Artificial Lakes for Afforestation Icon

January 31, 2022

For afforestation programmes to be successful, surface water must be conserved.

This can best be accomplished by:

  • increasing the water capacity of existing storage systems
  • building new systems.

The cheapest and easiest method of creating new water storage systems is to construct small-scale ponds and lakes.

Location of artificial ponds and lakes

In the rainy season observe where the surface water flows – its currents and directions – and where the rivulets created from the rain water converge together.

The point of convergence is the ideal location for a lake. The bigger the catchment area, the bigger the number of rivulets, so the bigger the pond or lake.

Construction of artificial ponds and lakes

If there is no modern machinery, a rectangular area should be selected in the middle of the proposed site and line after line of earth dug out.

The soil should be deposited around the periphery to form the slopes and ridges of the banks. The lake should be only five feet deep to avoid accidents and drowning.

A boundary wall topped with angled irons which are connected with wire should be constructed to keep animals out. Along the wall, wire plants may be grown, and inside the wall palm trees can be planted.

On the flat areas, surface plants may be cultivated. The lake can be any shape. Underground culverts or channels may also be constructed so that water from the surrounding countryside can flow through the culverts into the lake.

There should also be name plates beside each lake which specify the opening hours, the depth of the lake and any other prescribed details. People should only be permitted to swim and fish in some specified lakes, while boating should be allowed on larger lakes.

To prevent water seeping out immediately after the lake has been constructed, earth from the beds of other lakes can be spread across the lake floor. Alternatively, the earth on the bottom of the lake can be mixed with calcium, although this may harm the aquatic plants and fish.

If sealing the lake is not urgent, nature will perform this task. After the lake has contained water for some time, a fine layer of clay will naturally form on the bed of the lake, sealing the bottom and preventing the water from seeping away.

In central Ráŕh most of the rain water is lost as there is very little organic material in the soil to retain it. To conserve the water, many small ponds and lakes should be conctructed. If this is done, the surface water can be stored and used for drinking and irrigation. Within a short time the environment will be totally transformed and the ecological balance will be restored.

There are 5 categories of small-scale lakes:

Category Volume
A 31,000+ gallons of water
B 25,000-31,000 gallons
C 20,000-25,000 gallons
D 10,000-20,000 gallons
E -10,000 gallons