Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Taming Monsoons - Season 2..

Last year, I had posted a blog on directing some of the rain water through channelization to avoid soil erosion and flooding of cultivated land. In case you missed it, you can find it here. We have been taking steps to further control the adverse effects of the much needed monsoons and thought of sharing some of our progress thus far.

Last month, we de-silted the channels. Excess gravel was used to make bunds along the channel bordering Melia Dubia plot (to let the water go beneath rather than flowing into the channel). Of course, this would be a problem when there is excessive rain and Melia Dubia trees (close to the bund) would be waterlogged. In that event, pipes would have to be placed under the bunds.

We have had a couple of good showers this week, which gave us an opportunity to evaluate the water flow and stagnation points and accordingly prepare before hitting the main monsoon season.
Another improvisation that was made this time was 'compartmentalization ' of the channels. A stretch of 4 feet deep channels were followed by a foot deep trough (10 feet long). This was done to enable filling of 4 ft deep compartment before flowing into the next compartment and retain as much water as possible and replenish the underground water table.

Water flowing into one of the 4 ft deep  compartments.

A 4 ft trough filled almost to its maximum holding capacity in a 45 min shower.


  1. Its really a good idea to channel rain water.
    In my opinion, it serves much better to harvest rainwater and recharge the ground water table.
    Well done!
    thanks for the pictures....

    Further read:
    Swales as used in permaculture.

  2. Hi,
    It seems you have been constructing swales. Why dont you combine vetiver planting along with the swales to reduce runoff and erosion.

    see - the site has many downloads

    on swales see - this farm is in kancheepuram


    1. Thanks for sharing. Vettiver seems to be a good option.

  3. You cannot "tame" the monsoons anymore than you can tame any other aspect of nature. That's wrong phraseology derived from man's assumed superiority over nature as if we were distinct from it rather than an inherent part of it.

  4. Forget nature, nowadays parents are unable to tame kids after a certain age and our govt. unable to tame the growing list of scams :)
    The term was not used here in absolute sense but to highlight an increased control over an undesirable action i.e. erosion. I guess the term can be used temporarily, just like a bullrider tames a bull for a few seconds!

  5. Nature can tame nature....plant more...more grasses, shrubs etc

    1. Nupur,
      Thanks for the suggestions. Based on one of our follower's recommendation, we are planning to plant vettiver along the bunds as well as Neem and subabul trees along the channel.