How to manage and use water running through a property?

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Slow it, Spread it, Sink it

Water flows through a landscape from high energy, low potential highlands to low energy, high potential lowlands. A large pond at low points on your land make sense and will be productive reservoirs, but you will have to spend energy to pump it up where you need it. By constructing leaky check dams and water harvesting swale tree planting systems and ponds higher up in the landscape you can use the land like a sponge to store water higher in the landscape, re-hydrating the upper elevations and creating opportunities to use gravity to move the water where you require it.

Swales Project in the Catskills

I laid out and supervised the construction of 2 350′ long swales in a field in a 200 acre farm under going refurbishment. With the landowners occasional help, the newly exposed soil was covercropped with buckwheat seed and scatter mulched with stray. My on-paper tree system design for several nut trees and berry bushes became reality as the spring passed into summer. We unrolled lots of black hose and hooked a newly dredged old cow pond up the hill up to a water holding tank from which hoses could irrigate and feed the trees, bushes and swales as the summer heat stole away the spring moisture…

The Viktor Schauberger Effect

The plastic shopvac hose successfully sucked water out of the pond into my 5-gal “transfer bucket”, no sweat, untill mid summer. It was then I learned the wisdom of one of Viktor Schauberger’s sayings, “warm water is lazy water, cold water can do work”. In the cold water season of spring, there was sufficient density in the water that elevating the end of the hose, back filling it towards the pond and quickly throwing the hose into the bucket would create a suction that made the whole system go. In mid summer, the system stopped functioning. I could fill up the 5-gal ok, but then the flow from the upper pond would cease and the water into the bucket pitifully splash into the awaiting water holding tank…

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