I have just finished reading Bill M's epic Designers Manual. My head is spinning with ideas for my block of land that we are planning to build on in the near future. Today I visited the block for the first time since finishing the book and I was amazed as just how much potential I could now see on the block that was just not there before. One of the things I spotted was this. We have a side of our block where the water comes around a cul de sac and right down our block about 50 meters. This was causing an enormous amount of erosion damage to our land. So much so I insisted that the council come and 'fix' the problem. After all, it was thier cul de sac. Their engineered fix was to bring in tons of rocks and some geo tech fabric and slow the water up as it roars quickly down our block and too the valley below. Here is a photo of the work they did. Now here is a shot of the top of this system where they have dug a big hole to slow the water up and have it over flow down this rock construct just to the right of the shot. Here is a shot to show you just how steep it is. The rock work is just out of sight in this shot up the back, but it give you an idea of the slope and shows you the poor ground I am starting with. Now finally, here is my idea. In the true essence of Permaculture my idea is to divert the water that is the overflow from the pool at the top of this system across the back of a swale pretty much across that shot above from back to front. So that the water runs at a slow rate across the swale like 1:5000 or so, to the other side of the block were I hope to build a dam. This next shot shows you the pool at the top in wetter times taken from the other side. Here you can see the rock system running off to the left and also at the left of this shot the hill I want to move the water across. From what I read, the idea of a swale is to have water stopped by it. Not run off accross the back of it. Right? So am I on the right track here. Should I look for another way to move all this overflow water from this side of the block to the other? Also, as storm water pours into this pool at the top of the system, I thought it would be great to make this a more permanent pool, but lining it with GLEY or some plastic, gravel and sand and stacks of water plants in and plants around the pool. Is this feasible in a pool that has water gushing through it in a big storm? And my final question, how do I make a swale when my land it made up of rocks and very sandy soil? should I bring material in to build the swale? I look forward to some ideas on what I can do here. Seems such a waste to have all that water just run right off the property.