• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Leigh Tate

Desert Climate + Dept of Making You Sad = You Can't Have a Pond.

 
Posts: 104
Location: Rutledge, MO
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Permies,

Does anyone know what kind of red tape is involved in a getting a pond started? I'm sure there are roadblock most anywhere, but especially in arid regions. Suppose they don't even know what a swale is? What if they disbelieve the principles of keyline and refuse to let you proceed? (I don't have much experience dealing with beaurocrats, but my bias leads me to believe that their interference should be marginalized whenever possible. Case and point: the struggles of Sepp Holzer.)

For example, I know it was forbidden in parts of northeast AZ and SW Colorado to catch rainwater, on the basis that it would diminish quantities available to cattlemen downsteam. After some length of time, the powers that be realized this legislation increased well water usage and exacerbated their water shortage problems, so they changed the law retroactively.

Can anyone share their experiences in regards to getting a pond/keyline network approved?
 
Posts: 1172
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
27
hugelkultur monies dog chicken building sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
my advice, dont tell em you're doing nothing, these things are complaint driven for the most part so just do what you're going to do and don't worry so much about the department of making you sad

also post no trespassing signs that explain they apply to county [inspectors] and every other government official that does not have a warrant to enter you're property, its not worth giving up your rights or stepping aside as they're trampled to make everyone else happy
neighbors wont generally say anything unless it looks excessively ugly
 
Collin Vickers
Posts: 104
Location: Rutledge, MO
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's advice I've heard before, Devon, but I can't help but wonder what the potential consequences could be.

Huge fines? Qurantining the land? I have no idea, but I can't imagine a worse scenario than investing a lot of capital into a permie project only to have it killed because of some litigious technicality.
 
gardener
Posts: 1047
Location: Northern Italy
23
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like the idea of a pond that becomes a pond only when it rains. Making it a collector of water. Could pump uphill to get another run.

I also like the idea of building a pond, sealing it, then filling it up with organic matter. Nobody knows you have a pond except you and your plants.

W
 
pollinator
Posts: 11804
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1057
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No problems here in my part of Texas. Just hire a guy and have him dig a pond. We did.

 
Posts: 148
Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
22
dog chicken earthworks food preservation writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Same in Oklahoma. You only need a permit if the water's being used for a specific industrial or commercial purpose, otherwise; your land, your water. They'll even give you a grant or low/no interest loan to build it. You didn't say where you are but check with your country extension agent or state DEQ. Since hot and dry seems to be the "new" normal we're working on rainwater catchment and slow sand filters for irrigation backup. All of our ponds are now dry holes until the rain picks up.
 
Eric Thomas
Posts: 148
Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
22
dog chicken earthworks food preservation writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry, you did say where you were, San Angelo. A quick look on Google and like Tyler said, looks like they really encourage you to build ponds.
 
Posts: 53
Location: Conroe, Tx
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are allowed to catch rain water in Texas.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1459
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
34
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Was I supposed to ask someone if I could do this? Never occurred to me
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1172
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
27
hugelkultur monies dog chicken building sheep
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
^were we still a republic as we were founded, then your land would be your land and you wouldnt have to ask anyone before you harvested rain water but... were not a free country anymore and havent been in a long time

but still civil disobedience is a great tool so screw what others say, if its your property, harvest rain water all you want

Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God


 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11804
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1057
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do free people have to ask for permission to live? No. Then why feel the need to ask for permission?
 
pollinator
Posts: 519
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a good explanation of Water Law in the arid Western US: http://corporate.findlaw.com/business-operations/water-rights-law-prior-appropriation.html

Once you have established (that you have) a right to store water on your land, there are local, state and federal regulations that must be met in building a dam or digging a pond. Also keep in mind that once you create a wetland, it comes under federal wetland protection, so the Dept. of Making you Sad (Corps of Engineers) may tell you you can't change your mind and fill in your new pond without hiring a wetland mitigation consultant (yes, they exist and they make good money).
 
Author
Posts: 118
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Collin Vickers wrote:Hey Permies,

For example, I know it was forbidden in parts of northeast AZ and SW Colorado to catch rainwater, on the basis that it would diminish quantities available to cattlemen downsteam. After some length of time, the powers that be realized this legislation increased well water usage and exacerbated their water shortage problems, so they changed the law retroactively.



I think you mean to say for people in AZ watering their lawns and filling their pools. People think that ranchers use a lot of water. If they are not irrigating, they are not using that much water. 15/gal/head/day is average. The farmers in the San Luis valley of SW Colorado are taking all of the water, not ranchers. Just felt the need to clarify =D
 
Collin Vickers
Posts: 104
Location: Rutledge, MO
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's even worse!
 
Andrew Parker
pollinator
Posts: 519
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Why is it worse to water fields than to water lawns, fill swimming pools and flush toilets? Ranches in the West usually must supplement grazing with hay, which is grown in irrigated fields which take a lot of water -- but, so what? People need to eat and food is grown on farms and it takes a lot of water to grow food.

If we replace farms with suburbs on the existing arable land and use water for municipal use rather than food production, it will get expensive, but we will probably be ok until our food suppliers decide they can't spare any. An oil shortage we can survive, but a food shortage will get very ugly.

Other than frustration and envy, I don't see what the problem is. Now, in most Western states, you are allowed to harvest rainwater that falls on your property and have a storage capacity of around 2500 gallons, some more, some less. In most states, if you do not have access to municipal water, you are allowed to drill a well for household use (many rural counties require it in order to get a habitation permit -- if you can't find water, you can't get a permit). If you need water for agricultural use then you must be prepared to pay for it, just like everybody else. If there is no water or water rights available for sale, or you can't afford it -- that can be a real bummer. When you buy property, try to make sure it comes with enough water rights for what you intend to do with it, or make sure you can secure those rights within your budget.

You are allowed to maximize use of water that falls on your property, you just can't impound it. There are a lot of runoff agriculture methods, Holzer's included, that are very effective.

Some states forbid reuse of water, as a water right is considered to be for a single use, then it must pass on to the next user. These laws are being reconsidered, especially in urban areas that are looking to use processed sewer water for use in secondary water systems. It is more feasible in closed basins, where the treated effluent would otherwise not be used, like Las Vegas and Salt Lake.

I understand that it is constraining and seems unfair, but it is how society works. It avoids anarchy.

I looked into all this 30 years ago when I dreamed of putting together a little desert homestead. It wasn't going to work out so I went on to other things. There are a lot more options, technologically, now, and if I were in better health I might even consider trying again.

After all is said and done, if you just can't abide the West's byzantine water laws, move to where it rains more.
gift
 
Common Weeds And Wild Edibles Of The World (HD video)
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic