Water Management in Permaculture: Restoring the Weir
Updated: Apr 12
So when we acquired this land, we inherited a damaged bund/ check dam or weir (as we like to call it.)
It was downstream to the main village pond which overflowed during heavy rains, putting a lot of pressure on the dam.
An incorrect design coupled with the regular government corruption ensured that this check dam didn't last too long, and broke down further with each rainfall. In fact the gush of water eroded the embankments of the weir, and caused large scale destruction.
Our ethical task was to restore this structure, slow down the water flow, and ensure the excess water is store on the farm in a reservoir. Also we needed a lot of earth to restore the sides of this structure. I did not want to buy this soil, and wanted to be sustainable in restoring this weir.
We designed a stone cage structure to restore this weir. Again, with no professional help, this was done using common sense and google for help. These simple sketches with measurements became the technical drawings for making this structure!
We used the stones collected on the land while digging the holes of trees, but had to buy some more stones (weighing heavily on my conscience). Yet, building a stone cage structure seemed to be the most well integrated and ethical structure to build.
Once the stone cage was built, we dug a pond at the far end of the property, and used that soil to restore the sides of this structure. The date palms and wild grasses around that area made us believe that there must have been a depression/ ravine/ pond at that end before it filled up with the eroded soil from the edges of the weir. (see photo below)
We had already planted a tree there, so we left that in the middle and removed the earth from around it.
And we used that earth to stabilize the banks of the weir. And do a robust plantation on and around it to stabilize the soil.
For more information on water management, you can watch the following videos: