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Building swales on contour in Aranyani Permaculture Farm

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Swales are a commonly used and highly important water harvesting technique in Permaculture designs. They help in capturing water and slowing run-off in the landscape. Contours in the landscape help to hold the rainwater in the swale, and recharge the groundwater; the wonderful passive monsoon wet event.


Swales are built by making shallow trenches along the contour line and the soil from the trench is used to make the berm on the downhill side of swales (to capture the water and prevent erosion). This slows down the flow of water and the water spreads along the contour. The water retains and recharges the groundwater. Swales are ideal for gentle slopes but not for steeper slopes.


The new swales built in Aranyani farm are looking great and functioning well. They will be functioning in rehydrating the deeper soils and creating richer fertility. Thereby kickstarting the ecosystem regeneration.



Planting in swales, a planting strategy in dry lands. Hardly watered them 7-10 times including one season showers of rain.

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