watershed regeneration

How to install ponds, dams, and water retention features, with Zach Weiss from Elemental Ecosystems


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Welcome back to the ongoing series on waterway regeneration. Today’s interview is the second conversation I’ve had with Zach Weiss, the Protégé of revolutionary Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer and founder of Elemental Ecosystems, a company that designs and implements water harvesting landscapes and features for clients around the world.  Zach is best known for blending a unique combination of systems thinking, empathy and awareness, in his projects. 

In the last interview I did with him, which I’ve linked to in the show notes for this episode on the website, he introduced me to the importance of a healthy water cycle to climate regulation and how it actually plays a much larger role than just the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. 

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In today’s session I wanted to focus more closely on a topic that I get a lot of questions about but have very little personal experience with, and that’s building ponds, dams, and other water storage features on the land. Zach is an expert at this and explains the difference in how sealed and unsealed ponds can have a very different effect on the ecology even if they both hold the same amount of water. He also explains his methods and techniques for reading the landscape to determine the best placement for water features that are sometimes contradictory to simple topography. Be sure to stick around until the end where Zach gives some amazing practical advice for people who are looking to get started on installing their own water retention features and landscapes. 

Before we start in with the interview I also want to give you a heads up that the next two episodes will also be deep dives into permaculture earthworks, water retention landscapes and actionable information on how to optimise your land for the best use and creation of water resources, so be sure to check out the next few weeks of episodes too. 



Elemental Ecosystems

Elemental Ecosystems on Facebook

Elemental Ecosystems on Youtube

Zach Weiss’ TEDx talk

Desert or Paradise with Sepp Holzer

The Flow Partnership

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