First the Analysis of the Water Household
Strategic Water Retention for the site
Full Project Plan
Closeup of the Community Center
A Cross Section
And an artistic perspective
All project plans are copyrighted and all rights reserved, sepp holzer and Jens Kalkhof. SeppHolzer.at
Is it desert or mountains or what?
Does it have rivers and streams to supply the water?
Miles Flansburg wrote:can you tell me more about this project? Is it desert or mountains or what? Does it have rivers and streams to supply the water?
I'll admit I don't know as much about this project as I'd like to, but I'm happy to share what I do.
It is in the a valley in Kazakhstan, surrounded by mountains. Cold climate, long winters, from what I understand it is a very analogous climate to Montana. For this project there is some surface flow, but the majority of the water is hidden subsurface flow, indicative of a degraded watershed. I would imagine 5,000' to 7,000' elevation, but I'm not positive.
One thing that Sepp said in Montana that surprised me was how he knew this landscape was man made desert, as opposed to a natural desert. He said that without the mountains, and with the limited rainfall, it may make sense for the landscape to look like it does. But with the mountains there, there is more water in the mountains give us more water than we could ever use. That the valleys are so sparse, this is due to management, not the natural conditions.
Later I learned that 2/3 of the entire Gallatin Valley used to be wetlands. The Native American tribes in the area all claim the valley as a sacred grounds, and it is home to a pre-contact site in the Madison Buffalo Jump. It used to be known as the valley of flowers where natives would travel from all over Montana to collect medicines that were unique to the valley. This is what the Gallatin Valley looks like today:
This is very similar looking overhead, and analogous landscape to Sepp's project in Kazakhstan.
Jen Shrock wrote:What made him decide to put the city center at what appears to be the top of the elevation or water flow? Will the city get enough water in that location or will some of it be piped back up from further down in the elevation? Did he leave the natural area at the bottom of the flow / elevation for those large 100 year events, to protect the people from building in that sort of flood zone?
I think your spot on with the city center at the top of the property. Ridges and high points are great places for structures, having the community center towards the top would provide flooding security as well as the most stable building conditions. With the amount of water moving through and being stored in this landscape there should always be plenty of water. He always plans for the most catastrophic rainfall events, so the landscapes he creates are sure to last for generations.
Jonathan Frame wrote:How can Westerners become more involved?
My understanding is that he is working for the Government in Kazakhstan, unfortunately I don't know of any way for westerner's to get involved.
Do you know anything about local building traditions in the region - is there a Kazakh form of natural building?
Active natural builders, either traditional or revival?
Are there permaculture communities and practitioners already on the ground, or is this a top-down initiative to try it out and spark a cultural shift?
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