Saturday, 14 February 2015

Multiple Ponds Design for Water Storage

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will discuss the need for Multiple Ponds and the ways to achieve that.

In a small farm, a single pond is dug at the lowest point or at an convenient place and it may be optimal for small farms just having a single pond.

In a big or large farm, a single pond may not be the right choice as water stored need to be moved around to the crops in need by either options like trenches or pipes etc.  If there is less rainfall, even a single pond of bigger size may not reach its full capacity and also evaporation and seepage will further reduce the water stored because of the bigger size.

Multiple Ponds avoids above mentioned pitfalls and has other benefits which are mentioned below.
  1. Small Ponds (Multiple Ponds) get filled easily compared to a single big pond (even when rainfall is less)
  2. Small Ponds (Multiple Ponds) evaporation as well as the seepage is less as the size of the pond is less.  This is true only when not all the ponds are filled
  3. Due to many Small Ponds, Soil moisture is available for the crops near the ponds
  4. Water is available nearby as the pond is placed in the centre of the farm and this can cater to the crop on both sides of the pond.  This reduces overhead like extra pipes etc

Pond Design - Multiple Ponds.png
Multiple Ponds Design

How to go about creating the Multiple Small Ponds Design?

There are 4 components in the above picture and this picture is planned keeping in view the Rain Water Harvesting model.

  1. Border Trenches (in Brown Colour)
  2. Internal Trenches (in Light Green Colour)
  3. Water Flow Channel (in Yellow Colour)
  4. Multiple Small Ponds (in Dark Green Colour)

Note: If the water source is different from RWH, a simpler water flow channel can be created which in turn will connect to the individual ponds rather than connecting through the ponds

Border Trenches
  • Border Trenches have to be dug on all sides of the farm
  • The border trenches have to be 2 Ft Width & 1 Ft Depth or as required
  • Only one opening is allowed in the border trench to connect to the water flow channel which in turn will connect to the first pond
  • There should be an outlet in the border trench for drainage (at 0.5 Ft Depth from the top of the trench)

Internal Trenches
  • Internal Trenches have to be dug on both sides of the pond (parallel to the pond)
  • Internal Trenches have to be dug for the entire length of the farm and it should connect with the border trenches
  • The internal trenches have to be 0.5 Ft to 1 Ft Width & 0.5 to 1 Ft Depth
  • The internal trenches have to be 3 Ft or 1 Metre away from the pond.  This will ensure that the water does not reach the pond directly and as well keep the pond from collapsing during heavy rains
  • The internal trenches will collect the water from the farm during the rains and send it to the border trench
  • Can have bushes or plants between the internal trenches and the pond for safety purposes

Multiple Small Ponds
  • Multiple ponds are created in the centre of the farm (either east-to-west direction or north-to-south direction)
  • The ponds will not have any slope or bund as we are creating small ponds.  You can use the Single Pond Design for Water Storage specifications if the soil is very loose or collapsing
  • The pond can be of any desired depth but 5 Ft Depth pond is desirable if fishes are grown
  • The pond should be east to west if fishes are grown
  • The pond can be north to south if fishes are not considered as north to south direction will minimize evaporation
  • The pond should be either rectangle or square
  • Rectangular pond is preferred if the breadth of the farm is less or if the length of the farm is more
  • Each pond will be separated by 10 Ft gap (or less depending on the soil type) or more as this will ensure the ponds don't collapse
  • Even the gaps between the ponds can be used for planting for crops like bananas etc

Water Flow Channel
  • The water flow channel size should be similar to the internal trenches in size
  • The water flow channel has to be from the border trench to the first pond
  • The water flow channel has to be at least 1 Ft below the pond height
  • There will be a water flow channel connecting each pond as well
  • Once the first pond is filled, the next pond will get filled and so on


  1. picture is not clear what are the three explanations below?

  2. It is covered in the article. Anyway, will update the article with those legends.

  3. Hi Sir, Why do you mention 5ft only for fishes farming? Is it mandatory that we should have 5 ft only or can we have more depth and still have fishes? The only reason I could think of is the fishes might escape underground but otherwise, is there any biological reason for not having more than 5 ft?

    1. 3 ft is good enough for Carp Varieties of fishes. Sunlight will help the planktoons grow well which in turn becomes the feed for the fishes.