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raising the water table reducing desertification.  RSS feed

 
rose macaskie
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  I think it was Jennifer Hall who said, when someone said, that what Sepp Hollzer was doing in Spain was raising the water table, that she would like to know how its done.

  Well, I thought is that what geoff lawton is describing when he tells you about the importance of  swales that hold up the water as long as possible as high as possible so that it can really seep into the landscape and that if you make enough of them the water that plums down in to the earth from the swales should reach impermeable rock or clay it can't penetrate forcing it to move upwards again and create new springs. All this is described in his wideo with a changing diagram, permaculture water harvesting.
    I supppose the reason that holding up th ewater in ditches or ponds works is because rain water does not run quickly to streams and get flushed away. Retained it seeps into the earth.
      It seems that with time, ponds, dug out ones and channels get impermeablalised so the water does not seep out too fast, by pond silt and clay particles. In india they use spang grass at the bottom of ponds.
  I found the confirmation of the idea that this is how you raise the water table in a article on water harvesting in india my next posting will talk of it. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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    I few days ago i was looking up water harvesting in India. It seems they have a lot of traditional water harvesting methods and came across the story of Rajendra SIngh.
    He was out to help villagers in the Thar desert region setting up health clinics and what they wanted above all else, the menflok were migrating for lack of wherewithall, for lack of water in the villages, was water.
    It seems the europeans had instituted wells, european style wells, bore wells and these had dried and had to be dug deeper and had dried again, they seems to be one of the good ideas that are bad ones, they were lowering the water table and so trees were dying and Mr Singh decided to re-instate old indian systems, traditional ways of conserving water and they worked and even filled the european wells again, they raised the water table. Incredible!
    The old fash¡oned systems he reinstated were johads, in plan english, cheque dams, earthen ware structures or in the smaller ones masonary walls that stop the flow of water in some area, causing flooding, walls that work by holding up the water or holding in place the water, as a swale does so it seeps into the earth instead of running into streams an dof the land.
    The result reappeareing lost rivers that remained full for longer or for the whole year, full european bore wells, the water table lifted. So it is true, water harvesting, swales and such work to raise the water table.
    You find articles on this this looking up, "rumble of thoughts: 50 people who could save the planet" or just looking up, Rajendra SIngh.
 
Matt Ferrall
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Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Water table is a problem that affects us all but esp. those of us trying to live sustainably(without irrigation).I do not use technological/industrial irrigation to grow my food so it is important that the water table remain high for me.Power irrigation amounts to theft of a community resource for personal gain.It affects my ability to produce without it.Its basically a race to the bottom(of the aquifer )
  I highly recomend reading toby hemenway's online article about the wisdom of the beaver.Beavers kept the water tables higher and so,many Native Americans food crops were wetland grown.European dryland agriculture demanded the removal of wetlands and thus the beaver.Ultimatly this lowered the water table and eleminated the productive edge habitat associated with it.
  Currently the government is starting to regulate and moniter water consumption in order to protect the salmon here.I wish as much beuracracy as possible on those who would exploit this resource for their own profit.
  Swales are great but take alot of resources to make.They seem to be most appropriate on land that has been leveled and cleared at some point in the past.I'll just let the beaver do the work thanx.
 
              
Posts: 133
Location: West Iowa
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I'd let the beavers do their thing, but they would destroy what little trees that do exist around here, and I don't want my trees I planted cut down.  So they are banned from this place.  I'm the beaver substitute and will make the ponds, so that the ditches are filled with water. 
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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I understand that its hard to manage land differently then the communty and if you are the only one with trees then you will suffer the most.I admit to caging valuable trees.not as a long term solution but until the trees become invasive and no longer need my help but ultimatly I am shifting my animal consumption from domesticat to wild so I just got some trapping books.Wetland restoration projects I have worked on in the past 10 years have shifted from caging trees to double and triple planting the edge with willow stakes which seem to keep the beaver buisy and saves money but I cant risk 30$ nut trees on that experiment yet.Soon I will be planting seedlings of the orignal nut trees and will not cage those.
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