Design for Water
Nothing is more important for maintaining life than water. Yet, many areas in the world are facing increasing water shortages, whether from drought, privatization, or pollution. Poorly managed water resources have cascading negative effects - ecological, economic, social, and political.
The first element we design for is water. We restore hydrological cycles with specific land-use techniques and biological resources, creating water security for people along with renewed health and viability for ecosystems.
Created by P.A. Yeomans to stabilize soil during mining excavation in the 1950’s in Australia, keyline design was later adapted for cattle ranching. Natural geographical features are used to harvest overland rainwater flow for storage into ponds and for gravity fed irrigation.
Yeomans also developed the Keyline plow, which helps to introduce water and air into compacted soils without causing erosion or further soil damage. Topsoil can be built rapidly with this technique combined with Holistic Planned Grazing, and moisture is retained in soil even in drylands.
Drought Mitigation and Storm Water Management
Earthworks serve to mitigate the effects of water shortages and droughts, as well as manage flood waters. We work with the adage “Make running water walk, and walking water go to sleep” in order to decrease both the effects of floods on erosion, and also recharge groundwater and aquifers through catchment basins.
We can help you create a Water Budget for your site. How much water is needed? How much is available and from what sources? What Water Rights do we have? How can we manage water to ensure that we have enough for our needs while also ensuring health of the watershed and abundance for the future?
Compliance with the Clean Water Act
Farms in many areas are no longer exempt from the Clean Water Act, which means essentially there can be no runoff into riparian habitat during storms. One of our remedies is the use of bio-swales, which clean water of pollutants with a specific balance of plants and miroorganisms before it leaves the site or is recharged into the aquifer.
Greywater is water that has been used at least once and is not polluted with human or toxic waste. Recycling water for second and third uses not only makes sense environmentally, it makes sense economically. In many areas greywater is allowable for use in landscaping and for recharging groundwater.