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Great video on swale plumes (water harvesting technique)

 
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFeylOa_S4c&eurl=http://www.blog.thesietch.org/2008/02/04/harvisting-water-the-permaculture-way/

This is a very cool, short video about Swale Plumes, a great, permaculture-espoused way to harvest water

In theory, the way it works is very simple. You dig a ditch on the side of a hill, and pile dirt under it to create a berm. As you get water run-off down the hill, it gets trapped by the swale and berm and gets absorbed horizontally to irrigate downhill plants.

Is anybody using this technique, or a similar one, actively? Or is water harvesting not a problem in the drippy Pac NW? 
 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Swales and or terraces are great stuff. 

I have some concerns about when there is an abundance of water whether there are problems that are introduced. 

 
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Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Apparently having big trees under a swale is very important in order to absorb (to good use) most of that water and keep the soil together.
But what do I know, I just got here. What I also don't know is what on contour really means.
 
                                
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Sergio, think of a contour as a road built on the absolute level as you travel up those beautiful mountains in Guanacaste.  A contour is the line on a topographical map that shows the areas that are level as the slope changes.  So you can understand that if you do not build your swales on contour, (on the level) the rain will pool in the lowest area of that swale and break through. If you make your swales on perfect contour, the rain will spread out and soak in gently.
 
Mother Tree
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See if this little video helps...



Each line is a contour line.  'On contour' means following a contour line. 
 
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Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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paul wheaton wrote:
Swales and or terraces are great stuff. 

I have some concerns about when there is an abundance of water whether there are problems that are introduced. 




It is certainly a concern on this property.  On the one hand I have no reason to water, ever.  On the same hand I actually need to divert water off the property because there is just too much coming down.

Careful planning and doing things right the first time is all I can hope for.
 
Sergio Santoro
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Monarch wrote:
Sergio, think of a contour as a road built on the absolute level as you travel up those beautiful mountains in Guanacaste.  A contour is the line on a topographical map that shows the areas that are level as the slope changes.  So you can understand that if you do not build your swales on contour, (on the level) the rain will pool in the lowest area of that swale and break through. If you make your swales on perfect contour, the rain will spread out and soak in gently.



Oh OK, so it just means level, as I originally thought. Thanks.
 
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