Small farm pond deployment experience

I’m investing in a 25,000 sq.ft plot near Denkanikotta in TamilNadu and intend to have a farm pond about 500sq. ft big in an attempt to self sustain my water needs.
Can you share your experiences on this or for a small plot such as this, a overhead tank is a better idea?

Appreciate any inputs / suggestions.


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An overhead tank and a pond serve two different purposes. It is always advisable to have a pond in your land to conserve and collect water and to prevent runoffs. Make sure you locate the pond close to a well or borewell if any, already present in your land. If not first try to first locate using a water diviner the best source of underground water resource in your farm and dig the pond close to that. Denkanikotta is a very dry area with not much underground water . In case you have still not bought the piece of land make due diligence before buying. Dont go for water intensive crops and trees. Permaculture is the best model for that area. Water is very scarce there. So take baby steps before investing in a big way there. Best wishes

Thanks Murali…very useful advice…I’m trying to do exactly that in the sense that I’m trying to first get a pond dug up in order to conserve and collect water since the land has a natural gradient. I will not have the luxury or digging my own well since this is part of a gated farm community and hope to attempt permaculture and not have too many water needy trees.

thanks again!

Are you part of Tamarind Collective or is it some other community? Curious because I am also in the lookout of a similar community

Very good initiative.

If you build a structure, do design it so that rainwater harvested off this roof is also collected directly into the ground or stored for further use.

If you want this water to be stored for further use, you’ll need to provide an impervious layer at the bottom to minimise percolation.

Also, please consider planting suitable trees along the pond perimeter to reduce evaporation losses as well.

I am somewhat confused with what you have advised and would request for some clarity. If the pond is being made so that run off is prevented, then I am assuming that the pond will have a bottom which is directly the earth to allow the water to slowly percolate. In which case, won’t the pond water be over in a couple of months after the monsoons?

If the pond has an impervious layer, like a liner or something, to collect the water, then it will act as a storage facility. In which case the question of water percolating will not arise, and the purpose of recharging the ground water using this system will not happen.

So it’s either a storage facility or a system to collect and recharge the ground water. But it can’t be both.

Is this thinking correct?


K Dubash.

Hi Janki

I am also in the process of setting up a food forest in Coorg. It would be nice to connect. Please could you share your contact details? My number is 9845149783.