Image: front cover Buy Print Book Now
  •  CDN $32.99 
  •  USD $32.99 


Buy Ebook Now
  •  CDN $32.99     CDN $21.45
  •  USD $32.99     USD $21.45

Paperback – 192 pages
7.5 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 499 Grams
BISAC: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Sustainable Agriculture
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865718449
Pub. Date: 2017-09-01

About the Author

Douglas Barnes

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 permaculturereflections.com.

view author profile

The Permaculture Earthworks Handbook

How to Design and Build Swales, Dams, Ponds, and other Water Harvesting Systems

by Douglas Barnes



In the face of drought and desertification, well-designed water harvesting earthworks such as swales, ponds, and dams are the most effective way to channel water into productive use. The result can be increased food production, higher groundwater levels, reduced irrigation needs, and enhanced ecosystem resilience.

Yet due to a lack of knowledge, designers, and landowners often build earthworks that are costly, inappropriately sized and sited, or even dangerous.

The Permaculture Earthworks Handbook is the first dedicated, detailed guide to the proper design and construction of water harvesting earthworks. It covers the function, design, and construction methods for nine main types of water harvesting earthworks across a full range of climates.

Coverage includes:

  • Swales, ponds, dams, hügelkultur, net-and-pan systems, spate irrigation, and more
  • Cost versus benefit of different earthworks
  • Assessing site needs and suitability
  • Soil types and hydrology
  • Designing for maximum efficiency and lowest cost
  • Risk assessment and safe construction
  • Stacking functions and integrating earthworks into a design

This practical handbook is the essential resource for permaculture designers, teachers and students, landowners, farmers, homesteaders, landscape architects, and others involved in maximizing the water harvesting potential of any landscape at the lowest cost and impact.

You might also enjoy

The Art of Plant-Based Cheesemaking

The Art of Plant-Based Cheesemaking

How to Craft Real, Cultured, Non-Dairy Cheese

Full colour photos throughout

As plant-based, dairy-free diets continue to expand in popularity for health and ethical reasons, cheese often becomes …

view title info
The Modern Homesteader's Guide to Keeping Geese

The Modern Homesteader's Guide to Keeping Geese

While chickens preen in the spotlight, geese are the historic unsung heroes of small farms and homesteads. Providing weed control, large eggs, and …

view title info
A New Garden Ethic

A New Garden Ethic

Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future

Our landscapes push aside wildlife and in turn diminish our genetically-programmed love for wildness. How can we get ourselves back into balance …

view title info
The Aquaponic Farmer

The Aquaponic Farmer

A Complete Guide to Building and Operating a Commercial Aquaponic System

Aquaponic farming — raising fish and vegetables together commercially — is the most promising innovation for a sustainable, profitable, localized …

view title info
The Food Lover's Garden

The Food Lover's Garden

Growing, Cooking, and Eating Well

Full colour photos and illustrations

Put off by the origin-unknown, not-so-fresh, pesticide-laden offerings at the grocery store? Hungry for delicious …

view title info

New Society Publishers have decided to sell their ebooks without copy protection or DRM (Digital Rights Management) so that customers can enjoy full use of their ebook purchase. In return we expect our customers to respect this decision.

By clicking in the box below, you agree that you will:

  • NOT make illegal or unauthorized copies of our ebooks.
  • ONLY make copies of our ebooks for backup purposes.
  • NOT sell or give copies of our ebooks to family, friends, associates, etc., or upload to any file-sharing sites.
I agree to the above terms and conditions
Our ebooks are available in PDF or EPUB format.
Please choose the correct format for your device.
Buy EPUB Version Buy PDF Version