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Permaculture Saskatchewan

on 19 March 2017

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Transcript of Water

What we want to do with water
Golden Rule of water design "slow, store & soak".

We can achieve this with micro and macro Earthworks
Make it work for us in as many ways as possible thereby multiplying the effects of water:
source of energy
nutrient carrier
Storing Water
"Catch & Store Energy" - Holmgren's 2nd Principle
"Observe & Interact" - Holmgren's 1st Principle

How does nature do it: store water in lakes, ponds
soil, plants & air

Design Strategies: ponds, swales, dams & tanks
Urban design take away: rain barrels connected to
overflow swales!
Can you spot the leak? mulching & over story plants
Contours and Swales
Design Strategy: A swale is a water harvesting feature that runs on a contour

Swales create a net designed in order to slow, spread and soak water that would have flowed off site

Urban/Rural design take away: water & access can be combined into garden pathways doubled as swales
Keyline Design
A keyline is a contour line in a landscape where the slope changes from convex to concave

Transition from a steep grade where sediment and organic material is picked up and carried away to gentler grades where sediments and organics settle out

Design Strategy: it is the optimal point to plant and store water
Bonus: if designed high in your system gravity will facilitate irrigation!

Evaporation Strategies
"Catch & Store Energy" - Holmgren's 2nd Principle

mulch mulch mulch!

shade is better than mulch, plant an over story

reduce surface area of storage ponds

use drip irrigation

don't irrigate during peak heat
Design Strategy: A dam is a man-made storage pond designed to hold a large amount of water

Dams are built at certain geographical features
- saddle points, key line, valleys, contours

To build your own dam, you need to be very precise during design and construction.
(if you don't know what a spillway is outsource some help!)
What do we know about water?
Requirement for life on this planet

"seeks its own level"

can be a source of energy

Top priority for a permaculture designer

How you get to the elements in your yard?
Can water & access overlap to produce multiple functions?

- hard surfaces are water catchments
- where is your road relative to runoff and erosion

- navigate your garden via swales
- get to your chickens, your rain barrels or keyhole
garden bed to pick a fresh vegetable!
from big sky permaculture
"Observe & Interact" - Holmgren's 1st Principle

Do structures require water, harvest water or both?
How do structures best relate to water, access and other structures?
Whats the best placement and orientation?

Design tools: Sector analysis, zones and needs & yields


Passive solar homes, barns, greenhouse, garden beds, herb spiral, guilds, fedge, food forest, wind break, compost bins, composting toilets, tool shed, cob oven, chicken run, fire pit, volleyball net and tree house!

access, structures
A = Area of collection in square feet
R = rainfall in inches per year
W = water

A x R / 12 = W cubic feet

W x 7.5 = rain collected in gallons

Example: 1 acre = 43,560 ft2

43560 x 11.024 / 12 = 40,017.12

40,017.12 x 7.5 = 300,128 gallons

Contours & Catchment
Water Access Structure
Order of design priorities

It all starts from a firm understanding of how water flows on your property and designing to make the most use of it.

Permaculture design always starts with water, then access ways are planned, and finally, structures.

Full transcript