Check Dam Analysis

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This Map is intended to show where dams will be placed on a given piece of property. What land will feed into a given dam and where the water will flow after it leaves the dam. The Analysis is conservative so each dam must have it's own watershed. No credit is given for overflow from one dam filling the next. There are multiple analysis available for each parcel ranging from dams sized very small to those capturing over 1.6 million gallons per storm. Small dams can be constructed by hand using mostly rocks and sand.

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interactive check dams placement map to reduce erosion and maximize water retention

This page provides s. Check dams slow down water velocity and hold the water on the land long enough for it to soak in. Check dams are a small dam constructed counteract erosion by reducing water flow velocity. Check dams are an ancient technique typically implemented as a system of several check dams situated at regular intervals across the area of interest.

One challenge with applying check dams is figuring out where to place them to ensure capturing maximum water for effort and materials consumed. This interactive check dam placement tool analyzes water flow using DEM (Digital Elevation Data) supplied by NASA. By determining where runoff water is likely to flow during storms. This data is used to pick the locations where sufficient water will accumulate to build the check dams.

Each Check dam will capture soil, increase aquifer recharge and create a deep pocket of moist soil where grass and trees can grow. Our goal is to use this technology to help reduce the affect of water scarcity during drought by providing consistent food production using the deep pockets of damp soil.

Check dams can be particularly beneficial on islands that depend on ground water extracted from fresh water lens. By maximizing infiltration using check dams more water can be retained to recharge the aquifer which will provide more freshwater to replenish the fresh water lens. If may be the least expensive way to extend island water supplies.

Potential Check Dam Locations

Each of the Lat / Lon position below represents the potential location for one check dam. It was chosen by the size of dam specified when you opened the page. The system uses a flow down model seeking to find the first location where sufficient runoff will accumulate to refill the check-dam from a given size of storm. Internally this is simplified to a goal for the number of cells needed to supply the water. SRTM cells are approximately 30 X 30 square meters. We can help build finer resolution DEM to allow more precise placement. of smaller dams. Final placement of the dams may be moved to take advantage of terrain features that will allow the check dam to be constructed using less effort or materials.

A larger number of smaller check dams will generally maximize food production, aquifer recharge and biodiversity by creating a large number damp soil pockets. Larger check dams will provide more liquid water that can be used to grow vegetables and recreation. Smaller check dams can be built quickly while larger dams toke more effort. Ultimately a combination of building as many smaller and and many larger dams as resources allow will yield maximum benefits.