curved banks to allow a constant flow, aligned with the wind to allow wave movements, and deep and shallow zones to make the water move because of differences in temperature. [...]” They aren’t quite sure what he means by “curved banks” – it could mean a meandering shape, or just no straight edges. Looking at photos of his work, Sepp does like meandering ponds, so that’s probably what he means.
“[…] The ground acts like a water reservoir itself when it is covered with forest and other natural vegetation. It is saturated like a sponge – millions of roots hold billions of drops of water which are released slowly, even when it has not rained for a while. This way, the underground reservoir keeps being fed.” Paul has seen this in effect when looking at a patch of unharvested conifers on a hill with a road cut in it – the road was drawing a good 3-4 gallons per minute during the dry season.
“[…] Humans impose their ideas upon nature without considering the existing geology or shape of the landscape. People put in pond liners and concrete with great effort. That might work for a while, but it is ineffective, expensive and will lead to more disasters. Water damned up against nature can cause enormous damage.” Creating a massive hydroelectric damn isn’t nearly as good as a series of 300 ponds with the same surface area. That said, a large pond will probably work better than a few hundred puddles, so scale is defiantly a factor.
“Contour lines and natural water courses are a valuable aid when designing a retention space. Using them makes life and work much easier – I use what is already there. The water divides materials for me and naturally creates layers of fine materials that are waterproof. […]” This isn’t quite universal – for example if you too much topsoil, the life in it will keep poking holes in the sediment and let the water escape.
Dr. Hugh Gill Kultur
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havokeachday Bill Erickson
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G Cooper Penny McLoughlin
Polly Jayne Smyth
Collection of 14 Permaculture/Homesteading Cheat-Sheets, Worksheets, and Guides