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William James
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Posts: 1015
Location: Northern Italy
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I've built one swale (without an a-frame), planning the second on contour now (with an a-frame).

The problem is I have the feeling that even with two swales, I'll still be getting 6 inches of water at the end of the property. I'll be seeing the effects of the two swales this Fall.

I was planning on making a third swale at the bottom (it already works like a swale due to the land shape) and running a solar-powered pump from that "temporary pond" to the top swale. After the bottom swale there is the hedge of black locust.

Any thoughts?

It would be helpful if someone could tell me the size/voltage of a pump I could use. And how to power it. I was thinking a small solar pannel, but then i'd need a battery probably and then we're getting into strange territory for me. Plus, it won't work in the rain, which is probably when the "pond" would need to be drained. I could even go with a foot pump or something manual, as 100 gallons isn't that much.

I need to move about 100 gallons of water 1 meter in height and about 20 meters in length. Was thinking about attaching drip irrigation tubes running along both swales.

Thanks,
William
 
Saybian Morgan
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Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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are you sure it's only 100 gallons of water you need to move? that's less than half a cubic meter of water, or are you saying per day you'd need to take that much load off. If your not going that far an extension cord for the outdoors isn't unreasonable so you could run a lower input pump for longer. I use an energy hog pump that couldn't be run on solar and it takes me an hour to fill a cubic meter tank = to 250 liters. That last me about 1 week in the greenhouse if it doesn't get any rain water off the roof. You could do it over longer with a smaller hose but solar is going to bite the dust on you in overcast weather without a battery store. if you can put in swales you most likely could build a 500 gallon pond in a day, and put multiple ponds along the back of the swales allowing you to slow the run down and store more for the drought. Dig a pond a weekend and in a month you could be holding much more water than you could manage to recycle by pumping it back up over an over when it's already wet. Pumping back up is not bad for trying to give the water another chance to infiltrate, maintenance of drip irrigation along the swale isn't worth it unless you had a large storage you were dripping from uphill all through the dry season. What you'd get out of more ponds/ mega micro dam is allot of micro climates, sun reflector's, increased humidity and water storage you could syphon down onto the lower swale makes the manual digging a minor input with a much greater output of multiple benefits. Throw a few feederfish into the ponds and you'll have no mosquito issues, and you have spots to stick aquatic plants in the summer. Even in my lawn I have dug holes and placed bathtub's in them in no time at all, just to add another water source for ducks, frogs, fish and plants.
 
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