Water for Your farm(P.A. Yeomans)

Steve Diver steved at ncatark.uark.edu
Thu Jun 18 10:21:56 EDT 1998

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Thu, 18 Jun 1998 15:07:05 -0400
From:          "Eugene F. Monaco" <EFMonaco at compuserve.com>
Subject:       Re: Water for Your farm(P.A. Yeomans)
To:            "INTERNET:steved at ncatark.uark.edu" <steved at ncatark.uark.edu>

A couple points to consider:
First, geology.  Sometimes when you build a pond on sloped land with
underlying shales, as is common in the eastern USA, the increase in water
can saturate subsurface layers increasing the risk of landslides; it just

Second is the nearby availability of clay material for making your core. 
If you have a good clay source on-site you're okay; otherwise, you'll have
to truck in the clay from off-site, the cost of which increases
exponentially with distance.  Read: you won't be able to afford it. 
Normally we use a scraper, also known as a pan to scrape the clay from one
spot and deposit it in another, no double handling.  Remember the cost of
the dam is in the equipment time.

Finally, if your slopes are already wooded, you probably have the land at
its highest and best use already.  Do forest management.  To build a pond
in the woods will involve clearing an area, cutting in roads, and asociated
erosion control.  The benefits better really outweigh the costs if you're
going to go ahead.  It's probably easier to construct permaculture swales
in the woods.  This can also be done by turning fallen logs sideways to the
slope, proping between two other trees (or drive stakes),  fill in with
mulch and plug the ends so the water doesn't leak out.  These pockets will
collect soil over time and can be later planted with undercanopy herbs.

Gene Monaco

steved at ncatark.uark.edu

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