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On Contour Rock Bunds in the Desert

 
jill giegerich
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Hi Folks,
I am working on a water harvesting design for a property in the mojave desert that has quite a bit of tortoise habitat on it. Swales and berms would not be appropriate for a such a sensitive region. I was thinking of rock bunds on contour with passageway breaks in them for tortoise migration. My guestion is - is there any good research on the effectiveness of rock bunds for water harvesting and sediment catchment. Thanks!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Marco Banks
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If you haven't seen what Neal Spackman is doing in Saudi Arabia, I'd encourage you to check out his work there.

http://www.twovisionspermaculture.com/greening-arabia-2/

Here is a general video of his swales and plantings in a super arid climate:



But this is the video I thought of when I read the OP:



It shows the various rock catchment earthworks they constructed, and show them working in the midst of a rain storm. And check out these dudes building rock terraces.

 
Marco Banks
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One more, building gabions. So practical. His emphasis is on the quantity of the terraces, not the height. He states that most are not taller than 8 inches or so, but it's the number of them that make it effective at rainwater capture. When you look at this rock pile, you have to wonder, how could anything grow there? Yet he is having tremendous success.

 
Jace McCown
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Here is a cool video showing the implementation and long term effect of stone lines in the Sahel in Burkina Faso.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQkiv_U5AoU
 
jill giegerich
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Thanks everyone. Very helpful information!
 
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