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The Permaculture Earthworks Handbook


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The State of Water The Colorado The Aral Talupula Worldwide Spread of deserts War and conflict Where there is hope Just add water! References 2. A Look at the Past Petra References 3. How Water Moves in the Environment The hydrological cycle The path of water Hydrology 101 The layout of landscapes References 4. Designing for the Whole Environment Permaculture and sustainability The design process Permaculture strategies Source to sink Reading the land The potential for overharvesting Permitting and legal restrictions Working with crews References 5. Elements of Design and Implementation Rain volumes Climate effects Temperate climates Tropical climates Coral atolls Drylands Decoupling catchments The path of water Soil Slope stability Finding contour Laser level Farmer's level Builder's level Water level A-Frame LIDAR Mapping Determining slope Earthmoving machines Types of machines Bulldozers Excavators Loaders Backhoes Compactors Safety Topsoil and erosion References 6. Water Storage Techniques Ponds Cisterns Dams References 7. Interception Techniques Swales Case Study: The Green Tree Foundation swales project Bench terraces Land imprinters Trees Spate irrigation Diversion drains References 8. Applying Permaculture Strategies Goal setting, planning, adjusting Zone planning Sector planning Stacking functions and functional connectivity Variations in structure and shape Flow Efficiency Where to start Case Study: Circle Organic ridge point dam References 9. Cautions The dynamics of slides The role of water Sensitive clays Landslide triggers Post-slide treatment What went wrong at Aberfan? References Appendices 1. Calculating Areas and Volumes 2. Calculating Runoff Volumes 3. Finding Slopes and Heights 4. Swale Spacing 5. Terracing 6. Costing Earthworks Index About the Author About New Society Publishers

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Maximize your water harvesting potential with efficient, cost-effective earthworks

About the Author

Douglas Barnes is a permaculture designer and trainer who specializes in rainwaterharvesting earthworks. Trained in Australia by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton, he has designed and built earthworks in North America, Japan, and Andra Pradesh, India. Douglas has an interest in complexity theory and systems ecology, educational design and rock climbing. He lives in Tweed, Ontario in a passive solar house he designed and built, and he blogs at

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