The saddle pond we are implementing in Vale do Junco, Odemira, is a crucial element in the keyline design mainframe of the project. It is strategically located in a saddle point of the terrain, where the water flows naturally and accumulates during the rainy season. The saddle pond will serve as a water reserve, providing irrigation for the fruit and vegetable gardens during the dry season. Its location also allows for easy access to the water for livestock and wildlife, enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The construction of the saddle pond follows our principles of regenerative design, ensuring that it is ecologically sound and aesthetically pleasing. It will not only provide water security for the project but also serve as a beautiful and functional landscape feature.

What is a saddle pond?

A saddle pond is a type of water catchment system that is designed to capture and store rainwater in a natural depression or saddle-shaped area of land. It works by redirecting runoff water from the surrounding land into the saddle, where it can be stored for later use. The pond is typically created by constructing a low earthen dam or berm around the perimeter of the saddle, which allows water to accumulate and be held in the depression. Saddle ponds are commonly used in permaculture and sustainable agriculture systems as a way to conserve water and promote soil health. They can also provide a habitat for aquatic plants and animals, and help to control erosion and runoff.

Saddle ponds are a key component in a keyline design mainframe, as they serve several important functions.

First, they are strategically placed at the crest of a ridge or saddle point, allowing for maximum water catchment and storage. This is important in areas with low rainfall, as it helps to conserve water and make the most of any available precipitation.

Second, saddle ponds also help to prevent erosion by slowing the flow of water down the slope of the ridge. By capturing and holding water, they help to reduce the velocity of runoff, which in turn helps to prevent soil erosion and nutrient loss.

Third, saddle ponds can also be used for irrigation, providing a reliable source of water for crops or pastures. This is especially important in areas with limited or unreliable rainfall, as it can help to ensure that crops have sufficient water to grow and thrive.