The local bamboo wizard P’ Dee came to help us make a hand-made dam in a temporary stream alongside our property. The idea is to catch the water in rainy season, and pump it with a ram pump into our water tanks for use in dry season.
This dam follows the King’s model for simple hand-made dams using local resources, labor and hardly any finances. The basic principle is a series of dams in a gully or stream. Each dam reduces the pressure on the lower one down, until you have controlled water flow. Pretty nifty and very resourceful!
Here goes the basic process.
First you stake in your supports:
The bamboo thicket provides additional support for back of the dam wall.
Next we bag it!
As a final touch, we will cover the bags with topsoil. Polypropylene bags erode after 3-6 months exposure to sunlight, but will last indefinitely if covered with earth. So not only do we protect our bags, we also provide a space to plant vetiver grass into our dam wall to prevent erosion.
The entire dam cost less than 2000 Thai Baht and should last a very long time.
Not to mention it’s a lot of fun!