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

DIY Mushroom Cultivation

DIY Mushroom Cultivation

Why Nature and Biodiversity are Essential to Health and Happiness

With applications in permaculture, urban farming, cooking, natural medicine, and the arts, interest in home-scale mushroom cultivation is exploding. …

view title info
The Year-Round Hoophouse

The Year-Round Hoophouse

Polytunnels for All Seasons and All Climates

Design and build a hoophouse or polytunnel, and grow abundant produce year-round in any climate 

Growing in hoophouses – also known as high tunnels …

view title info
So You Want to Be a Modern Homesteader?

So You Want to Be a Modern Homesteader?

All the Dirt on Living the Good Life

The “look before you leap” guide to the joys and pitfalls of the rural good life.

Dreams of self-sufficiency, independence, and tranquility …

view title info
Backyard Bounty - 2nd Edition - Revised & Updated

Backyard Bounty - 2nd Edition - Revised & Updated

The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

Are you itching to start your own garden or grow more in the one you have, but feel that gardening is too challenging or time-consuming for your busy …

view title info
The Frugal Homesteader

The Frugal Homesteader

Living the Good Life on Less

Foreword by Joel Salatin

Achieve your back-to-the-land dreams without breaking the bank 

Build your homesteading dreams with all the affordable DIY …

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